Finding Joy in the Pain

Weeping may tarry for the night,

but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30:5 ESV

Finding Joy in the Hard Places

FInding Joy in the Hard Places
photo credit Canva
Modified by Mandy

Throughout my years of reading the Scriptures, this verse has been one of my favorites. It has brought such comfort and joy in so many hard places. When night fell it seemed that the problems always loomed much larger in the dark than in the light of day. And as my heart ached with the weight of so many burdens, I held tightly to the promise that the Lord would bring the dawn of His light–the night of the trial could not last forever. And He did bring such peace to my heart as I watched the light dawning in so many of those dark, hard struggles.

The Hard Place of Chronic Illness

However, when chronic illness fell upon me several years ago, I found this verse taking on a literal meaning that hit me in a new way. The physical pains brought new tears in the evening. Every time I lay down, needing rest so deeply, the throbbing would heighten. Every time I finally drifted off to sleep, a jolt of fresh pain would awaken me. And the anxiety that accompanied so many of the medications brought nightmares and levels of pain that finally left me weeping before my Lord.

“How long will this night last, Lord Jesus? When will You bring the rescue?”

Finding Joy in the Morning

Finally, every morning, when the rising of the sun would finally light up my window, I could hear His words echoing in my heart:

“Rejoice, my child! We made it through one more night! My own heart is filled with joy to see you trusting Me even here.”

I could hear His words, and I could rejoice in the sunlight, but I could not rejoice at the coming night that I knew would fall again, all too soon. Recently though, He has been asking me to offer even that pain in the night up to Him as an offering. It has made little sense to me until I came across these Scriptures recently. Words that again, I have read so many times, suddenly jumped off the page for me:

Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2 ESV

Jesus Feels Our Pain

Additionally, Jesus endured the cross, and suffered that shame for us, but why? For the JOY that was set before Him. He offered Himself, every pain and every burden that was taken for us, and He gave it all over to God, for the joy of bringing us to His Father. Could I offer my own pain in that same way? Could I see my own sleepless and pain-filled nights as a place of offering to Him?

“Oh Lord, how I long to be able to offer it all to you? But even that offering is too hard for me. I don’t know how I can do that.”

Into the midst of my tears, He brought His Words to me yet again. This time they were ancient words, uttered to God’s people who had been long at work, obeying the Lord to rebuild His dwelling place and the wall of protection around His city. And God had called them to celebrate their place with Him:

Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Nehemiah 8:10 ESV

Finding Joy in the Morning Through Jesus

Consequently, it was the very answer that He had been whispering to my heart every morning. It is the JOY of the LORD that will be my strength. I cannot strive to attain that. But He has already won it for me. He bore all that pain for me, and now He is the One who can show me how to offer my own pain back to Him again and again, every dark night.

And always, the morning of HIS light of Joy will dawn in my heart, because it is His gift, His fruit:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Galatians 5:22,23 ESV

Bettie Gilbert

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Here are the featured posts from October 2019 Legacy Link-up. Kudos to Tammy Kennington and Karen Sebastian.

Most Clicked

Tammy Kennington had the most clicks last month. Go check out her post What Freedom in Christ Looks Like.

What Freedom in Christ Looks Like

My Favorite Linked Post in October

My favorite post was Karen Sebastian’s post. Karen was participating in the 30-day writing challenge. She wrote on the theme “How to Live 101 Wonderful Years” in celebration of her father. This post on Joy was a perfect segue into the November theme of joy.

How to live 101 wonderful years. Joy in the Hard Places

About BettieG

You can find Bettie sharing from her multi-generational home in the far northern suburbs of Chicago. She is on a journey of walking forward with Jesus, in the middle of her own pain and weaknesses from multiple chronic illnesses. The beauty of nature is a joy that always calls to her, as well as the joy of her family and 9 young grandchildren. She and her husband have been married for over 40 years and take great joy in their weekend coffee breaks together.

View all posts by BettieG

21 Comments on “Finding Joy in the Pain”

  1. Thank you dear Mandy and Michele for inviting me to share words with you all here! Your heart of encouragement is such a blessing to me and to so many others.

  2. Bettie, how comforting to realize we don’t have to strive for the joy of the Lord…He already won it for us on the cross! Fresh insight! Thank you!

  3. Amen. He has gone there for us, and has such grace now for us! I am clinging to that comfort. Blessings for you this week!

  4. Thank you for your sweet comments Lauren. Our Lord has given us so much grace to share with each other. What a precious gift from Him! I pray you have a blessed week!

  5. And thank you dear friend, for the encouragement that you bring also. I am so grateful that Jesus helps us to share His comfort with each other! Blessings to you today.

  6. I’ve been having more pain lately and I think If I had it constant like you I would find it hard to do what you are doing! But God bless you for your efforts and for your trying in a difficult time.

  7. Bettie, this is great! I am speaking on Creating Joy in a Season of Grief to a Griefshare group next month. Thanks for your timely reminders here. This can be such a difficult season for so many people. No doubt this post will be helpful to them.


    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

  8. Oh Dear Lisa,
    I am so thankful that Jesus sees every bit of pain that we bear, and He is right here to help us. Thank you so much for your sweet prayers. They mean so much to me. And I am praying for you today too, dear sister. May you be blessed in HIM this week.

  9. Dear Patsy,
    Thank you for your kind comments. I am so grateful that God brought encouragement and a confirmation to you here! What a blessing to be able to share comfort with your Griefshare group. God does long to bring us His own joy in the midst of such hard places. You are in my prayers as you share!

  10. For the joy…yes, that is a wonderful reason, Bettie. I appreciate your authenticity about the pain you suffer and about the places it takes you in your walk with Jesus. You inspire me.

  11. It is reassuring to know that the morning would surely come, no matter how dark or long the night is. And with the morning, joy comes! Thanks so much for this reminder. Blessings!

  12. I’m so glad that God promises to walk WITH us during our dark times–without him, there would be no hope of joy. Keeping a grateful attitude always helps me focus on what he has done rather than what I can’t do.

  13. Bettie, you write so openly and movingly of your struggles and how God meets with you right there in the mire of misery-induced tears. Sleepless, pain-filled nights are no fun especially when they continue relentlessly without any relief. And yet even here there is grace, there is mercy to endure, and there is joy to be found if we ask God to reveal it to us. These words helped me too: “He bore all that pain for me, and now He is the One who can show me how to offer my own pain back to Him again and again.” It’s amazing to think that our burdens and pain, when offered up to Jesus, become a sweet offering, a fragrant incense He touches with His love. May the joy of the Lord continue to be your strength as you infuse hope, joy and inspiration back into our hearts through your living testimony and faith. Thank you for being you and being real. Blessings and love. xo <3

  14. Dear Lisa, He really does help us so much on our journey, doesn’t He? I am so thankful that He brought inspiration here to you. What a blessing to be able to share in His love and encouragement as we walk this pathway. Blessings to you dear sister!

  15. That word “WITH” has become so important to me lately also. He keeps speaking it to me so often lately. You are so right that without Him there is no hope at all. And yes, that heart of gratitude is so very good and true to remember. Blessings to you this week!

  16. Dear Joy,
    Thank you for your encouragement dear friend. You are so right that “there is grace, there is mercy to endure, and there is joy to be found if we ask God to reveal it to us.” Oh how I need that grace and mercy from Him. And He is so ready to give it, isn’t He? May we continue to be real before Him, and to allow Him to show us how to offer those sleepless nights to Him. I am so thankful that He hears our every cry. May you be blessed this week. Hugs & Love! xo

  17. Joy, Congratulations! your name has been drawn to win a gift from Mandy and Michele – Just HOlding it Together Blog.

    Thank you for this beautiful, encouraging and inspiring comment to our guest writer Bettie Gilbert.

    If you live in the US, I am offering my marked-up book which I reviewed this month, The 4 Habits of Joy-filled Marriages by Marcus Warner and Chris Coursey. Contact me privately with your U.S. address. Otherwise, I can offer you a link to all my free downloads that will be available this coming year.

    God bless!


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