In Isaiah 53:5 the prophet Isaiah prophesies about the coming Messiah:
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.”
I want to focus on this one verse for a moment. Think about Jesus. Think about what the ancient Romans did to Him when they beat Him with lashed whips with sharp stones embedded in the leather. It wasn’t just a whip. It would grab a hold of the flesh and tear with every strike! Think about how they sunk a crown of thorns into his head. Those were not little thorns either. They were huge 3 to 4 inch spikes! Think about how they drove thick metal spikes through His hands and feet to hang Him on a cross, which was a death reserved for criminals. Jesus was despised and rejected by men. The account of His death is even recorded in ancient Roman documents, and He died like that for us. For you, for me, for everyone!
He was also a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. That seems strange, doesn’t it? Why would the Son of God be sad and suffering? Wouldn’t He have the joy and power of God inside and be happy all the time? Not quite, let me explain.
Jesus felt sorrow because of what He saw on the earth. The sin, the hurt, the disease, the hatred, and the rebellion against God. He had sorrow because He cares for us deeply.
Sometimes the things in this world are extremely depressing and they cause deep sorrow. We have watched for years here in America as one mass shooting after another has happened in some of the most vulnerable and unthinkable places. We see people in other countries suffering not even having access to clean water. We see homeless on our streets. The sorrowful list goes on.
Those types of things should bring sorrow because through that we can impact change! I live in America, born and raised. It is not lost on me that not everyone in the world gets to enjoy the things I do here. It bothers me that some people are born into situations that seem impossible to overcome while others are born into freedom and peace. Why was I born smack in the middle of the U.S.A. and not in the middle of the Congo? My soul could have just as easily been given to another family.
All I know is that God has a plan for each one of us, we are all made in His image, and He wants us to help each other! All the suffering I see makes me feel the same sorrow because I have the same Holy Spirit inside of me that Jesus does.
What are we supposed to do with that sorrow though? Just sit around feeling depressed doing nothing about it? No, not at all! We get up, form ministries, and start serving the Lord and doing the exact same things He did while He was on earth. We serve, we give our time, we give our money, we pray, and we reach out to a hurting world!
Godly sorrow leads to great positive change and justice! It also leads to repentance.
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow leads to death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.”
2 Corinthians 7:10-11
Jesus didn’t walk this earth oblivious to the pain around Him. No, He embraced it. He was a man familiar with suffering. Not just His Own, but ours too. He took our suffering into Himself and He experienced it fully. He also took all of our sins upon Himself and experienced death and hell for us, so we don’t have to!
“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
Just like Jesus, I will not just sit around. I will not ignore the plight of those that are suffering. We are commanded by God to love people. That is the entire point of the Bible. God is love. He wants us to love!
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.”
1 John 4:16
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
1 John 3:16-18
This is not about guilt trips. This is about love. If you feel that sorrow and you want to do something about it, cruise over to my Great Ministries page, and take a look at how Jesus is moving in power through His followers still today! They are all financially accountable ministries my wife and I support.
Christian sorrow should not be taboo at all like it is in many churches. Do we have joy in the Holy Spirit? Of course we do! That will always be there flowing inside of us like a mighty river. We also feel the Lord’s sorrow at times, so use it for His glory and help people like He did.
God bless you all!
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Jesus speaking in Matthew 11:28-30