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This  is by Pastor Timothy Burdick, Minister of Abilities for Friday Study Ministries:


One key example of suffering presented to us is contained in what is called “death.” While physical death can be seen as a scary subject filled with sadness, the Christian can find joy lurking around the corner. I am no stranger to physical death with its sadness and have recently confronted it, through the loss of my wife and then my mother. But many of us have asked the question: Can joy and sadness can really dwell together?

My reply would be, emphatically, yes they can.

But don’t just take what I say at face value; let’s look at the Scriptures as our final word of authority. In Isaiah 53:3, the prophet states, “He was despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Now let’s look at Hebrews 12:2, where the writer talks about joy: “Looking away [from all that will distract us] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also it’s Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

One of my favorite verses ties these two concepts together. John records Jesus’ words this way: “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Through the overcoming power of Jesus, I have experienced both sadness and joy on a deeper level than I have ever known possible. Sadness over the loss of my wife. She and I were like two peas in a pod and did everything together. When I found her dead one morning my world stopped for a time. Then as it slowly started again, I began to experience a joy that I had never known before. No, the sadness was not gone, for it will always be there in some part, but I discovered that the Man of sorrows longed to walk with me through this sadness. I found that my gaze had been placed on the circumstances around me, rather than on Christ. It was when I redirected my focus that a new glimmer of joy began to bubble up into my heart. Yes, I said "joy." I discovered the joy that the writer of Hebrews spoke about, when I knew that I too could obtain the “prize,” for the “prize” I found was simply that I was being hidden within the safety of God. Since Christ had gone before me and modeled life for us, I only had to imitate Him and cling to Him with all my might. I am finding more-and-more that everything else pales in insignificance.

You see, joy is not merely happiness; it is knowing that amidst life’s troubles God has His arms around you. No matter where you find yourself on life’s road, you too can find this joy by discovering God as your “Hiding place.” The times you don’t think you need God is when you need Him the most. God loves and accepts you in your pain when others might walk away. So, lose yourself in God today and find new meaning and direction for your life tomorrow.

Pastor Timothy

You can join a discussion/prayer/Bible study with Chaplain Timothy on the telephone each week on Tuesday evenings at 6 PM Arizona time for his Bible study, by dialing 1.218.936.7979 (US) and entering access code number 139535.

You can also telephone Pastor Timothy at 623-692-6472.  Leave a message and he will get back to you.

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Pastor Timothy Howard Burdick

Friday Study Ministries


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