Herrick and Judy Daniel were due to be in Corfu this summer, while they cannot travel, Herrick has shared some of his thoughts on the current circumstances. 


We are living at a time in our human history, where sadly some people are sorrowful, while others are rejoicing for different reasons. This then raises the question, ‘How do we redress the balance between sorrow and joy?’ This prompts a further question as to what is causing so much sorrow in peoples’ lives today? 

It may be true to say that presently the Corona virus – which has compelled lock downs, restrictions in movement, sickness and even death,  together with other issues of life, have brought about many tears. These are, tears of bereavement, tears of trials and testing, tears of pain and suffering, tears of parting, and so on. 

Is there a biblical solution?
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians he states, ‘As sorrowful yet always rejoicing’ (2 Cor 6.10). But can people honestly say that they are able to rejoice in times of sorrow? Perhaps the preacher in Ecclesiastes can help with the answer when he said ‘for everything there is a season and a time. A TIME TO LAUGH AND A TIME TO WEEP’ (Eccle .3) The moving story behind the hymn, ‘It is well’, has a powerful message in this context.

            “When peace like a river attendeth my way

            When sorrow like billows roll. Whatever my lot

            Thou has taught me to say

            It is well, it is well with my soul.”

 

The psalmist finally concluded, ‘They that sow in tears shall reap in joy’ (Ps 126.6).

 The lockdown has inevitably had a negative impact on many people, but ironically, has had a positive impact on others. There are reports of increasing numbers of people taking an interest in prayer. With the help of modern technology, new people are engaging in online bible studies, worship, discussions on Christianity and conversions to Christ. Communities are coming together and understanding each other much better, pastoral care has been increased, and, as a result people have grown spiritually. For all these reasons people feel that they have gained a deep and lasting joy.

Furthermore, there is joy in the knowledge of forgiveness; Joy in the realisation of the Holy Spirit’s power, gifts and fruits and joy in singing God’s praises. The whole Bible is full of praise and blessing. There is joy in seeing a person turn to Christ. In fact the Bible says that even the angels in Heaven rejoice. There is joy in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Finally, the Gospel is glad tidings of great joy, as the Scripture concludes “the joy of the Lord is our strength.”

 

In conclusion, Paul’s paradox in 2 Cor 6.10 redresses the balance beautifully between joy and sorrow,

            “ as sorrowful yet always rejoicing”