Saddened by Sorrow
When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven (Nehemiah 1:4).
Affluence tends to insulate individuals from society’s sorrows. An emotional wall is easily erected between one who has stuff and one lacking stuff. Those who once went without can quickly forget the stories of those who still suffer without. Nehemiah enjoyed the privileges of the upper crust in another country while his people back home groveled for a crust of bread. But word from his brother put a real face of the reality of the poor’s suffering. He wept in sadness.
Society’s woes do matter to men and women who walk with Christ. He was a Man of sorrows who is our sympathizing Savior. Jesus was poor and He cared for the poor. He lived among them as one of them. Christ wept with those who wept over their sorrow. He cried with those who lost loved ones to death. He healed children gripped by dreadful diseases. He forgave guilty hearts of sin and freed hearts possessed by evil. Jesus was saddened by sorrow and He initiated solutions.
He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3, NKJV).
Like helium in a balloon lifts it heavenward, so the Lord lifts up individuals encumbered by sorrow’s emotional, physical and spiritual fatigue. Thus, as we seek to serve society we first go forth in the name of Jesus. Remedies for physical infirmities without the good news of Christ prolong sin’s sickness. So, we are unashamed to share the gospel with social justice for it is the power of God unto salvation. The source of sorrow finds salvation in God’s grace and mercy.
Yes, we mourn, fast and pray before the Lord of heaven before we go out in His name on earth. The Holy Spirit strips our heart of pride and replaces it with humility, lest we be an obstacle to engaging the culture with Christ’s love. Sadness is the outcome of sorrow, but gladness is the fruit of hope. Once resourced by God and man, we gladly go out to serve in Jesus’ name. His mercy changes our mourning into dancing. His salvation in Christ turns our sorrows into joy.
Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me; Lord, be my helper!” You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever (Psalm 30:10-12, NKJV).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, in my sorrow I seek Your face. Use me to bring joy to those who suffer in sadness.
Related Readings: Exodus 15:20; Isaiah 53:10; Psalm 31:9; Hebrews 5:8; 2 Corinthians 7:7-11
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