Joy and Sorrow

Joy And Sorrow Are The Opposite Sides Of The Same Coin

Ed, my old neighbor in Saskatchewan, told me yesterday that I should be rejoicing because I’m to get my Covid 19 shot next week. I told Ed that my booking for my vaccination was not joyous.

Booking my vaccination appointment online was a small nightmare because I was pretty dull about what and how the computer wanted information. Eventually, after much frustration on my part, I was registered for my shot. My joy at having made my appointment was tempered by my frustration in achieving my booking. Sometimes I feel that I‘m confident on my computer, and sometimes it seems like I’m dumber than dirt at giving the computer what it wants. When it comes to my laptop, I’m both competent and incompetent.

I think that joy and sorrow are the opposite sides of the same coin. Can the sorrow of Good Friday be separated from the joy of the resurrection of Easter Sunday? The challenge is not focusing on either joy or sorrow but on God, who is more magnificent than them both. When we focus on God, both sorrow and joy can be accepted as part of circumstances beyond our control.

When my computer skill is lacking, there is help if I’m willing to seek it and accept it. My competence or incompetence does not begin and end with me but factors beyond my control. God is hidden in the affairs that are the mixture of the positive and the negative flow of everyday life. The Bible speaks in terms of, “A time for everything, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3:4) Our time on earth is never just laughter or weeping, but the reality of times of both in our lives, sometimes on the same day.

Do we live our lives centered on the almighty God, who is love and grace? God is greater than our best or worst days. He allowed Jesus to lay down his life, suffering the punishment of our sins in his body on the cross on Good Friday. In Christ’s suffering and innocent death, “God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” (2 Cor. 5:19)

God, who did not spare his own Son for the salvation of us sinners, calls us to dare to rejoice and celebrate with joy while accepting both the frustrating and pleasant events that come our way.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 reminds us, “Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Psalm 118:24,29 instructs us, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his love endures forever.”

Rejoicing and joy have everything to do with Jesus’ resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday, proving Christ’s words, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.” (John 11:25-26) We rejoice in Jesus’ victory over death. He assures us, “Because I live, you also will live.” (John 14:19)

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