Bible Verse: Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5
Scripture Reading: Matthew 2:1-12
In the late months of 2000, a group of fifteen pilgrims made the arduous trek from Iraq to Bethlehem. It took them several months, and while it was eye-opening and meaningful, it wasn’t without difficulties. The journey of around nine hundred miles took place on camel and by foot.
What kept those pilgrims going? Well, they wanted primarily to expose Western Christians to Arab Christians in the Middle East. This was a great goal. It promoted love and peace, and it was educational for many.
Two thousand years ago, the wise men from the East who saw the star and followed it had a different goal in mind. They intended to find the new King of the Jews that the star indicated. Their journey was a difficult one. It was long. It was lonely. It was demanding.
I wonder if there were times over the months of their journey when they questioned the rationality of their quest. I wonder if there were nights and days when the whole thing felt futile.
We don’t know. What we do know is that they persevered.
Finally, at the end of their journey, they were rewarded when they saw that the star had stopped over one house in particular. They were filled with joy (Matthew 2:10); their long search had been rewarded. They had found Jesus!
Sometimes, our lives can feel like that long journey from the East. Life can be hard, frustrating, and disappointing.
But if we do not give up, we will discover joy.
Blessed are those who persevere under trial, because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)
And Paul writes:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
Jesus is our perfect example of persevering under trial (Hebrews 12:1-2). Follow after Him. Trust Him. Your mourning will ultimately turn to joy.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I am under it these days. I need Your help and strength. It seems that everywhere I turn, there is more disappointment and discouragement. I want to give up. I want to turn to things that will distract me or dull the pain. So, please help me. Listen to my cry for mercy. Fortify me with the endurance to keep going, to keep seeking after You. In Your time, please bring the joy that You have promised. Amen.
Reflection: Where are you in need of joy today? What is the biggest struggle that you are experiencing? Have you brought that to Jesus? Have you shared it with a trusted friend who can pray for you and encourage you? Who do you know that is going through a hard time? How might Jesus use you to bolster their perseverance?
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