People in general have a tendency to cling to their sufferings and sorrows by the most flimsy and fragile threads of their lives! Very often we wrap our contentment and our peace of mind on the things in life that can very easily and quickly be taken away from us, such as our health, spouses, children, jobs, homes, or any of the many assets we possess.
God has blessed us so much more than we realize, but those benefits are not enough to build a foundation on, if we want lasting and abiding joy. These blessings are unpredictable and unreliable, because they are temporal and uncertain!
When a major loss occurs, it is vitally important that we know how to work through those losses biblically, before the emotional pain drives us into a deep depression. If we ponder the scriptures and delve into 1 Peter 5:8-9 we learn from Peter, that in times of personal suffering the devil absolutely seeks to destroy and devour our faith!
So many of God's children have been spiritually struck down, feeling abandoned by God, because they didn't know how to face the tragedies of loss in their lives! I want you to know that as Christians we are not exempt from any major loss, nor has God forsaken us.
In the scripture verse above, Jesus is preparing the disciples for the overwhelming sorrow that they would experience in the next few hours. They would see Him be arrested, mocked, tormented and crucified on the "Cross of Calvary"!!
Their world would soon be abolished and overturned, for all their beliefs and optimism were staked in whom they thought was the Messiah of Israel. Just a week before, their hopes were high as Jesus rode into Jerusalem to the peoples praises of "Hosannas"!
Now, everything they hoped for and trusted in was coming to a sudden and heinous end!
Still, Jesus prepared them and each one of us, that though suffering may come, He had risen from the grave, and He would turn our sorrows into lasting joy as we stand firm in our faith, our trust and our prayers! Adversities and sorrows are not a time to "run from our Lord," absolutely not, it is the exact time we must "run to Him" knowing that He will comfort and care for us!!
The disciples wept over Jesus' death on the cross, but they were overjoyed when they saw Him again. Scripture tells us this; After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
John 20:20 (NIV)
My Christian friends, we to will see our loved ones again some day and how marvelous that day will be! Thanks be to God!!!
So, we know that we all will have sorrows in this depraved world, because God imposed death as a penalty for our sins. And, even though He has not taken away the emotional pain that we feel when a loved one dies we need to recognize the following:
- Our hope lies in Christ Jesus, for He has borne our grief an carried our sorrows. Isaiah 53:4
- We will not all die, but we all will be changed in the twinkling of an eye! 1 Corinthians 15:51,52
- Christ having risen, takes away the sting of death for the Christian. 1 Corinthians 15:55
- Like a father has compassion for his children... so Jesus Christ has compassion for His children, for He knows how we were formed from the dust of this earth.
Most importantly, Jesus doesn't say that our sorrows would be replaced by joy, but rather that He would turn our sorrows into joy! John 16:20 Paul tells us that our sufferings bring us into fellowship with Christ... in His sufferings and so we attain to the resurrection of the dead. Philippians 3:10
The Lord turns our present sorrows into joy as we get a deeper understanding of the "glory of His cross"!!
So we are to stay alert when we face sorrow and sufferings, because this is when the enemy will pounce... looking for anyone he can devour. Learn to resist him and be firm in your faith, knowing the same sufferings are being experienced by our fellow believers throughout the world!
Finally, my friends, the world's joy comes from things that perish and are temporary. Their joy will be turned to sorrow when those things perish, and they face God in judgment.
However, when Jesus Christ returns our temporary sorrows will be turned into Eternal Joy!!