Experiencing Joy in the Midst of Suffering

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Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, persist in prayer. (Romans 12:12, NET Bible)

One of my favorite things about my relationship with the Lord is the JOY that He gives me; the joy that I feel coursing through my veins; joy that is palpable and evident and real.  It is His joy and I am so thankful to Him that He shares it with me.

I appreciate it so much more when it is felt during times of difficulty, pain and suffering.  At times like this, His joy makes me want to rejoice! 😄

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4:4, NASB)

I am reminded of Corrie Ten Boom’s book, The Hiding Place, in which Corrie eloquently describes the dual-existence of joy in the midst of suffering.  In this true story that is a “must-read,” you’ll learn that Corrie, her sister Betsie, and their elderly father were all arrested and sent to prison for hiding a group of Jewish people in their home during the Nazi occupation of Holland. Soon after their father’s untimely death, Corrie and Betsie spent time in the notorious women’s concentration camp, Ravensbruck.

“Life in Ravensbruck took place on two separate levels, mutually impossible. One, the observable, external life, grew every day more horrible. The other, the life we lived with God, grew daily better, truth upon truth, glory upon glory.”  ― Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom

Such a marvelous book! ❤️😁

The Ten Boom family could see the true light in the midst of this dark world.  And as their brothers and sisters, as Jesus followers, as believers in the gospel of grace, we also know the truth!

The truth has set us free, and yet we are stuck on this earth temporarily.  So, while we are here, let’s be patient; let’s hang in there; let’s not give up.

We all have pain, we all have suffering, and we all have difficulties to varying degrees.  But we also have hope.  Not only the hope of our future life in heaven, but the hope that is alive for us today:  the kingdom of God in our very hearts.  A hope with promise; that when we have persevered through tribulations, God will use the pain we have endured to reveal more of His love to us!

“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5 NASB)

2 thoughts on “Experiencing Joy in the Midst of Suffering

  1. Tom M. (Palm Trees) ;)

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful and touching entry. Very apropos for our daily walk with Christ! I recently read an article that stated something along the lines of, “don’t confuse being entertained with being happy.” This made me stop for a moment and reassess our own relationships with the Lord. Do we sometimes confuse moments of entertainment or worldly distractions (films, outdoor experiences or activities, material possessions, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, church or family activities, etc…) as a substitute for the simple joy of knowing and growing in our relationship with the Lord? We ought not.

    Corrie Ten Boom’s difficult times reminded me of the Apostle Paul’s challenging times in prison. Similar to Corrie’s joy in spite of her travails, we find Paul in the first chapter of Philippians experiencing joy in the Lord even though he was imprisoned. (He gives a long list of his life challenges in 2 Corinthians 11:26-31 as well.) Many around us are experiencing health, financial, emotional or mental challenges. The list of hardships people can experience is endless. As challenging as this life can be, let’s be sure that the distractions of this physical life (no matter how favorable or unfavorable) aren’t the key influential factors in shaping our joy in the Lord. I need lots of work in this area!

    Regardless of our life circumstances, God’s attraction to us and our attraction to Him ought to be the source of our joy. This is so very easy to say, but is it that easy to do? Hence, I’ve come to my own conclusion that the “renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2) involves, among other things, continually accepting ‘mindfully’ that nothing, nothing at all, other than the Lord Jesus Himself, will meet our needs for love, acceptance, meaning, peace, purpose, joy, etc. in life (credit to Aaron Budjen’s LAMP teachings). May we honestly tell others to find their life’s delight in the Lord if we ourselves are not finding pure delight in Him regardless of our circumstances? Yes, I need lots of work in this area!

    I love your statements about maintaining “hope”. The hope of an eternity of peace and joy with Christ is an undeniable promise He has given to us who trust and believe in Him. Yes, like you said, the ‘hope’ you mention extends into our here and now as well! Keep on trusting, hoping, and experiencing joy in Jesus!

    Thank you again for your thought provoking entry!

    Like

    1. momforfreedom

      Hey Palm Tree Tom! 😆 Thanks for the excellent comment; it a great blog post in and of itself. I’m thrilled to learn that you are a listener of Aaron’s; yes, that particular LAMP teaching has really solidified my walk with the Lord and narrowed my focus to Jesus alone. That He is the One who meets my needs for love, acceptance, meaning and purpose — that’s life changing. And it’s something that the Lord Himself has to teach us, which is truly miraculous. That He ‘puts His truth in our hearts.’ Anyway, THANK you again for sharing your thoughts and your wisdom and your understanding of the truth.

      Like

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