I Peter 1:8 "... ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:"
When my Dad passed away a couple of years ago, I experienced this "joy unspeakable" in the midst of sorrow and trials. His passing was very unexpected. Quite a shock actually. But as I look back, I see so clearly how God's hand moved in the situation, and how He comforted my heart. I should have been falling to pieces, yet, there was an overwhelming peace and joy and thankfulness. I truly could not explain it.
What I can explain is that God used His Word to produce the joy. The truths that I had been reading in devotions and had studied, they all came back to remembance when I needed them most. I knew He had gone before me and prepared my steps. I was safe during a time when I should have felt most vulnerable.
As I look back to examine how in the world I could have ever trusted God and moved on the other side of the Earth, I think I would have to say because we had heat in our home.
I know that sounds crazy, but it is true. Let me tell the story.
There was one year back in America we were struggling financially. It was late Fall. The weather forecast predicted the weekend to be very cold... bitter cold. Dangerously cold. We had a baby in the house at the time. Ben was so little. At that time, we only had one source of heat in the house, a fuel oil furnace. Jason had been keeping a close eye on how much fuel we had left. It wasn't good news.
Every year at this same time, five days are set aside. February 21 - February 25... very special days to me. They are days that I never want to forget, even if they are painful to remember sometimes. Some may see it as a countdown to tragedy, wallowing in regret. Yet, I see it so differently. Maybe today's devotion will help you understand.
In the book of Joshua, the children of Israel finally came to the brink of the Jordan River, ready to cross into the Promised Land. They had been through so much. They and their fathers had wandered in the wilderness because of their lack of faith. The older generation had passed, and the new generation was ready to follow the Lord into the Land.
The Lord dried up the Jordan, and the children crossed over. Then they did something special. They set up memorials. Stones were placed in the river from the bank of the river, and stones from the river were set up on the bank.
At this point, Peter (through the inspirartion of the Holy Spirit) turns his scope on one of the major themes of this book... Triumphing though Trials, Victory in the Valley.
1 Peter 1:6 "Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:"
The Christians he is writing to were in great affliction, persecution, and hardship. They weren't in the comfort of their homeland. They had every reason in the world to complain, but they had every reason in Heaven to rejoice.
"Wherein ye greatly rejoice..."
No matter how deep our trial, there are reasons to rejoice... no, wait... GREATLY rejoice: