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Joy Is Coming Soon
Self-help manuals might get you through a bad mood or a tough patch. But what about an abusive childhood, or a debilitating accident, or years of chronic pain or public ridicule? Does God have a word for the dark nights of the soul?
He does. The promise begins with this phrase: “Weeping may last through the night.” Of course, you knew that much. But you need to also know this: “joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5 NLT).
Do you ever wonder if a morning will bring this night to an end? Mary Magdalene certainly did. She had been consumed with troubles. But then Jesus stepped into her world and restored life to her life. Wherever Jesus went, Mary Magdalene followed. She heard Him teach. She saw Him perform miracles. She helped pay expenses. She was always near Christ.
On that Friday, Mary watched Jesus die. On Saturday, she observed a sad Sabbath. When Sunday came, she went to the tomb to finish the work she had begun on Friday. She knew nothing of the empty tomb. She came with no other motive than to wash the remaining clots of blood from His beard and say goodbye. It was a dark morning.
But when she arrived at the tomb, she “saw that the stone had been taken away” (John 20:1 NKJV). Assuming grave robbers had taken the body, she hurried to find Peter and John. They took a look and hurried to tell the others. “But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping” (verse 11 NKJV). Could her world get any darker or more hopeless?
It was then that two angels met her, but Mary mistook them for men. It was still dark outside . . . and even darker in the tomb. Her eyes were tear-filled. She had no reason to think angels would be in the tomb. But in the midst of Mary’s darkest moment, the Son came out.
Jesus showed up. She didn’t recognize her Lord. So Jesus called her by name. Maybe it was the way He said it. The inflection. The tone. The Galilean accent. Maybe it was the memory associated with it . . . the moment she first heard someone say her name unladen with perversion or an agenda.
“Mary.” Her world went from a dead Jesus to a living one. Weeping may last through the night, but joy . . .
I wish I could paint this scene. The white-robed Messiah. The joy-filled Mary. Her hands extended to Him. His eyes upon her. The reflection of the sunrise in the tears of Mary. And a broad smile on the face of Jesus.
Joy comes because Jesus comes. And if you don’t recognize His face, He will call your name. Your name is not buried in some heavenly file. God needs no name tag to jog His memory about you. He has said, “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:16).
You are everything to God.
What does Mary Magdalene’s story tell you about Jesus’ interest in the needs of individual people? What individual attention has Jesus shown you?
How does this promise affect your outlook on your current situation? What are some ways you have clung to Jesus when your life seemed full of despair?
How has God used others to meet your needs? Who can you reach out to today for prayer?
Bayside Daily Devotional
Good morning Coffee
The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things!
-Psalm 118:14-15 NLT
Know Your Weak Zones
God wants you to remain free and clear from fleshly addictions, worldly philosophies, and Satan’s temptations. In order to maintain your freedom in Christ, it’s crucial that you know your weak zones and recognize when temptation is lurking around you.
Your weak spots may not be the same as others. What’s manageable for them, may not be controllable for you. When they can say “yes” with moderation in mind, you may have to say “no,” just to maintain your stance, and not stop your progress. Self-control, determination, and the power of God’s Spirit are three friends that will help you choose wisely, remain on the path of freedom, and allow you to reap good and profitable returns.
When temptation comes your way, turn away and ask God to help you. When you’re tempted, He will show you the best way of escape. Don’t allow a slip-up to cause you to slide into a stronghold of bondage. Should you slip, quickly repent, and get back on course with God. Do as the psalmist did in Psalm 94:18 (NLT), where he says, “I cried out, ‘I am slipping!’ but your unfailing love, O LORD, supported me.” When the Lord is your strength, your victory will be secure.