MU Devotion Wednesday 23rd September 2020

I believe God, through his Spirit, grants us love, joy and peace no matter what is happening in our lives. As Christians, we should not expect our joy to always feel like happiness, but instead recognise joy as inner security – a safeness in our life with Christ. Jill Briscoe, Author

The above quote is yesterday’s offering in Families Worldwide. It seems a very poignant and yet positive reminder that as Christians we are always able to experience the joy that comes from our relationship with God and yet at the same time acknowledging that such joy does not guarantee that we are always filled with happiness.

Many a time in our lives we are faced with situations which make us question why such suffering is allowed to happen. We beg for the situation to improve so that we do not have to suffer or watch others suffer. Then, because we have no choice, we live through the situation, finding relief and improvement where we can.  Without our faith many things we face in life would seem much harder. It is in the promise of Jesus that all will be well in the end, that we are able to find the peace which enables us to live through our difficulties.

Such an ability to find peace even in the darkest of times reminds me of the Jewish psychologist Viktor Frankl, who wrote about his experiences of suffering in wartime concentration camps. He said: “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” Our faith gives our lives that meaning and purpose, allowing us to feel joy, even if momentarily, in the incredible artistry of life. For example, we were blessed in the spring and summer of our initial lockdown with good weather so that we could take pleasure in the outdoors whether in our gardens, our daily walks or through our windows.

As many of us enter a second period of local lockdown we may not be blessed with such great weather, but we will have the amazing colours of autumn to bring the wonder of God’s creation into our hearts. Such incredible experiences of the beauty of nature, reminds us that God is always sustaining us through the frustrations and suffering of daily life. Providing us with an inner security and peace that will allow us to keep going despite the rather worrying path that life is taking for many of us at the moment.

All my love and prayers,

Revd Sandra