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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"From Sorrow to Joy"

August 4, 2003

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They [disciples] were very sad. (Matthew 26:22)

Deep-sea fishing may be on the list of activities of some who are vacationing on the coast. Some will be disappointed at the results. But, very likely, none will have so frustrating an experience as did the deep-sea fisherman in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea,” who caught a marlin on his 85th day out, only to have the sharks eat it before he could bring it in.

The disciples were sorrowful when they heard Jesus say that one of them would betray Him. Unquestionably their sorrow was occasioned also by the expectation that Jesus would be taken from them and cause the whole movement to collapse. The fishermen among them – Peter, Andrew, James, and John – might have thought of it as the frustrating experience of having something big on the line but seeing the catch get away.

“We had hoped that He was the One who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21), said the downcast Emmaus disciples. With Jesus dead and buried, they thought all their hopes were in vain. How wrong they were! For all the while Jesus was very much alive, a sure proof that He had succeeded in redeeming Israel and all mankind.

We all have our disappointments. Sometimes it seems that we are frustrated in everything we try to do. Then we need to listen to Jesus: “Your grief will turn to joy” (John 16:20). And if we must live with grief for a while, we can be, in Saint Paul’s words, “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10).

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, keep us from becoming discouraged by life’s reverses. Give us confidence in Your enduring love. Amen.

(Taken from “Our Journey with Jesus,” (out of print) copyright 1976, International Lutheran Laymen’s League.)

Today's Bible Readings: Psalms 123-125    2 Thessalonians 3

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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