Many people experience sadness and sorrow as a result of divorce, the death of a loved one or crushed dreams. If you haven’t experienced sadness and sorrow in your life yet – you will. A great king once gathered his advisors and instructed them to write the history of the world. After several years of hard work, they returned with over 500 volumes. He said to them, “That is too much. I will never read all that you have written, condense it down to one page.” Much to their dismay and chagrin, his advisors followed their king’s instructions, and worked on reducing the content of their work. After presenting the king the one page document, they were shocked when he said, “Condense it down to one sentence.” The final sentence they came up with to report the history of the world was: “This is the life experiences of all men who have ever had sorrow and died.” Sorrow and sadness is a real and continual aspect of life for men and women everywhere.
Yet, God’s Word promises for the believer that though sorrow and weeping may endure for a season, joy is eventually experienced by those who keep their focus on and faith in the Lord (Psalm 30:5). The Psalmist goes on to say that the Lord will even turn our “mourning” into “joyful dancing.” In my pre-Christian days, various chemical intoxications caused me to think that I was a pretty good dancer. Actually, the truth is I’m not much of a dancer, so it’s hard for me to imagine the kind of joy that would cause me to “kick up my heels” and “leap and dance for joy.” Yet, that’s what God’s Word promises. It promises me that in spite of experiencing great tragedy in my life, I can have such unbelievable and incredible joy that I will “leap and dance” with immeasurable happiness and thanksgiving in my heart. My wife and all who know my reserved nature would probably say, “Bring it on, Lord, bring it on.”
Regardless of how God’s joy can be expressed in my life, I’m so glad to know that the Lord cares enough about me that He desires to “turn my sadness into gladness” and I know He will. That promise from the Lord brings me hope, peace and joy on a daily basis. I know that whatever befalls me – joy will come in the morning. I know that no matter what anyone says to me – joy will come in the morning. I know that no matter how the world, the Devil or anyone else treats me – joy will come in the morning. Jesus said, “I have said all this to you that My joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11). The Apostle Paul wrote, “The kingdom of God is . . . righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” So, today I intend to live in that joy (and not even wait for the morning time). It doesn’t matter what is happening around me, to me, or in me – today I will exchange the “clothes of mourning” for the “clothes of joy!”
As you pray today: 1) Ask the Lord to reveal to you sources of sadness in your life, and to remove that sadness from you as you forgive and release those who have hurt you; 2) Ask the Lord to “turn your sadness into gladness” by giving you victory over and peace in the circumstances of life; and 3) Ask the Lord to enable and empower you to infuse others with His joy and gladness.