• Topic > Christian Living > Hope & Joy >

    Joy in Hard Places

    Whenever she was unable to take my phone call, I’d hear my friend’s voicemail recording inviting me to leave her a message. The recording cheerfully concluded, “Make it a great day!” As I reflected on her words, I realized that while it’s not within our power to make every day “great”—some circumstances truly are devastating—a closer look might reveal something redeeming and beautiful in my day, whether things are going well or poorly.

    Habakkuk wasn’t experiencing easy circumstances. As a prophet, God had shown him coming days when none of the crops or livestock—on which God’s people depended—would be fruitful (v.…

    Rip the Heavens

    In a recent conversation, where a friend shared with me that she’d abandoned her faith, I heard a familiar complaint: how can I believe in a God who doesn’t ever seem to do anything? This gut-wrenching question appears for most of us at one point or another, as we read of violence in the news and as we carry our own heartbreak. My friend’s distress revealed her intense need for God to act on her behalf, a longing we’ve all likely felt.

    Israel knew this terrain well. The Babylonian Empire overwhelmed Israel, crushing them with an iron fist and turning Jerusalem into…

    A Song in the Night

    My father’s life was one of longing. He longed for wholeness, even as Parkinson’s gradually crippled more and more of his mind and body. He longed for peace, but was tormented by the deep pain of depression. He longed to feel loved and cherished, but often felt utterly alone.

    He found himself less alone when he read the words of Psalm 42, his favorite psalm. Like him, the psalmist knew a desperate longing, an unquenched thirst for healing (vv. 1–2). Like him, the psalmist knew a sadness that felt like it never went away (v. 3), leaving times of pure joy…

    Hope’s Sure Foundation

    Lessons on faith can come from unexpected places—like the one I learned from my 110-pound, black Labrador retriever, “Bear.” Bear’s large metal water bowl was located in a corner of the kitchen. Whenever it was empty, he wouldn’t bark or paw at it. Instead, he would lie down quietly beside it and wait. Sometimes he would have to wait several minutes, but Bear had learned to trust that I would eventually walk into the room, see him there, and provide what he needed. His simple faith in me reminded me of my need to place more trust in God.

    The Bible…

    New Year, New Priorities

    I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the cello. But I’ve never found the time to enroll in a class. Or, perhaps more accurately, I haven’t made the time for it. I had thought that in heaven I could probably master that instrument. In the meantime, I wanted to focus on using my time in the particular ways God has called me to serve Him now.

    Life is short, and we often feel the pressure to make the most of our time on Earth before it slips away. But what does that really mean? 

    As King Solomon contemplated the meaning of…

    Joy to the World

    Read: Psalm 98:4   Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music.

    “Joy to the World” remains one of the favourite Christmas carols sung in church services during the Christmas season. It was written by Englishman Isaac Watts in the eighteenth century; many consider him the greatest hymn writer of all time.

    Watts wrote…

    Hope Is Our Strategy

    My favorite football team has lost eight consecutive games as I write this. With each loss, it’s harder to hope this season can be redeemed for them. The coach has made changes weekly, but they haven’t resulted in wins. Talking with my coworkers, I’ve joked that merely wanting a different outcome can’t guarantee it. “Hope is not a strategy,” I’ve quipped.

    That’s true in football. But in our spiritual lives, it’s just the opposite. Not only is cultivating hope in God a strategy, but clinging to Him in faith and trust is the only strategy. This world often disappoints us, but…

    Hope in the Darkness

    According to legend, Qu Yuan was a wise and patriotic Chinese government official who lived during the time known as the Warring States period (475–246 bc). It has been said that he tried repeatedly to warn his king about an impending threat that would destroy the country, but the king rejected his advice. Eventually, Qu Yuan was exiled. When he learned about the fall of his beloved country to the foe he had warned about, he ended his life.

    Qu Yuan’s life resembles some aspects of the life of the prophet Jeremiah. He too served kings who scorned his warnings, and…

    Discover How To Fight Worry, Fear, and Doubt

    What do you say to a person in the midst of deep, personal pain? How do you comfort someone going through a difficult trial? Today on Discover the Word, the team, and special guest, author, and cancer survivor Margaret Feinberg challenge us to avoid staying silent, and instead, offer the gift of joy to those who are hurting. […]

    Healing For Wounded Hearts And Broken Churches

    Joy is a powerful weapon for fighting back times of trouble. We can even use it to help others fight their battles. Today on Discover the Word, the team, and special guest, author and cancer survivor Margaret Feinberg explain how the gift of our presence can help others “Fight Back with Joy.” An uplifting conversation, today on Discover the Word!

    We Can Always Respond With Joy

    How are you? Usually, our circumstances dictate how we answer that question. But today on Discover the Word, the team, and special guest, author, and cancer survivor Margaret Feinberg tell us why, whether we’re in pain or feeling good, we can always respond with joy. Find out why on Discover the Word!

    Helping Fight Another’s Battle

    God, the Great Physician, has a prescription for wounded hearts and broken churches: laughter! Today on Discover the Word, the team, and special guest, author and cancer survivor Margaret Feinberg explain why joy is good medicine. Chuckle alongside us as we learn to “Fight Back with Joy” on Discover the Word!

    Comforting Others With Joy

    When troubles start to close in around us and worry, fear, and doubt invade our hearts, God has given us a powerful tool to fight back. Today on Discover the Word, the team, and special guest Margaret Feinberg discover an unlikely weapon in our daily struggles. Hear about Margaret’s decision during her battle with cancer to “Fight […]

    Where to Find Hope

    Elizabeth struggled for a long time with drug addiction, and when she recovered wanted to help others in return. So she started writing notes and anonymously placing them throughout her city. Elizabeth tucks these notes under car windshield wipers and tacks them on poles in parks. She used to look for signs of hope; now she leaves them for others to find. One of her notes concluded with these words: “Much love. Hope sent.”

    Hope with love—that’s what Jesus gives. He brings us His love with each new day and strengthens us with that hope. His love is not rationed out…

    "My Joy . . . Your Joy"

    What was the joy that Jesus had? Joy should not be confused with happiness. In fact, it is an insult to Jesus Christ to use the word happiness in connection with Him. The joy of Jesus was His absolute self-surrender and self-sacrifice to His Father— the joy of doing that which the Father sent Him to do— “. . . who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross . . .” (Hebrews 12:2). “I delight to do Your will, O my God . . .” (Psalm 40:8). Jesus prayed that our joy might continue fulfilling itself until it becomes the same joy as His. Have I allowed Jesus Christ to introduce His joy to me?

    We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, by continuing to use this site you agree to this. Find out more on how we use cookies and how to disable them.