January 17, 2018

Joy’s Birth Pains

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 17, 2018

Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. John 16:20

Sorrow sometimes lies pregnant in the womb of my soul, waiting to be birthed into joy. I recently wept with a friend whose physical pain brought tears to our eyes. It hurt me to see him hurt. Joy came as we both sought the comfort of Christ in prayer. I lost my dad years ago to my parent’s divorce. My joy evaporated and left behind the residue of rage. Thankfully, my anger was converted to love by loving mentors. I experienced God’s love through His children. It’s when I honestly express my sorrows that my Savior Jesus transforms my pain into His peace.

Jesus prepared His disciples for the reality of grief—followed by His guarantee of joy. Jesus was going away, but He promised His followers: “I will see you again”. What a comfort to know the eyes of the Lord are fixed on those He loves. The disciples would feel the pain of loss, but they could anticipate with joy Christ’s return. The deep sorrow experienced at the foot of the cross could only be surpassed by the height of joy standing at the empty tomb. Death brings sorrow, but life brings joy. We can smile and rejoice: our suffering servant has become our living Lord!

“They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion…They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more” (Jeremiah 31:12).

What grief of yours needs a conversion of joy? You feel grief over a death, but you know the Lord will bring joy back to your life. You feel pain over a prodigal child, but you still pray for the return of joy to your heart—even if they don’t return. You feel disappointed over unmet expectations, but you leave your desires in God’s hands. He massages out the toxins of distrust so your joy is able to rehydrate your soul. You feel regret over a ruptured relationship, but you seek the Lord’s wisdom for relational repair, as joy follows your repentance. Joy has birth pains.

Therefore, we go to God in our grief with anticipation of engaging His deep abiding joy. Just as the extended roots of a 100 year-old live oak provide stability in the middle of gale force winds, so the deepening roots of our trust in God stabilizes our soul. External circumstances can whip us around and threaten our joy, but the inner peace of Christ abides still. Our iceberg of pain begins to melt as it drifts down the warm river of the Lord’s love. Rejoicing will follow our mourning.  

“Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).

Prayer

Heavenly Father, in my grief I look to You for hope, healing and peace.

Application

What pain in my life can Jesus birth into joyful purpose as I rest in Him?

Related Reading

1 Chronicles 16:33; Psalm 90:14; Isaiah 26:19; 1 Thessalonians 2:19

Post/Tweet today

When I honestly express my sorrows—my Savior Jesus transforms my pain into His peace. #joysbirthpains #wisdomhunters

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Comments

  1. Steve says:

    First, thank you for your ministry, each morning Instart my day with your email, sharing Christ’s love through His Word and many testimonies………….. it is truly a blessing.

    Cautious to respond but thought it was worth the risk. One comment on today’s Joy’s birth Pains. You mentioned you “lost” your father as a result of your parents divorce. This concerns me because it sends the message that your father was written out if your life due to circumstances of your parents divorce. That is sad but also may be an area for God to work through forgiveness. What does God’s Word say to us about our parents and our relationships. Are they conditional?

    My prayer this morning is that pain is healed forever one day……… thanks again for your emails

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Steve
      Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out to us with your heartfelt concerns and questions after reading “Joy’s Birth Pains”. I spoke to Boyd about his statements to get a clear picture of how to respond.
      First of all, we appreciate you asking about this. I can see where it may look Boyd’s Dad was “written out of his life due to the circumstances of your parents divorce”. You may not have been the only one wondering about this comment in our Wisdom Hunter’s family, so I am thankful for the opportunity to write about this.(With Boyd’s permission)
      When Boyd spoke of “the loss” it was at that time, an emotional loss. But, as God so often does, He worked a mighty work and turned that hurt, that “loss” into a powerful lesson on forgiveness. It was not an overnight, easy lesson either. (Are they ever easy, though???) As Boyd mentioned in the devotional, it took loving mentors (the Body of Christ) to pray him through this, as well as, the love of His Heavenly Father working in his heart.
      Steve, whenever you have time, we would love for you to watch a video on forgiveness that we have on our website. When Boyd spoke at a men’s conference, we poured out his heart on the subject of forgiveness and what it has meant in his life. I think you will enjoy it (and possibility explain his comments more clearly).
      http://subspla.sh/asqpz3w
      Your prayer the morning you wrote your response is so powerful: There will be a day when pain is healed forever! HE assures us in Revelation!!! Praise God the Father!!
      We are so thankful you are a fellow wisdom hunter, Steve, and we look forward to hearing from you again!
      May God Bless You,
      Gwynne
      “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, fr the old order of things has passed away.”
      Rev.21:4

      “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
      Ephesians 4:32


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