Daily Joy

The Advent Community Journal for the “Daily Joy” devotional (The Gift of Advent, 62-64)

● What is it like to suffer and feel that God is absent?

● How can God’s presence bring joy even in difficult circumstances?


It may show up as a desire to give up, feelings of abandonment or anger against God . When emotions overwhelm, our cognitive ability can get adversely affected. We may entertain lies in our minds about our ourselves, others or God. There may be a dissociation between our perspective and reality.

When we know God understands our human experience of sorrow and that he is present with us, we are more likely to turn to him in prayer and to God’s word. We can gain a renewed understanding that corresponds to reality about ourselves, others and God. With the help of the Holy spirit and God’s promises we find comfort and strength. We may begin to see a way out of our situation.

Even if the situation doesn’t go according to our desires, having God as our highest desire helps move past the difficulty. We can find satisfaction in purposes that go beyond our immediate needs being met. There may be an intermingling of both grief and joy. Grief over what’s wrong or unjust but hope and joy for what awaits when we continue steadfastly in faith.


I came across a traditional Gaelic poem that takes hold of the idea that we were made to have joy in the Lord, rejoicing in everything. It’s very simple, but I think it’s a reminder that even through suffering, we can look for glimpses of God’s goodness which will lead us to a semblance of rejoicing, if we so choose:

As the hand is made for holding and the eye for seeing, thou hast fashioned me for joy. Share with me the vision that shall find it everywhere: in the wild violet’s beauty; in the lark’s melody; in the face of a steadfast man; in a child’s smile; in a mother’s love; in the purity of Jesus. (Translated by Alistair MacLean)