Experiencing Joy When Your Heart Aches

Experiencing Joy When Your Heart Aches - Grace Fox

Every challenge we face forces us to make a choice. Will we choose to trust our doubting selves? Or choose to trust a God who is faithful, wise, and good?

Last week provided opportunity to spend three days on the Makana with our youngest daughter and her family. I’m grateful for that time because this week, as you read this, we’re packing up their household and moving them to northern British Columbia where our son-in-law will do his two-year family practice residency.

I‘ve so enjoyed having this family within an hour’s drive since last September, but the move puts them about ten hours away. No more popping in to babysit for a couple of hours. No more sitting together in church or doing lunch together after the Sunday service. And no more sleepovers on Grandma’s boat. The mere thought of saying goodbye next week, after getting them settled, makes my eyes misty.

Hanging onto the proverb with a promise

I’ll be honest—my heart aches but, at the same time, I’m experiencing the promise in Proverbs 16:20,

“Those who trust the LORD will be joyful.”

We asked God to direct this family’s steps for the residency placement, and He did. We asked Him to provide housing for them there, and He did. We asked Him to provide childcare for when our daughter has to return to work, and He did. Well, actually…He’s yet to provide childcare for the one-year-old, but we’re fully expecting Him to come through.

As recently as a few weeks ago, they faced a host of unknowns on this journey, but we chose not to worry. Instead, we chose to trust God to meet them at every corner, and He has answered. Seeing Him work in response to our prayers brings joy.

Promises about joy

“Those who trust the LORD will be joyful” is a command with a promise. Trust comes first, followed by joy. Scripture contains other such promises that guarantee joy when we place our trust in God. Having promises to hold onto especially when our heart aches helps us get through those misty-eyed days and nights.

Here are few examples of Scripture that will bring encouragement when you find yourself in that position.

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NLT)

”The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.  I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” (Psalm 28:7 NLT)

“In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.” (Psalm 33:21)

Trust and joy walk hand-in-hand

This quote explains it well:

“Our joy in God is bound up with our trust in God. The two cannot be separated–not ever. Trust is the backbone of joy. And joy is the outflow of trust in the one who is fully trustworthy.”(Tony Reinke, senior writer for Desiring God)

Every challenge we face forces us to make a choice, and making the wise choice is especially important when our hearts are aching. Will we choose to trust our doubting selves?

Or will we choose to trust a God who is faithful, wise, and good? The former launches us into fear and anxiety. The latter brings joy as we wait with hopeful anticipation for a good outcome under God’s control.

How about you?

So, my friend, what changes or challenges are you facing at this time? Will you join me in choosing to trust God? Let’s believe that He will give us wisdom, strength, courage, and whatever else is needed to carry us through.

Know you are loved,


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  1. Father God I ask for your divine healing power in my body , mind and spirit change me Lord to focus on the beauty of the new things you are doing in my life & marriage. Help me father God to leave the past failure and mistake behind me so I can embrace the new things, blessings you have given to me. I break every chain hindering my marriage and communication with my husband. Father God give him the heart to understand what I’m going through.. break evil spirits & restore our marriage in the name of Jesus Christ Amen

    1. “Father, I pray for You to fill Tanisha with hope, peace, and joy as she walks in surrender to You and Your purposes for her life. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

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