Joy after Sorrow (I)

On account of the myriad problems that they confront, people in many societies frown by default. In fact, there are too many things happening in our nation that are designed to make you weep or frown. It is as if the entire set-up of the nation is geared towards making the citizens frown. Day after day, people are facing situations that make them scream, shout, murmur, sigh, frown and cry. Even when you say “let me listen to the news”, what you hear in the news most of the time is bad news.

Yet, as people lament and cry, the child of God ought to keep up a smile because he has a unique hope. We know that in Jesus Christ, there will always be joy after sorrow. Also, it is only in Jesus Christ that we hear good news. We have a privilege that many do not have – we know the result before we write the exam. We know the result before we play the match. Therefore, the child of God needs to remain conscious of the fact that whatever we pass through, if we remain in Christ, we shall always end up with joy after sorrow.

It is this realization – that joy shall surely overtake sorrow in our lives – that made Apostle Paul to say to the Corinthian Christians:

2 Corinthians 4:8-10  We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

In other words, the attitude of the believer to the day to day troubles or challenges of life should differ from that of those who do not believe. Yes, we experience the same troubles, but we should refuse to succumb to the distress. We encounter the same perplexities, but the Christian should refuse to despair. We may be persecuted for our faith, but we should not feel forsaken. We may be cast down, but we should not give up. We should never say, “it is finished!” to our visions of joy and greatness.

The point, dear reader, is that the child of God should have a different attitude to problems of life. When bad things happen, the child of God should not say “I am finished!” because he knows that in Christ, all things have become new for him – he is not finished!

So Apostle Paul says that the child of God maintains a positive attitude in the midst of negative situations because he has a special and unique hope. What is that hope? It is the hope, in fact the firm belief, that joy will surely and ultimately overtake sorrow in our lives. It is that confidence that as Christians, we are going to have the last laugh. And you know, he who laughs last, laughs longest.


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