Devotional 5/14

Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. Jeremiah 31:13

To expect unchanging happiness in a changing world, must end in disappointment.
Matthew Henry

A happy heart comes from knowing and having intimacy with the Lord. God wants to go into our places of sorrow and renew our hopes. He wants to make us joyful: joy comes from a heart that has received forgiveness. 

The book of Ecclesiastes says that there is a time for everything. There are times to cry, and times to rejoice, times to mourn and times to dance with joy (Eccl. 3:4). One of God’s great promises to us, is to fill our hearts with JOY. In the OT, the prophet Jeremiah says that there will come a day when the Lord will fill all flesh with His Spirit, and they would dance with joy (Jer. 31). And in the book of John, Jesus tells the disciples that they would be sorrowful for a season, but that they would have joy again when Jesus returns. Although we are waiting for the Lord’s return, we have the Lord’s Spirit in our hearts.

The Lord laid His life for His friends, He made us whole and we lack nothing. He made us rich in Spirit, while He himself was separated from God the father. He was blameless: He did nothing to deserve the treatment He experienced. Who can understand God’s ways? He exchanges our things for His own. Jesus Christ traded His life for our freedom!  Isaiah 53 says that our Lord Jesus was ridiculed and mocked to relieve us from grief and sorrow. He took the punishment of sin to make us whole. He was bruised for our iniquities to be removed. He was wounded  for our transgressions to be forgiven. And His stripes, the brutal lashes, were traded so that we are healed from physical and emotional illness. The apostle Paul told the Corinthians, though he was rich, he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich (2 Cor. 8:9). It is not God’s will that we be poor, sad, brokenhearted or sorrowful: it is God’s will that have joy in our hearts.

God is a trader: He wants to exchange your burdens for His rest. He wants to exchange sorrows for JOY! God wants to trade our grief for the oil of gladness and exchange our mourning to dancing!

Let’s pray:

Father God, I come before you to ask you to fill us all with your joy. Help us find where joy is seeping out through, what is blocking our joy or even what is resisting your forgiveness to flow freely in our lives. Peel off our sackcloth, and clothe us with joy. May our nights turn into mornings! May you fill our hearts with joy and gladness. And help us receive your forgiveness and grace in all areas of our lives.  In Jesus name, Amen.


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