I think too many of us walk through life like Eeyore. It’s not that we are without joy. It’s just that the hard things in life tend to weigh so heavily on us that they seem to overtake our demeanor to the point that it impacts almost everything. The truth of the matter is that life is hard, and not only did God warn us of this reality, He told us to be happy about it.
There’s a line in the great hymn, “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise,” that says, “Thy justice like mountains, high soaring above; Thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.” Maybe it’s time for us to recognize the clouds of life for what they are – fountains of God’s love for us – and therefore, let us be grateful. Romans 5:1-5 tells us:
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us,” (NASB95).
God allows and uses, and at times ordains, the trials of life to grow and strengthen us into something useful for His purposes. He uses the hard times to conform us to the image of His Son. Sometimes, He uses these trials to discipline us. To bring us to our knees in contrition and brokenness. After all, we are sinful. Remember David’s words in Psalm 51 – that great prayer of contrition following his sin with Bathsheeba.
“Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice,” (Psalm 51:8, NASB95).
He doesn’t pray for God to mend his bones. They were a result of the reality of his sin. Rather, he prays for God to help him see his brokenness as cause for rejoicing. Likewise, the clouds of life are real. Let us see them as God’s fountain, showering us with what we need to be the people He intends for us to be. After all, are not His ways higher than our ways? His thoughts higher than our thoughts?
Immortal, invisible, God only wise
In light inaccessible, Hid from our eyes
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days
Almighty, victorious, Thy great name we praise!