Sunday, January 04, 2009

Sunday Devotional - Comfort and Joy

Lectionary verse: Jeremiah 31:13c I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.

I love to sing the old Christmas hymn "God rest ye Merry Gentlemen" all year round. You'll sometimes find me walking down the church hallway whistling it to a jazz beat. Our band, Glenfinnan, even played it last Advent during the worship service, and I just delighted in the words and music.

The best part of the hymn is in the refrain, you know, the bit that goes, O Tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy, etc."
I love those words and the feelings that they convey, and I always thought that they echoed what the angels sang above the hillside in Bethlehem, so I was really surprised this morning, to find those words in Jeremiah's prophecy.

Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet, the one who was always wailing and whining because of the harsh times he lived in. But in this passage, he is declaring that God will be able to turn things around; that all the calamities, which the people suffer, will one day come to an end; and that comfort and joy will replace mourning and grief.

It's a beautiful prophecy and one that a lot of people, including myself, need to read and hear again and again. No matter what we go through or all that we endure, pain and sickness, suffering and sadness will come to an end, to be replaced with gladness and love, comfort and joy.

Isn't God wonderful?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You came into the world to save it from suffering and to heal all our wounds. You saved us forever through Your own sacrifice and we are blessed with a great comfort in Your strength, along with a wonderful joy in Your salvation. Help us this day to share from our hearts all the blessings that You give us with the people we love and all whom we meet. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

Stushie is the writer of the 4 minute daily devotional, Heaven's Highway.

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