Joyful Easter People, Even in Pain

Joyful Easter People, Even in Pain


Happy Eastertide to you all!  Did you know Easter lasts 50 days?  Easter Sunday is just the first day, and it lasts until Pentecost.  It’s longer than Lent (40 days) on purpose, because we are “Easter people,” not “Lent people.”  We are all about the Resurrection.  We celebrate with life and joy and feasting, not with repentance and sacrifice and reflection, although those have their place during Lent.  We are focused on the new life God has given us – “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  II Corinthians 5:17  This season is all about the joy.  I Peter 1: 8 encourages us that “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

I started to send you more verses about joy, then was overwhelmed when I looked the word up in my concordance.  Joy is all over the Bible.  The pages are crammed with it.  Obviously God wants us to be filled with it, but I can’t always access it.  It used to be more accessible in my spirit, but my depression suppressed it.  But I knew that joy was possible even in pain.

My therapist friend Jinni shared with me a list therapists use: 

 Examples of Destructive Core Beliefs:

1. I am a victim

2. Something is wrong with me

3. I have to find fault in those around me in order to be acceptable

4. I have to be in control, or I am not safe

5. I cannot fail, or I am not safe

6. I can’t handle pain

7. I am worthless

Some of us believe one of these; some of us believe more than one.  They are all destructive.  I’ve struggled with the fear of pain, whether it’s physical or emotional or relational. I have spent much of my life avoiding pain if at all possible.  Now I’m trying to learn to live with it and deal with it.  There are corollary beliefs to all the beliefs listed.  Under “I can’t handle pain” are the following:

It is my job to keep me safe  (this leads to harmful self-protective maneuvers)

It is someone else’s job to keep me safe (this WILL lead to disappointment and anger)

I am not supposed to struggle (this leads to confusion, self-condemnation, and blaming)

These ideas are so opposed to God’s word, too.  God never promised us safety or painlessness. He told us to expect hardship and persecution and suffering.  And he tells us to “rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ.”  I Peter 4:13  So there’s our clear evidence that we can be joyful in the midst of pain and suffering.  I pray that all of us can grasp this joy this Easter season, no matter what our circumstances.

Lamb of God, Lamb of Us

Lamb of God, Lamb of Us

Expecting Death

Expecting Death