Joyful Expectation

Trygve and Kristen Johnson

READ : Psalm 126

Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy. (v. 2)

Joy is nurtured by anticipation. It is clear in Psalm 126 that the one who wrote it and those who sang it were no strangers to the dark side of life. They carried the painful memory of exile in their bones and the scars of oppression on their backs. They knew what it meant to sow in tears. But in the dark night they were sustained by a joyful expectation that God would act for them.

One of the most remarkable things that we learn in the Christian life is that laughter does not exclude weeping. Christian joy is not an escape from sorrow. Pain and hardship still come, but they are unable to drive out the joy of God.

Joy is what God gives, not what we work up. It is a result of living in the midst of God’s great works. Joy comes because God knows how to wipe away tears and, in his resurrection work, create new life. The joy that develops in Christian discipleship is an overflow of a life that comes from feeling good not about oneself but about God. Though we have considered all the contrary evidence, we conclude that God’s ways are good, his promises sure.


God, even in sorrow, we fill our mouths with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy.