READING: Jeremiah 30-31
So, the Lord said to His people, “I will turn their mourning into joy, give them consolation, and bring happiness out of grief” (Jer 31:13).
This word was the word to God‘s people under judgment that He would, indeed, restore them. They would be His people, and they would be satisfied with His goodness (Jer 31:14).
At the same time, this word is comforting to us as well. How often I recall in my years of pastoral ministry God’s turning mourning to joy! For example, I think of:
- the widow who grieved the death of her husband, only to find joy in the promise of eternal life
- the marriage on the verge of brokenness, then restored by the power of God‘s gracious Spirit
- the church in the middle of deep conflict ready to divide into multiple factions—that is, until God brought healing, restoration, and renewal
- the grief of families facing job loss, only to find greater joy in the new job that eventually came
- the agony of parents waiting in the drive for a wayward child to return, with all the pain erased when that child came around the corner.
Mourning. It’s a real emotion.
So is joy.
And, God specializes in turning the former into the latter. Amen.
PERSONAL REFLECTION: Do you need God to turn your mourning into joy today?
PRAYER: “Father give me joy when my heart breaks.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Jeremiah 32-35