Devotion - August 21, 2014
Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief.
The Tears of a Clown
Smokey Robinson sang about the “tears of a clown when there’s no one around.” Why the hidden, sad and lonely crying? Smokey admits he’s smiling on the outside. It’s his insides that are hurting. She’s gone, and now he’s “sadder than sad.” The woman that once brought him happiness now was gone. She had Smokey “sad and hurting.”
Have you ever experienced the same thing? You experienced happiness. You thought there was nothing that could make you happier than your new job, your new relationship, your newest tech toy. But then, the job became painstaking work. The relationship that seemed so easy and happy suddenly or slowly soured. A newer gadget hit the market. And, the happiness that once seemed boundless and unending was gone. Something that started out making you happy, eventually brought you to tears.
We may find many reasons for this phenomenon. The job lost its initial focus. The relationship soured because we changed and grew apart. Technology keeps speeding along. We coin phrases to make us feel better about it: “Familiarity breeds contempt.” “There’s many more fish in the sea.” We try to avoid the pain of lost happiness by incessantly hopping to something new–a new job, a new relationship, new stuff.
We can do all of the above, but we’re just avoiding a harsh reality. Happiness disappears because of sin. Sin brings “thorns and thistles” to work. Sin destroys or erodes relationships. Sin makes us discontent. Our wise words for the day say it like this: “Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief.” (Proverbs 14:13)
The apostle Peter wrote that we “are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (I Peter 1:8). Peter makes it clear that if we’re going to find and be filled with “an inexpressible and glorious joy,” it will need to come from God. God-given joy is based on things that do not change. Peter lists things like Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and our inheritance as God’s children–heaven.
How do these blessings of God give us joy? On your best day, Jesus died for your sins and rose in victory over sin and death. On your worst day, Jesus died for your sins and rose in victory over sin and death. Your joy is based on the unchanging fact of Jesus’ death and resurrection. On your best day and your worst day, Jesus has promised that he will take those who believe in him to the heavenly room he has prepared for them. Your joy is based on Jesus’ unchanging promise.
God lets us enjoy work, relationships and stuff. But, do not be surprised when your happiness starts disappearing about a job, a relationship or the newest stuff you’ve bought. We may shed a tear or two with Smokey, but we have enduring joy even when we’re crying. God gives us true and lasting joy in things that do not and will not change. No one can shut Jesus back in his tomb. Jesus is risen. Your heavenly room is being prepared for you. Jesus will come again.
Dear Jesus, fix my eyes on you. Let me always see that your perfect life, death and resurrection give me forgiveness, peace with God and heaven as my home. Fill my heart and life with joy. Amen.
“Summer with Solomon” is a special series of Daily Devotions on Thursday and Friday based on readings from the book of Proverbs.
Today's Devotion is brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.