“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.”
Matthew 5:11-12 MSG
Have you ever heard of the phrase “JOY in SUFFERING”? If you’ve been a Christian or exposed to the Christian teachings, you might have heard of the phrase.
I want to discuss 3 ways we can see “joy in suffering” play out in the New Testament.
JOY OVER FEELINGS.
How can someone have joy amid of suffering? Do our feelings not hold any weight?
Let’s look at what the Bible say about these…
Jesus told his disciples to rejoice despite facing slanders and revulsion. (Mt 5:11)
Paul encouraged the Philippians and Thessalonians to keep rejoicing despite their circumstances. (Ph 4:4, 1 Thess 5:16)
Peter emphatically wrote “But rejoice as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice when his glory is revealed.”
I believe our feelings are valid. God cares even the little details of our lives (Psalm 139). But the kind of joy the Holy Spirit bears fruit in us is not just any ordinary joy, it’s JOY that can override our feelings anytime. It can get us through our most wasted hurt-ridden feelings. It’s joy we get to have and experience in spite persecution producing hurt in our feelings. It’s joy that even heals our hurt feelings.
2. JOY OVER FEAR.
You know why this joy is not bothered by fear? Because it supersedes it. Matthew 28:8 tells a story of the women who ran from the tomb where Jesus was but was not anymore. They were “afraid yet filled with joy”. 😮 What? Why? Well, with Jesus resurrected and seated at the right hand of the Father, this equally promises us His restoration of us, giving us a “crown of everlasting joy” (Is. 35:10), because we have received salvation (1Peter 1:9)
We don’t have any reason to be fearful, sisters! When we have every reason to be fearless.
3. JOY IS VICTORY.
Joy is constantly written in the New Testament as a desired attribute by Christians. I mean Paul always wrote that he had joy knowing the people he kept writing letters to had salvation. And yeah, he kept praying that they’ll have joy too as he does.
There is victory because we have salvation. This alone should bring us incomparable inexpressible joy! (John 3:29) Shouldn’t it? And if Paul prayed for them to have joy, I’ll take that advisement and right now, RIGHT NOW, I’m praying for you, whoever you are reading this now, that you will have JOY, God’s joy right now. And may you receive his salvation and experience this joy I am talking about. J
Among the 3, which speaks to you the most in your current season?
P.S. If you need to talk to anyone sis, you know how to reach me. DM/email. <3
Brenda Heyink, “Joy,”ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary(Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).