One Hymn That Can Help Turn Sorrow Into Joy

Practice Thanksgiving And Become Thankful

How is it possible to always be thankful? How can tears of sorrow be turned into tears of joy? How do you lift your spirit from despair to hope? The answer? Thankful prayer. 

You know it’s “biblical” but does that mean it’s automatically going to happen in your life? Not at all. Memorizing and quoting verses on thankfulness will not produce thankfulness. You need to practice, practice, practice! 

I introduced a practice yesterday – saying The Akathist of Thanksgiving. I’ve been saying a “stanza” a day this week and am finding it powerful in bringing my heart and mind in sync with the Triune God. There are some unique phrases that will catch your attention and warm your heart. 

After yesterday’s post advocating the use of The Akathist of Thanksgiving, I have two reflections: 

 1. We are to be thankful IN everything not necessarily for everything. My friend, facing a grave illness, can still praise God, offer thanks, and rejoice not because he’s happy about his illness but because God is still God. Focusing his heart and thoughts on God by using this hymn, helps transform his ability to deal with his situation. 

No matter what you’re facing – pain, trial, overwhelming circumstances – you can lift your voice in praise. Using a Psalm or, in particular, The Akathist of Thanksgiving will enhance your ability to be thankful. 

 2. Prayer and Thanks are complementary in communion with God. They are a powerfully interconnected duo for all of life including the hardest of times. The Akathist of Thanksgiving is phenomenal in bringing prayer and thanks together as one (as are many of the Psalms). 

I’ve grown up using the ACTS method of prayer. Prayer includes Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. In each prayer I’d try to go from “A” to “S.” As good as that was, now I’m experiencing communion with God more deeply by simply focusing on prayer and thanksgiving as one unified activity. The Akathist of Thanksgiving is an effective tool for this. The Psalms provide words like this as well. 

In overwhelming circumstances, prayer must be simple. Too many “steps” will prove ineffective. Hear what St. Paul writes: 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything in prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God. (Philippians 4.6) 

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Colossians 4.2) 

Pray with thanks as you commune with God in everything and always. 

Dr. K 

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

3 thoughts on “One Hymn That Can Help Turn Sorrow Into Joy

  1. So many thoughts here! First, I love the hymns. I have a friend that always said that the Psalms don’t say sing FROM joy, but to sing FOR joy! So when you are struggling, sing hymns to obtain joy!

    I know that after my beloved MIL passed, my very favorite woman in all the world, my husband and I found great healing one day during “It is Well With My Soul”.

    Do you listen to Page CXVI by any chance? I do love her modern interpretations of the hymns. Her “Joy” has quite the testimony and can be found in a link under the vid. I hope you are as blessed as I was! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z7Mjc78LdU

    After sharing all these things I must also say that I have gotten worse in the practice of joy in the midst of trials as I have gotten older. It used to be so easy and natural to recognize that i would be more fit for His kingdom, that blessing would ensue, etc. Now I have to really work at it. I’m trying to make a comeback….

    • Struggling with sorrow/joy is good for us. I think one of the challenges for us “moderns” is how much emphasis is placed on our emotions related to God. It’s often about what we “feel” that determines closeness or distance. This makes it harder to actually live in our union with Christ because we’re looking for an emotion that accompanies the reality. True joy comes in knowing God. That is what the Akathist of Thanksgiving presents to us. It’s what the Psalms provide as well. Fixing our hearts on/in God changes everything. Thanks for your good comments. Perhaps God is directing you to a deeper understanding/experience of joy in the midst of trials, etc. Blessings to you on your journey. Keith

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