Finding Happiness in Christ (Series 3)

Day 4 of 7 • This day’s reading


Praise God In The Darkest Moments

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God. (Psalm 43:5)

On May 27, 2001, Islamic terrorists kidnapped Gracia and Martin Burnham on Palawan Island in the Philippines. They are a married couple from Wichita, Kansas, who minister with the New Tribal Mission organization in the Philippines. For 376 days, the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf arrested the couple.

Then on June 7, 2002, Philippine troops managed to locate the kidnappers and their captives and attempted a rescue effort. During the rescue operation, Martin was killed, and Gracia sustained an injury to her leg. Before the raid took place, Martin and Gracia were huddled in a hammock inside the tent. "Martin and Gracia already thought they might not get out of that place alive," said Doug, Martin's brother, as he chatted on the phone with Gracia. Martin said to Gracia, “The Bible says that we should serve the Lord with joy. Let us serve Him with joy.” The two of them then prayed in their hammocks, recited Bible verses to each other, and sang. Then they lay down to rest.

And then the rescue attempt started, and the bullets started flying. During Martin's funeral service in Wichita, Martin's brother, Doug, chose a joy song for the congregation to sing, explaining, "Joy doesn't change. Joy is not based on circumstance. There is no reason why we cannot express the joy this morning."

In your darkest times, have you looked up to your Father in heaven with praise? Today in prayer, praise God and let your joy be in Christ in all circumstances.

Praising God is one of the highest and purest religious acts. In prayer, we act like humans. In praise, we act like angels. (Thomas Watson)

Reflection: The believer's greatest strength lies in divine joy. The Holy Spirit will give it to those who are grieving. If we continue to keep His Word, God will replace every sorrow with dancing and joy. 

Troubles don't want to steal our possessions but our joy, because without joy, you will be weak and defeated. 

(Joyce Meyer)