“Weeping may last for a night,
but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5).
A number of years ago, someone came up with the great idea of putting playrooms in pediatricians’ offices. Oftentimes parents bring their sick children to the doctor and have to wait to be seen. The playrooms are designed to distract children from the pain of their problem until the doctor can see them. These playrooms give the children (and their parents) joy through a tough situation.
That is the way God works. Though things may not be going the way we would like them to on the surface, God has designed a “playroom” in our souls. In the midst of our troubles, He intends for his joy to distract us from our pain until He makes provision for us.
In John 17:13 Jesus prayed, “I am coming to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” Jesus prayed that we would have his joy within us. He wants us to have his joy, because the joy of the Lord is our strength.
I must mention that there is a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is short-lived but joy is long lasting. In John 16:21 Jesus teaches us the enduring nature of joy. He says, “When a woman is in travail she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she is delivered of the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a child is born into the world.”
I have seen this picture of a woman in labor up close and personal. I was in the delivery room for the birth of each of my three children and I must say labor looked like it really, really hurt! Giving birth is an agonizing experience. However, in an instant a mother’s pain becomes joy as she meets her baby for the first time. Jesus says that is the way times of trial work.
Today, there is much pain and grief in Pakistan because of the Easter Sunday suicide bombing, but Pakistan will rise again. That is what Jesus promised the disciples as well. The disciples would see Jesus die on the cross, but they would later experience his resurrection. God delights in performing resurrections in our lives. We do not live in a world without pain but God promised to take our pain and turn it into joy.
The Bible says, “weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). If I had the option, I would order the joy without the suffering. Yet, Jesus said, that is not the way it works. Joy comes not from a change of circumstances – joy comes from having Jesus in our hearts.
Have you discovered joy through a personal pain that has allowed you to form a deeper relationship with God? Have you discovered the joy of releasing fear of death and looking instead to certainty of an eternity with God? Have you discovered the joy of knowing that whatever happens you are going to be all right because God is with you?
Jesus prayed that you would have his joy in you. Do you?