Last week I had a post concerning the differences in happiness and joy. After reading that post, a very good friend helped me remember some things that we need to consider. My friend said that the opposite of happiness was sadness, and the opposite of joy is tribulation. I was reminded that sometimes in life we face much more than sadness that does take us to place of tribulation. I know that this individual has faced so much more than most of us in the not-so-distant past, and still hurts, deeply. When we look to support others, it is often too easy to say we understand, but we truly cannot emphasize with someone hurting unless we too have experienced the same tribulation. But we can listen, pray, and encourage. This friend went on to say that we really do not realize how cruel Satan can be until we experience great grief and tribulation. Nowhere does the Bible teach that Christians are to be exempt from the tribulations, but we do know that God said He would never abandon us and always be there for us. It is only through our faith, belief, and commitment to Him that we can get through such times. I try not to hit you with too many scriptures in here, but when at a loss of how to help, encourage, and comfort others, that is where the Spirit ALWAYS leads us. So, consider these in your times of sorrow and tribulation:
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Romans 5:3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Perhaps you are experiencing suffering, both mental and/or physical. It may be a suffering that you cannot express even to your closest friend. It might be deep within and too heartbreaking to share. But remember that in the midst of it all, there is the promise of victory. Christ has overcome the world, and you by faith can overcome the world through our Lord Jesus Christ. His joy and His peace can help you in the midst of the hardest realities of the life that you experience.