joy in sorrow

Joy in Sorrow

By Ginny Mink

I have come to believe that “bad things” happen for one of two reasons: 1) We are doing things right so the enemy is attacking us in an effort to bring us back to his level, or 2) We’re doing things wrong and we’re being disciplined by the Father, often times just by the natural consequences of our bad behavior.

I’m sure there are plenty who would argue this point with me, my husband included (although when I read this whole piece to him, he actually agreed with what I was trying to say), but I can only discuss things from my own perspective, and that’s just how I see it. I wonder though, if you were to carefully consider my statement if you might not find truth there?

Certainly the enemy does not wish for us to walk the straight and narrow path, so he endeavors to employ all devices under his dominion to get us to veer from the path that leads to righteousness. The Scriptures demonstrate the enemy’s multitude of tactics in the calamities that befell Job. So, he attacks us with loss, with illness, with persecution, and with temptation; either we stand strong under the weight of his evils or we submit.

With regards to the Father’s discipline, we are assured of it in Proverbs. He does not spare the rod, and He disciplines those whom He loves, otherwise we would no longer be His children, but illegitimate. No doubt, like our own earthly fathers, He gives us warnings when we begin to stray from His ideals, but if we stubbornly choose not to listen, He will allow the consequences of our disobedience to fall upon us.

From the outside, others cannot tell, in many cases anyway, whether or not our misfortunes are attacks or disciplines, but if we are being honest with our own hearts, we surely know the difference. Herein, there can be joy in all negative occurrences in our life. “What?!” You might ask in astonished indignation: “Why in the world would you think bad things happening cause joy?”

Well, to me, now, it makes perfect sense. If in my heart I am capable of distinguishing the difference, there are two causes for joy in sorrow: 1) If it is an attack from hell’s condemned ruler, then obviously my life, and the way I live it, is a threat to his power and control. Certainly the crushing of the dreaded serpent is the goal of the Kingdom and I must be participating in this war successfully if he’s going after me;  2) If I am being disciplined, then that just proves my adoption into the Kingdom and I should thank the Father that He loves me enough to want me to straighten up!

It is imperative that we learn to look at negative and unpleasant happenings as instruments of joy rather than things to complain, and fret, about. However, in order to do so we must pay careful attention to our own hearts so that we might discern the difference and live accordingly.

 

Ginny Mink is an author, poet, journalist, artist and speaker. She’s the proud mother of two and the wholly blessed wife of Mr. Chris Mink. Visit her website: www.ginnymink.com

 

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