Whatever your this is, I’m here to tell you there is joy available to you right now. (Even in the midst of a pandemic!) You don’t have to wait for your circumstances to get better.
In fact, I am writing about joy from a place of brokenness, not because I’m happy-go-lucky.
When you read the word brokenness, what do you feel?
Being joyful while broken is an act of worship. Obedience. Yielding. Making it about Christ and his Kingdom—not about me and this temporary problem. And this, all of this, is temporary except for my relationship with him.
When I think of brokenness, different biblical examples come to mind. Jesus blessed the bread before he broke it. (He blesses us in our brokenness, too.) He gave his body, broken for our sins. The alabaster box was broken to anoint Jesus’ head with oil. Or we can go even further back and think about the broken pottery shard of Job. Brokenness doesn’t mean forever hopelessness.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Hebrews 12:2 (NLT) shows us in the middle of brokenness, Jesus kept his focus on the joy yet to come. When we keep our gaze on Jesus despite our own broken places, he nurtures our faith and will lead us to future joy.
In Matthew 26, after Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, while they partook of the Last Supper together, Christ told them of his impending betrayal and sacrifice. So as they waited for what was up ahead, even in the midst of concern and confusion, they sang a hymn after they shared the Last Supper. This is an example of being able to have joy despite brokenness.
When joy ministers to the broken heart, it creates peace. All is well, not because it is well now, but because I know it will eventually be well. This helps me be able to say “all is well” right now, in the middle of the current trials.
After Resurrection Day (Easter), Christ followers had their hope fulfilled. We as New Testament believers hold on to the hope of Easter and trust he will come again. But the day after Good Friday and the day before Easter, Saturday was silent.
Can you imagine what believers felt on Silent Saturday? Perhaps they felt like those of us who are in-between what was and what is yet to be. Those of us in the middle of a wait. Knowing Silent Saturday was just a blip before Resurrection Sunday helps me know my own in-between is on its way to transformation, too.
Jesus didn’t stay dead and our dead spots (our trials, problems, challenges, waiting periods) don’t have to stay dead either. Something alive (something new) is coming! Those bad times aren’t final. It leads to the joy found in newness of life.
When a Christian gets baptized we quote something like, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life,” (Romans 6:4 ESV).
What do you think of when you read “newness of life”? It begins with believing the hope of the resurrection. We don’t have to wait for heaven for God to be our blessing. Even if our bad circumstance doesn’t get better, having God ever so near is the peace that takes the sting out of suffering.
This is why I can have joy in my brokenness. In the middle of my wait. And so can you.
About: God’s Grin Gal, Kathy Carlton Willis, writes and speaks with a balance of funny and faith, whimsy and wisdom. She coaches others to remove the training wheels of fear and not just risk, but also take pleasure in the joy ride of life. She is known for her debut book, Grin with Grace, and for her grinning Boston terrier, Hettie. Her new book, The Grin Gal’s Guide to Joy is inspiring Joy Sightings everywhere.
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