Sorrow And The Door To Joy

“As in all sweetest music, a tinge of sadness was in every note. Nor do we know how much of the pleasures even of life we owe to the intermingled sorrows. Joy cannot unfold the deepest truths, although deepest truth must be deepest joy. Cometh white-robed Sorrow, stooping and wan, and flingeth wide the doors she may not enter.”

George MacDonald, from Phantastes

    “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”

James 1:2-12 ESV

Scripture tells the Christian to count it all joy when God gives us trials and sufferings and sorrows. It’s the way of the cross, and we shouldn’t hope for a different lot than our King willingly took on for us. And because sorrow in this life is the way of the cross and the way of the King, we can have a secure hope, as MacDonald profoundly put it, that sorrow will fling wide the doors of joy that sorrow herself may not enter. Let sorrow come, because God redeems it in the lives of His children – sorrow opens the door to the greatest joys, and God completes us with it.

I think what James gets at, is that God gives us even more of Himself through our sorrows. So, again I say let them come. Let them bring us more of God, and more of Joy than we would’ve had any other way.

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