Friday, December 21, 2012


Opening Prayer:  Dear God, thank You for coming to help us in our sadness and misery. Amen.

Scripture:  Philippians 4.4

"Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I will say, rejoice!"


Have you ever tried to make a sad person happy?  I try a lot. That's one of the things a pastor has to do. I talk with sad people and pray with them and try to help them through their troubles in life.  Just being a near a sad person can help them. They may not show it, but they usually appreciate when someone cares enough to try to help them.  

There is more that we can do.  Here is the way Dr. Martin Luther talked about learning to be happy in the midst of our sadness:

Therefore it is best to trust in God, even though we cannot be without tears, sorrow, and pain. What can we do against this? Our flesh is such that it is impossible for it not to sob, weep, grieve, and complain. Indeed, even cattle express their pain by their bellowing when they are slaughtered; and lifeless things, like timber, are not cut down and broken up without a crash. But let us sustain ourselves with the Word and faith, and let us not doubt that it has already been determined by God that He wants to turn these pains, troubles, and brief crosses with which the pope, the emperor, and Mohammed oppress us into everlasting and supreme joy. With this confidence and hope we shall very easily lighten our troubles and cares. “He will act” (Ps. 37:5). (LW 8, Genesis 45.11)

In his letter to the Philippians Paul goes on to urge us to prayer and to think about the good, true, and beneficial things that God has given us in His Son, Jesus Christ.  

For Discussion:
1. What are some of the things that make you sad?

2. How can we "sustain ourselves with the Word and faith" as Dr. Luther says?  

Closing Prayer:  Gracious and loving God, keep my steadfast in Your Word and keep me from being overwhelmed by sadness in this life. Enable me to help others rejoice in Jesus.  Amen.

Hymn:  "In Thee Is Gladness"

Click here for melody from the Honors Brass Trio of Trinity Lutheran Church, Peoria, Illinois.

In Thee is gladness
Amid all sadness,
Jesus, sunshine of my heart.
By Thee are given
The gifts of heaven,
Thou the true Redeemer art.
Our souls Thou wakest;
Our bonds Thou breakest.
Who trusts Thee surely
Has built securely
And stands forever:
Our hearts are pining
To see Thy shining,
Dying or living,
To Thee are cleaving;
Naught us can sever:

If He is ours,
We fear no powers,
Not of earth or sin or death.
He sees and blesses
In worst distresses;
He can change them with a breath.
Wherefore the story
Tell of His glory
With heart and voices;
All heav’n rejoices
In Him forever:
We shout for gladness,
Triumph o’er sadness,
Love Him and praise Him
And still shall raise Him
Glad hymns forever:

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