Daily Devotions based on the Sermon Series: “ReDiscover Christmas”
Week 3 of 4: “Joy in Our Discouragements!”
Full Sunday message: CONTEMPORARY or TRADITIONAL
THIS WEEK: ReDiscover JOY!
How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? … But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me. —Psalm 13:1-2,5-6
When 11-year-old Riley moves across the country to San Francisco, her world is thrown for a loop. So are the five core emotions inside the headquarters of her brain: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust. If you’ve seen the Disney movie Inside Out, you know those colorful characters are the ones who run the control panels of the girl’s actions, experiences, and memories. Spoiler alert: After a meltdown in emotional headquarters, Riley’s world is in upheaval. But there’s a touching scene at the end when Joy hands over the controls of the emotional console to Sadness. Sadness is able to let Riley cry and let out all the bad feelings. As her parents support and hug her, Riley cries and smiles contentedly at the same time. And Sadness and Joy hold hands and form a new memory together.
Sadness and joy are often the same for us. Life is hard, and pain is real, even in the “joyous” Christmas season. Rather than putting on a fake smile or trying to power our way to happiness, it’s important to express our hurts and sorrows. God wants us to pour out our hearts to Him. The psalmists give us great examples in their prayerful songs and poems. When we are willing to cry out, “Where are you God?” and allow Him to hold and support us, He can fill us with the comfort and strength to choose joy and experience His presence. As King David put it in Psalm 30:5, “Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
What sadness or pain do you need to express to find support? How can you create your own personal psalm to pour out your heart to God?
(Reprinted with permission from Outreach.com “Advent Reading Plan”)