Sorrowful Yet Always Rejoicing

I am preparing the new blog site to go live. With that, I find myself needing to write the most important things I have written yet. Therefore, I will temporarily be turning my energy away from the study of Hebrews, and towards the new blog project in order to give it my full attention.

This seems like the perfect opportunity to run a repeat of the most popular posts on this blog of all time. This updated post titled Sorrowful Yet Always Rejoicing was originally published on April 22, 2013:

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while 
you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” 1 Peter 1:6 NIV

If you know anything about me at all, you know that I am battling cancer and the reason I started this blog is to leave a footprint for my daughter. Not because I feel that I will not survive cancer, but because we all leave this earth one day.

Many parents write heartfelt letters to their children as they battle a dreaded disease, hoping to give them guidance and comfort in the event of their absence. However, the thing that remains most important to me is leading her to the fullness of the One who can be her everything in my stead. Fullness beyond anything she could ever imagine.

With the entire recent calamity in the present world, and with my last post suggesting that we deeply consider the call to mourn as a pathway to comfort, I feel it is necessary to highlight one of the sweetest graces of the Christian life.

If you have read many of my other posts, you know that I speak a great deal about joy. How is it that we can live out our lives mourning and rejoicing at the same time? How is it that I can be facing a life-threatening disease with its overwhelming physical, financial, and relational consequences and still have immense peace and joy?

The following illustration by F. B. Meyer titled Joy in Heaviness offers an explanation:

They say that springs of sweet fresh water well up amid the brine of salt seas; that the fairest Alpine flowers bloom in the wildest, ruggedest mountain passes; that the noblest psalms were the outcome of the profoundest agony of soul. Be it so.

And thus amid manifold trials souls which love God will find reasons for bounding, leaping joy. Have you learnt this lesson yet? Not simply to endure God's will, nor only to choose it, nor only to trust it, but to rejoice in it.

Of such joy there are two sources: first, the understanding of the nature and meaning of trial; second, the soul's love and faith in its unseen Lord. There is enough in these two for unsullied and transcendent joy; in fact, we may question whether we ever truly drink of Christ's joy till all other sources of joy are eliminated by earthly sorrow, and we are driven to seek that joyous blessedness which no earthly sun can wither and no winter freeze.