So often in life, we may long for care-free, easy days; but instead we feel like we’re facing battle after battle, sorrow after sorrow. Maybe it seems like we can’t catch a break, or we start wondering if God is even against us. Yet through all the hardships and loss, the only safe place to run is to Him — believing the truth in His word that He cares, He’s with us, and is building greatness within us right in the midst of hard seasons. Our struggles, worries, and sorrow will not have the final say – God alone will turn our pain into a story of light and hope. His joy is our strength to keep pressing through, and His Spirit will bring refreshing to our souls.
We will laugh again.
We will praise Him.
We will see the greatness and miracles of His works through this hard journey.
How God Turns Our Sorrows into Joy:
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1. He brings beauty out of ashes.
“…to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair…” (Isaiah 61:2-3)
This verse tells us the very reason Christ came. He came to redeem, to set free, to bring healing, comfort, and peace to all. The gift of Jesus in our lives brings a miraculous work of God’s Spirit that turns our sorrow into joy. It doesn’t mean we will never grieve the difficult losses we face in this life, but it does mean that even our deepest times of mourning will give way to comfort, joy, and praise. In ourselves, this seems impossible. Yet our God who holds us secure through the hardest of storms, will fill us afresh with His hope and joy. He promises to bring beauty out of the ashes.
“And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5)
2. He is able to turn around even the worst situations for greater good.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20)
Just as Joseph faced the battle of accusation and being thrown into prison, we may sometimes feel that our grief has imprisoned our own lives. It’s hard to look ahead past the pain that we’re facing each day. It might even seem hard just to simply get through the day. And God understands that struggle; He is right there with us. He promises to be close to the brokenhearted and saves those who feel crushed in their spirits. Our difficulties will not have the final say if we’ve placed our trust in Christ. He is the author and perfecter of our lives and story. He is the only One who can turn it around for greater blessing than we ever could have imagined. Let’s refocus our gaze off of the struggles that surround us and onto Jesus again today. He is working on our behalf, even behind the scenes where we can’t fully see, bringing beauty, favor, and blessing to fill our lives once again.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
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3. He reminds us that He’s still in control.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
God’s call to us is one of trust and peace. The enemy will work in the exact opposite way, filling our thoughts with anxiety and fear. We must decide whose voice we’ll choose to listen to. Despair and fear often go hand in hand, one will tend to make the other stronger within us. Yet the Bible is filled with countless reminders of how God is always with us in whatever we face — through the fire, in the storm, over deep waters, and across the wilderness.
The most challenging of times will build a deeper strength and resiliency within our lives that could never come from an easy life. His very work is building greatness. And that is pure gold, a treasure forged in times of darkness and difficulty. Once we embrace that truth, believing God is Sovereign and carrying us through, the worries and cares can be given over to Him. For good. He doesn’t call us to carry that heaviness, He just asks us to come to Him, and pray; assuring us He’s guarding and filling our hearts and minds with His powerful peace.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
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4. He never wastes the pain we’ve experienced.
“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten…You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you…” (Joel 2:25-26)
The very character of God is one who restores. In all those seasons, even years, that have brought difficulty and grief to our lives, God promises to redeem. No one else has the power to do what only He can do, for nothing is impossible for Him! He can do in just a moment what would take years for us to work through on our own. If we’ve ever felt we’ve lost so much time in the darkness and despair of our journey, we can take heart in knowing that He still has more ahead. He is faithful to work wonders for His people and we will yet again praise Him.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” (Psalm 43:5)
5. He promises hope and blessing for the future.
When troubles swirl around us, we might sometimes think God has forgotten us, and left us all on our own. But He will never leave His people in the tough trials. He assures us there’s good still ahead. In a world that can feel dark in uncertain times, God’s powerful promises remain true. The hope He brings is never dependent on our current situation or the circumstances we may find ourselves up against. He knows our way; He has a plan. Even through the darkest night, even in the hardest days. When it’s difficult to let go of all that’s familiar, trust that God is paving new pathways. And we can believe, without a doubt, He’s walking that fresh journey right with us.
“…you did awesome things that we did not expect…since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” (Isaiah 64:3-4)
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Originally published Monday, 22 March 2021.