Joy Comes in the Mourning
No, that was not a typo or autocorrect, I really meant mourning. Yes, as the verse goes, joy comes in the morning, but it also comes through the times of mourning in life. Though sorrows last through the night, joy comes in the morning, when the light of day touches your soul and you see that there is still hope, there is still life, there still something greater ahead than the hopeless night you had been wallowing in.
Joy. Something we so often misinterpret as happiness. Something we often times think is a result of receiving something physical, when it is actually the result of receiving something in your spirit. It is when the Spirit of the Creator fills your heart and life that you overflow with the fruits of His presence within you. And joy is one of those amazing, life-changing, giving, sustaining, hope-filled fruits, characteristics we carry when we carry His Spirit within us.
Joy is a spiritual fruit, gift, characteristic, while happiness is simply an emotional response. Joy is concrete, it is constant, and happiness comes and goes with the days, with the hours, even within minutes. Though happiness is fleeting, we have something greater, something that gives us deeper fulfillment than any dose of happy ever could. We have the joy of the Lord as our strength. Joy still remains even when circumstances, situations, and seasons are heartbreaking and confusing.
I've had times in my life when I've been extremely happy and they have left me in very dark, empty places filled with doubt and pain. But joy... Joy is the offspring of hope. Joy is there when my circumstances suck and my life feels stuck. Joy will take us further than happiness could ever envision.
It was in the hardest times of life, the messiest, ugliest, and most heartbreaking seasons of life that God wrapped me up in His loving arms and gave me something greater and so much stronger than the pain--- His love. And as a result of His love, of being in His presence, filled with His spirit, that He gifted me with His sustaining joy. It was in the mourning. It is in the dark times where the world tries to tell you who you are and aren't and tries to taunt you with fear and regret, that when we choose to turn to the God of hope, of peace, of comfort, of joy, that we find something so much bigger than any amount of pain in our lives. That is when He brings us into His light-- which is so much greater than the dark.
So if you are mourning, if you are hurting or feel lost, turn to the One who wants to heal it all. There is a God who wants to speak to you in such a personal, intimate way. There is a God who desires your worries and fears to be laid down a His feet, and left there. There is a God who wants to turns your mourning into dancing by giving you the joy of His presence and love. Turn to the One today and everyday, the One who gives joy--- even in the mourning.
"I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit. Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning."
"You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever."