Double Joy and Half Sorrow

A devotion on Ruth 1:17

“Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May The LORD do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me.”
–Ruth 1:17

A well-known Swedish proverb says, “shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.”

Joy and sorrow are two recurring themes in everyone’s life. In times of joy or sorrow, the presence of a loved one is a gift from above and a reminder that life’s best gifts are unwrapped.

The book of Ruth begins with sorrow and ends with joy.

At the beginning of the book, three widows stand at the crossroads of their lives. Naomi, the mother-in-law, has lost her husband and her two sons. Grief-stricken, Naomi asks her daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah, to stay in Moab as she makes her way back home to Bethlehem.

Orpah reluctantly agrees but Ruth refuses to leave her mother-in-law’s side. Shared sorrow unites them in a commitment to God and to each other. They form a bond that allows them to walk through grief together and to eventually share joy together.

The Bible encourages us to rejoice with those who rejoice and to mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15).

Our love for God shines brightest when we hold each other up throughout the seasons of life, doubling our joy and significantly cutting our sorrows.


Dear God, I want to reflect Your love for others. Help me to share in someone’s joy or sorrow without expecting anything in return. May my commitment to You be seen in my commitment to others. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.


Who in my life needs my support the most right now? What actions can I take today to show God’s love?