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How Can We Enter Into God’s Joy in the Midst of Evil?

    Entering God's joy in the midst of evil

    Remembering 9/11

    Today is a remembrance of one of the most evil attacks on US soil. There have been many memorial services honoring the lives of friends and loved ones we lost on that day. The world has changed since that time, as much innocence was lost and fear has increased.

    As Christians we are told to be joyful always and that the joy of the Lord is our strength (1 Thessalonians 5:16 & Nehemiah 8:10). How is this possible in the midst of such pain and tragedy?

    The Example of Nehemiah

    In Nehemiah chapter 8, the Israelites just finished rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. At the same time, they found a copy of the Scripture. so they all gathered to listen to its public reading. As they listened, they became convicted by their disobedience to God’s commands. Grief began to rise, so Nehemiah called a joyful celebration stating that the joy of the Lord is our strength.

    Nehemiah recognized that grief that lasts beyond its time saps energy and leads away from faith. Joy leads us into the heart of the Lord and helps us see His joy for us. Grief has its season, but joy is our lifestyle (Psalm 30:5).

    How Can We Enter Into God’s Joy in the Midst of Evil?

    This can be so tough. Joy is an overflow of heaven, but we can’t just will ourselves to not grieve. In order to help you make this transition, I have listed three steps to maintain your joy. Sorrow may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).

    1. Choose to believe that God’s goodness is greater than the evil you are experiencing.
    2. Thank God for His goodness and actively look for evidences of his goodness that still lives.
    3. Activate your faith in God’s goodness by choosing to focus on joy.

    I am not insinuating that joy is easy, nor should we ever forget what has happened. Life can be extremely difficult, but joy is an act of faith in God’s goodness for you. If God is for us, which we know is true, than we can always find joy.

    3 thoughts on “How Can We Enter Into God’s Joy in the Midst of Evil?”

    1. Kevin this is succinct and spot on. I love this “Grief has its season, but joy is our lifestyle” You should tweet that if you haven’t – very powerful. Seems like the method is to focus on what God is doing, not what He’s not. Its funny that you mentioned this to me – I really needed the reminder… being in the wilderness myself at the moment. Great job brother!

      1. Kevin, thank you for your comment. ‘Succinct’ is a good explanation of my writing style. I had thought of the topic for you, but the idea kept bouncing around in my head until Sunday I decided to write. I am sure you can still fill out the detail with more great insight into this topic. Being succinct means I didn’t exhaust the topic. 🙂

    2. Pingback: Do We Have Hope for the Hurting? - prayer coach

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