Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!  Philippians 4:4 NKJV

When we visit the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I wake up early to watch the sunrise.  One morning, it looked as if the clouds would prevent it from being a beautiful sunrise.  I waited and watched to see if the sun would pop out from behind the clouds.  

The clouds grew brighter, and it was beautiful, even though the sun only peered through the clouds at small intervals.  Clouds get a bad rap because everyone wants to see the blue sky and cloudless days, but this day the clouds held such beauty with the sun behind them.

We want our lives to be like those sunny days without the clouds, but there are certain glories of God that cannot be seen until the clouds appear. 

It is times of heartache and grief that we feel the comfort of God.  It is when our health fails, our vision dims, or we are filled with pain that we see God’s grace.  It is when we are weak that we see His strength.  These are the reasons that we can rejoice. 

Paul was a prisoner when he penned these words in today’s Scripture.  Not a likely place to rejoice, but it is not the circumstances that give us reason to rejoice.  It is the Lord.  It was important enough that Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, repeated it, “Again I will say, rejoice!”

I have seen God’s work in my life.  I have felt His grace when I was struggling to learn braille.  I feel His protection when I walk guided by the Hand of God and a white cane.

Nobody wants the cloudy days, but it is the only way we can see the Son of God working in us.  Behind the clouds is the sun and behind the cross is our Living Savior.

There will be cloudy days.  Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 RSV  

Rely on God to get you through these trials and you will be able to rejoice when you see God’s grace, strength and comfort during these times.

Dear Lord, You know that I am suffering through this trial, but You are in control of it all.  You have a purpose in this.  Have mercy on me, Lord.  I need the grace to get through this.  I need Your strength because I cannot do it on my own.  I need the comfort that only You can give me.  Thank You, Lord for what You are doing and what You are going to do.  Thank You for drawing me so close to You during this time.  Amen.

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