When Sadness Turns to Joy – Ezra 3:10-13

HopeHope“No one could distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people’s weeping because the people rejoiced very loudly. The sound was heard at a great distance” (Ezra 3:13, CEB).

When Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, took over a vast territory from the Babylonians in 539 BC, he allowed the Jewish exiles from the Babylonian captivity to begin return to their ancestral land of Judah and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem that had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. They returned in several waves beginning in 538 BC.

The returning exiles encountered opposition to the rebuilding of the Temple from the nobles who had taken control of Judea after the exile that were closely related to the aristocracy of Samaria. So, reconstruction came to a halt.

The rebuilding of the Temple was resumed during the reign of Darius. Despite continued harassment by their neighbors, the Judeans persevered in their work. The construction was completed in 515 BC and the re-dedication of the Temple was celebrated with great ceremony.

During the celebration some of the priests, Levites and heads of families who had seen the First Temple wept aloud mourning the First Temple’s destruction. Yet, others shouted with joy at the completion of the construction of the Second Temple.

The very same event that caused sadness among some filled others with joy.  So, at some level, in some way these two emotions–sadness and joy–are connected.

Sadness intersects with joy at a point called Hope!

When you trust in God, there is always hope!

When there is destruction, there is hope for restoration; when there is loss, there is hope for recovery; when there is confusion, there is hope for relief; when there is dismay, there is hope for contentment; when there is repentance for sin, there is hope for forgiveness and salvation.

When you trust in God, there is always hope for a better day and a better way!

When your hope is in the Lord, your sadness turns to joy!

I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11, CEB

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