Life is full of disappointments. There's enough sadness around for everyone to know the hardest times that humans can experience.

The way of faith doesn't deny suffering and struggle, it simply recognizes that difficult experiences are not the end of the story.

No, God's way of "doing business" is to redeem every situation, to lift us up, to teach us, to help us grow. No matter your circumstances today, these gifts are available to you now.

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I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up, and did not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. O Lord, you brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit. Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning....You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.

Psalm 30:1-5,11-12

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We’ve been there — feeling so low we can’t imagine anything being worse, feeling like we’ve got both feet in the pit, like there is no one around to help us. The psalmist cries out from the depths of Sheol, the place of the dead. But strangely, in the middle of pain, agony, and depression, this is a psalm of thanksgiving. “I will extol you, O Lord,” the psalmist begins. “Extol” may be the perfect word for such an occasion; it means “to lift up.” The psalmist is lifting up the name of God just as God lifts the psalmist up from the pit.

With God, even the darkest night becomes a joyful morning. When things seem to be at their worst, God has the power to turn our sadness into dancing and clothe us with joy. Those images are so powerful, even during times of hardship.

What makes you want to dance for God? What does being “clothed with joy” look like for you? How does that change your approach to hardship?

Chris Cherry

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Awesome God, I lift up your name just as you lift me up during times of struggle and pain. Thank you for the promise you make to bring joy with each coming morning and let it be a reality in my life. Clothe me with your joy and give me the spirit to dance for you. Amen.

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Resurrection is an every day kind of thing.
We celebrate it at Easter, each Sunday,
And, in fact, all the days in between.

Place no limitations on God's determination
To redeem your life regardless, of circumstance.
Live into the kind of faith that anticipates redemption.

Chris Cherry

Chris Cherry serves as the minister to students at St. Andrews Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina. He has served as a Bible study leader on a PassportKids team and two Passport Youth teams. Chris graduated from Georgetown College in 2009 and McAfee School of Theology in 2013. He is engaged and will be married to Tory at the end of this month.

Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life

Ken Medema

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