A devotion from Cheryl Zelenka’s soon to be released book of devotions FACING STORMS. Available on Amazon this October.
“No one will calmly and quietly submit to bear the cross except those who have learned to seek their happiness beyond this world.” John Calvin
“For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5 (NKJV)
“You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle;
are they not in Your book?” Psalm 56:8 (NKJV)
“Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help.” You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing Your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise You forever.” Psalm 30:10-13 (NIV)
Have you ever heard somebody say, “You’ve got to praise Him in the storm?” This concept might seem insensitive or even ridiculous to you, especially if eating, speaking, and even waking up requires a monumental effort. The idea of lifting your voice in praise during your dark moment may even be offensive, especially if you can barely manage to get out of bed or utter a few words over your morning coffee. But let me ask you this one question: Does God deserve our accolades and appreciation in good times AND bad?
After my brother died(Over 25 years ago), I had many disturbing dreams. None of them were comforting. I longed to hug him one last time and hear an assurance that he was okay. I desperately wanted to say goodbye and enjoy one last conversation, even if it were only in a dream. This never happened. My grief was devastating and at the age of twenty-five my grief left me shattered and broken.
My sorrow drove me out into a black and very deep sea of depression. One moment I was drowning in despair and the next moment I was tossed to the beach. On dry land I had but a few seconds to catch my breath before high tide pulled me back into my living grave. Hopeless and exhausted, my tears would then mix with the seawater. It seemed as though this endless cycle would never end.
How then do we recover from depression and despair? It is only by crying out to God and accepting His helping hand that we are able to overcome our greatest sorrows. When we finally choose to lay down our wills and surrender our complaints, trusting in His goodness, we permit Him to mold and work us into the image of His son. Through yielding to His sovereignty and by declaring His right to work within us, without the slightest need for understanding, we enter into an even deeper and more intimate walk.
As we forgo our urge to wrestle with past events and their painful effects, we experience the rolling back of suffering. In its stead, we find ourselves within the supernatural peace that transcends all understanding. Through our submission to His will, and by acknowledging His ways to be so much higher than our own, our tragedy becomes bearable. He had a plan, and it included the circumstances of our heartache even before He knit us together. At all times, our need for understanding must side step when faith wants to take the lead.
Turning our wailing and sorrows into joy and dancing will happen with the passing of seasons. By allowing some time to pass, we will eventually look behind us and thank God for the precious moments, days, and years we had with the special someone we so dearly loved, or the life we were so content to play out. Faith helps us to accept and find comfort in knowing that “All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Ro. 8:28).
Loss, be it the death of a loved one, deteriorating health, lost dreams, or some kind of divine interruption ….. Will usually include a measure of pain. Your positive attitude, perspective change, and faith are what will turn your wailing into praise and joyful dancing. The Lord equips you to sing songs of joy in good times and bad times. On some days you may have to look a little harder for the blessings in your life but they are always present.
God rescues His children from pits filled with vipers, caves, cisterns, and sinking ships rocked by hurricanes. Sorrow is only for a moment and joy WILL come! Since we are called to praise Him at ALL times, even when our hearts are breaking, a hushed and barely audible “thank you” is considered a glorious sacrifice of praise…. A very pleasing one indeed.
May the grace of our God be with you always. As He has turned my wailings into dancing, I humbly ask that you too find yourself in the same place I am now resting….in joyful wonder and awe of His miraculous healing power and love.
TAKE SOME TIME TO CONTEMPLATE THE FOLLOWING WORDS
“Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.” John 16:20 (NKJV)
“Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old, together; for I will turn their mourning to joy,
will comfort them,
and make them rejoice rather than sorrow.” Jeremiah 31:13 (NKJV)
“We can experience joy in adverse circumstances by holding God’s benefits in such esteem that the recognition of them and meditation upon them shall overcome all sorrow.” ~John Calvin