Joy Comes after Mourning
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When everything goes awry, we are tempted to rush past, stuff, deny, or file the situation under “unmentionables.” We will do anything to make the chaos subside. Something inside us lunges to grieve, but we stiff-arm the impulse, forcing ourselves to keep it together.
I knew I needed to mourn, but I struggled to allow the tears to flow. [After all,] I had committed to fight back with joy. Wasn’t bereavement the antithesis of joy? Stumbling across the words of Jesus in one of his most famous sermons, I spotted something I’ve never noticed. …
Luke places Jesus in the center of the crowd. He steps among the mentally ill, those crippled by infirmity, people barely hanging on to life. Rubbing elbows with those who have diseases and unclean spirits, Jesus tells them to consider themselves blessed:
“You are blessed when the tears flow freely. Joy comes with the morning.”...
Such words seem counterintuitive. After all, tears are often seen as a sign of weakness—the crinkly white flag of giving up. Jesus declares that those strong enough to allow the sobs to escape are among the fortunate. The Son of God gives the quivering permission to mourn. …
Mourning is a river that carries us to joy.
Sometimes we need to give space for grief in order to make room for joy. No one is immune to sorrow, and only those who learn to grieve well can recapture the healing it brings. Just as light needs darkness, so joy needs grief. And just as night precedes morning, so joy comes in the mourning. …
[My] tears were cleansing me. This grieving was washing away my secondhand priorities, reservoirs of ingratitude embedded in my soul, strongholds of immaturity that should have disappeared long ago. Through the passageway of tears, I was able to reawaken to life’s beauty.
Indeed, grieving may last for the night, but joy doesn’t only come in the morning—it comes in the mourning too. Much like the sky holds both the sun and the moon, our lives are comprised of both sorrow and joy. …
Adversity invites us to mourn. Such grieving demands a level of vulnerability that can make us want to run, hide, and avoid the outpouring. When done well, the tears of mourning become a river that washes away our pain, a holy stream carrying us toward healing, wholeness, and joy.—Margaret Feinberg1
All suffering has meaning in My kingdom. Pain and problems are opportunities to demonstrate your trust in Me. Bearing your circumstances bravely—even thanking Me for them—is one of the highest forms of praise. This sacrifice of thanksgiving rings golden-toned bells of joy throughout heavenly realms. On earth also, your patient suffering sends out ripples of good tidings in ever-widening circles.
When suffering strikes, remember that I am sovereign and that I can bring good out of everything. Do not try to run from the pain or hide from problems. Instead, accept adversity in My name, offering it up to Me for My purposes. Thus your suffering gains meaning and draws you closer to Me. Joy emerges from the ashes of adversity through your trust and thankfulness.—Jesus, speaking in prophecy2
Grief is a deep and powerful emotion caused by the loss of someone or something we held dear. Grief is the price we pay for loving and engaging with life. Every emotionally healthy person will experience seasons of grief because death and loss are a part of this transitory life. We can also experience grief over events that others may not consider worth grieving, such as a job loss, a pet’s death, or the sale of a childhood home. …
Psalm 34:18 says that “the LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” God understands our grief and offers to be with us and comfort us with promises from His Word and with the “peace that passes all understanding.”3—From gotquestions.org4
In order to bring forth the sweetness, there has to be some suffering. To bring about the beauty of the flame, there must be ashes. Something must go to ashes. Blessings come from suffering—beauty for ashes—as is expressed so well in Hebrews 12. Verse 11 says: “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”5 It is like a giant hand taking the honeycomb and squeezing it, and out comes the honey. Like Moses smiting the rock—it hurt the rock, but out came the water.6 Like a beautiful flower pressed and crushed, but out comes the perfume. Like the beautiful music that comes from the throat of the bird—almost as though in pain, yet it comes forth with song. Even though the bird’s song is sad, it’s so sweet.
Lord, help us not to fight Your crushing, Your bruising, Your smiting, which causes the water to gush forth. Help us not to quench that beautiful song, even if it’s sad—to thank You in spite of the sorrow. Help us to be willing to be smitten and crushed, to be squeezed and to be bruised, that we may bring forth Your sweetness, Your fragrance, Your beauty, Your song, Your refreshing waters. Out of what seems like defeat come some of Your greatest victories.
“Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”7—David Brandt Berg
Published on Anchor September 2019. Read by Jon Marc. Music by Michael Dooley.
1 Margaret Feinberg, Fight Back with Joy (Worthy Publishing, 2015).
2 Sarah Young, Jesus Calling (Thomas Nelson, 2010).
3 Philippians 4:6–7.
6 Exodus 17:6.
7 2 Corinthians 1:4 NKJV.