Comfort and Joy for Seasons of Suffering

Your On-Ramp to Comfort and Joy for Seasons of Suffering

I stood today on the front deck, camera pointed upward, waiting for the wind to blow. The rain of colored leaves was more dramatic in person than in the video I was trying to make, but I know this particular beauty signals the beginning of the end: the end of a season of brightness and the beginning of a long stretch of bleakness.

By now, maybe your calendar squares are already bulging with holiday overload, all in the name of celebration. Gratitude becomes one more item on our to-do list, nothing but a pumpkin-spice feeling when it’s clear that God has called us to a life characterized by the discipline of thanksgiving.

This November, I want to lean into the truth from God’s Word, the huge and abiding promises he has made to us.

I cannot be thankful for what I don’t know.
I can’t rejoice over what I have forgotten.

If this is a particularly challenging holiday season for you and your family, maybe you need to join me? In her new book, Songs of Suffering, Joni Eareckson Tada shares this verse as an onramp to comfort and joy:

“This is my comfort in my affliction,
that your promise gives me life.”

Psalm 119:50

If anyone has earned the right to talk and write about suffering, it’s Joni. Fifty years in a wheelchair and her life as a quadriplegic would be sufficient, but add to that chronic pain and a cancer diagnosis, and she has clearly done her research and has my full attention!

Perhaps physical challenges are your daily reminder that we live on a fallen planet. Maybe your unique brand of suffering comes from some other, less tangible, less visible direction. We all need reassurance that our suffering is not for nothing.

We all need reassurance that our suffering is not for nothing.

Inspiration for Seasons of Suffering

Hymns of the faith have been Joni’s most reliable source of inspiration and have been her ammunition against discouragement in her long battle with suffering. Their lyrics carry deeply true words about God that somehow escape us when we’re in pain or afraid. Good theology enables the believer to interpret our circumstances in light of what’s true about God–rather than the other way around!

I’m grateful for all the years I’ve spent singing in choirs and standing behind an open hymnal because much of the work of memorizing hymn lyrics has been done for me by simple osmosis. Even so, I discovered several new-to-me hymns in Joni’s collection, and I look forward to singing and learning their deep lessons. Each of the twenty-five selections is followed by a devotional thought, fighting words lifted directly from Joni’s experience with life’s battles.

Songs of comfort are a hopeful companion for seasons of loneliness when fighting discouragement feels like a part-time job. Take grace for this–and take the comfort God offers to you in affliction, for his promises truly are the path to life.

Holding You in the Light,

Michele Morin

“Singing songs of suffering is not an option for Christ-followers. It is not a mere invitation… Life is war.” ~Joni Eareckson Tada #SongsofSuffering via @crossway @JoniandFriends

Free Resource: A Seven-Day Challenge!

Standing on the Fringes of Life

A Seven-Day Challenge of Scripture and Prayer to Pull You Away from the Fringes

I’ve created a seven-day challenge incorporating daily Scripture and prayer to help you begin moving toward the center of a living and powerful walk with God.

Last winter, I memorized John 15:1-8 and was struck and instructed all over again by the truth of God’s intense longing to be in relationship with me. He wants us! No question about it, but so often we behave as if we don’t want him.

Each day’s brief reading from John 15 is an invitation to abide with Christ, to pull away from the fringes and toward his heart. I’m committed to the truth that women can become confident followers of God and students of his word, and it’s my goal to provide resources to help you along that path. Subscribers receive them automatically, and you can receive your copy by simply entering your email and then clicking on the button below…

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I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and an affiliate of The Joyful Life Magazine, two advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. If you should decide to purchase any of the books or products I’ve shared, simply click on the image, and you’ll be taken directly to the seller. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Photo by Georg Eiermann on Unsplash

Many thanks to Crossway for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which is, of course, offered freely and with honesty.

14 thoughts on “Your On-Ramp to Comfort and Joy for Seasons of Suffering”

  1. I actually make it a point to keep our calendar as empty as I can this time of year so that we have extra time to focus on those things that are truly important. I don’t think I’m going to have to struggle much this year either as more and more we just seem to naturally have less invites and places to go each year.


  2. Michele, Joni sure is an inspiration for hope and encouragement. I’ve read a few of her books and gained so much insight and finding serenity a joy in my own disabilities. I’ve learned that I am “differently” abled. Thank you for sharing this message about Joni’s Songs of Suffering sweet friend.


  3. How I like this: “Songs of comfort are a hopeful companion for seasons of loneliness when fighting discouragement feels like a part-time job.” Beautiful, powerful inspiration – both Joni and you, Michele! Thank you for the reminder! ~ Shalom, Maryleigh


  4. For over 40 years I’ve been inspired by Joni’s books and radio broadcasts. On the latter, she would often sing some of the old, familiar hymns. I look forward to meeting Joni in heaven!


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