We as people are very good at concealing whom we really are and what is eating us alive. We can put a smile on one day or maintain a balanced even keeled approach on another day. Often, the exterior and the demeanor are diametrically opposed to what is circulating in the interior.

As Solomon, wise sage of the Book of Proverbs wrote, “There is nothing new under the sun.” He also spoke to the realities of life which every human being has ever faced or what each of us faces. In selected verses from Proverbs 14 he provides words with which we can identify.

“Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can fully share its joy. Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when laughter ends, the grief remains.” (v.10,13)

In our emotionally charged culture, these real life facts are often ignored by those who find themselves deep in the stuggle. We often find ourselves bitter and full of grief based on our own decisions or on circumstances into which we have been dumped by others. The end goal is relief at any cost.

Rather than examine our choices or do deep introspection we blame others for the circumstances in which we find ourselves. We become bitter, but we hide the reality of the bitterness. When we have a grievous situation that causes a heavy heart, we mask our true selves by trying to laugh it off.

In the end, the bitterness begins to kill us while grief consumes our desire to improve our status. We fall into the black hole of loneliness, separating ourselves from those who could help us and from God who is the only source of peace and joy.

Laughter does not always express a well of joy within the soul, nor does it always cover grief. When God sets us free from bitterness and or grief, the abundance of joy within us must be loosed to keep us from exploding. God’s joy is unspeakable and full of glory. It overcomes grief and bitterness.

It is time to seek the joy of the Lord. Walk away from bitterness. Work through you grief. Let the joy of the Lord be your strength.