I wonder how many people watched Jesus from a distance, hoping that He was who He said, but not yet believing. I wonder how many people were devastated after He was crucified because they didn’t understand the real reason for His death, and that resurrection was coming.

I see devastation on people’s faces every day. They have no hope, or they have false hope. They have no joy. Well, I am here to tell them that through Jesus, there can be joy in the midst of devastation. There can be joy when job loss happens. There can be joy when your child is in the hospital once again. There can be joy when the grief you thought you were over comes back again out of nowhere. In the past six years, I have been through devastation many times over. You know, the kind where it hurts just to breathe. The kind where you don’t know how you are going to put one foot in front of the other and go on. Through it all, God has given me a deep, abiding joy that I can’t explain. It is not happiness, for that depends on circumstances. What I can explain is that the more I put my faith in God and the more I put real trust in Him (not the trust where you mouth the words, but deep down don’t really believe it), the more joy I have.

I am not suggesting that we all walk around with a Pollyanna attitude, or that we should never be sad. But Jesus took on incredible pain and separation from God in place of me because He loves me so much. Then to prove it even more, He rose from the dead so that I could have eternal life with Him. How could that not bring joy?

Remember when you first fell in love and walked around all day in a state of euphoria? Remember when that person did something nice for you and it brought a smile to your face? That is how it should be with your relationship with God, only more so. Devastation will come, but the unexplainable joy that comes from Jesus’ resurrection will also come.

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