Joy Comes From Holding Firm

When we hold firm in the face of adversity we discover joy.

Photo by James Peacock on Unsplash

Approximately eighteen months ago I was plunged into a dark night of the soul. I stepped off a cliff and began to experience something that is commonly called, “deconstruction.” All of the answers about God, faith, and Jesus fell apart. They all seemed thin. None of them appeared to be grounded in anything substantial.

I was wrestling with faith and doubt in ways that I had never known. It was hard and frustrating and utterly painful. I desperately wanted to escape from this period of my life.

I wanted all the answers to make sense again.

My greatest desire was to hear God’s voice and feel God’s presence like I had when I was younger.

But, his voice stayed silent. His presence seemed absent.

So, I searched.

I waited.

I cried out.

I waited more.

I searched again.

I cried out again and again.

Then, God did something. He made himself known to me in his people. He showed me himself through the people who call themselves his. From that moment on I’ve had a new song, a new faith, a clearer sense of the reality and beauty and mystery of God.

I rediscovered joy.

David wrote a poem that resonates with me like it never has before. Here’s the first stanza:

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him. — Psalm 40:1–3

One of my favorite bands, U2, recorded a version of this psalm and it has become an anthem for me. I leave you with it: