Joy on the Other Side of Sorrow
There is kind of joy only found on the other side of sorrow. It is a deep, satisfying, enriching joy that only comes to those willing to muddle through the mire of sorrow.
Too often we avoid grief. We run from sorrow. We fill the emptiness with busyness. We drown out the silence with noise. We drink, smoke, medicate ourselves, or eat as an escape. We’re constantly running, but from what?
The people of Israel lived that way for years. They had run from God – He was too strict. Year after year, generation after generation, they sought their own happiness and avoided any feeling of shame or guilt. They lived how they wanted.
Enemies came in. Their land was devoured. They were taken captive. The walls of protection were destroyed. They were forced to face themselves.
A man named Nehemiah heard of the condition of the city and its people. He surveyed the losses and prayerfully developed a plan. The walls needed to be rebuilt, as did the people.
The prophet/scribe Ezra stood before the people and read from an ancient scroll, a long-forgotten manuscript of God’s laws and covenant promises.
A crowd began to gather. This generation had never heard these words before. They all stood. Still. Silent. They listened with their ears…and with their hearts. The word of the Lord pierced through years of sin. The people wept.
It is impossible to experience the joy of forgiveness without walking through the sorrow of remorse.
They recognized and repented from sin, and their sorrow was turned to joy. Slavery and bondage gave way to freedom and joy.
Nehemiah said to the people:
“…And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 ESV
That kind of joy is found only on the other side of godly sorrow.
Instead of running from guilt, shame, sorrow, and regret, recognize that these can be used by the Holy Spirit to lead you into a joy you never thought possible.
Let Jesus turn your sorrow into joy!