Rejoicing despite pain leads to pleasure.

While reading Nehemiah, I read a passage that led to singing a song from my past, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”

The Spirit told me to meditate on the word joy. So, I opened my e-Sword app and discovered that the ancient Hebrew word for “joy” was made up of two pictures – a wall and a door. You walk through a wall via a door.

These pictures went on to carry the meaning of the unity of two working as one, like two blades of a sword coming to a sharp point.

I then understood this word to mean two walking as one through life’s obstacles (pain) via a door to the other side or victory (pleasure). In this case, the two are you and the Lord as it’s “the joy of the Lord.” We are not walking alone, but with the Lord.

The Spirit led me to John 10:7 where Jesus is the gate. We don’t climb over the fence, but through it via a gate, which is Jesus who opens it for us as we knock on it through prayer (Matt. 7:7). He also led me to Revelation 3:8 where Jesus says He opens doors that can’t be shut. Pretty cool, huh?

As I continued to meditate, I found it interesting that struggling is the context of “rejoice in the Lord always.” We rejoice by faith knowing that He will see us through the struggle to victory or pleasure, which lies on the other side of our struggle.

We all face challenges (walls/pain) in the process of becoming like and walking with Jesus. Yet we can rejoice. Jesus is the door, and as we seek Him, opens the door and give us the strength to walk through the door that can’t be closed on us.

Through meditating on the Word, I discovered that joy is not dependent upon my circumstances, my feelings or plastered on happy faces. No, I can rejoice, even before I start walking, in His ability to give me the power to get through the obstacle in order to experience victory, which definitely feels good.

Pleasure before pain, or pain before pleasure. Our way is the former, which is the quick fix or the path of least resistance. His way is the latter, which strengthens our faith in Jesus despite our struggles.

Easy? No. But change never is. Yet, we can rejoice in and on the way through it.

Slow down and meditate on the truths He gives you when struggles come. He will open your eyes to what you need to see to get through them. So, don’t cheat the process. Go through it!

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