Sorrow and Joy
"Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." God
As ambassadors of Christ, we aspire to the sorrow and joy that He felt. The hard rebelliousness of humanity cut Him to the core, while the Father's sovereign work of salvation brought Him joy! (Luke 19:41, Luke 10:21). To survive... to thrive as Kingdom ambassadors, we must follow Jesus' example.
Joy! I see it in the eyes of new believers and in the eyes of vibrant believers, those who are walking in daily relationship with Jesus Christ. Joy is deep within, while happiness is a state of mind. Joy transcends circumstances because it trusts in the Joy-Giver. Joy doesn't lose hope because it is anchored in the infinite God.
The Pit of Despondency
Sorrow. It surrounds me like a sea of darkness, licking at my temples and biting at my soul, threatening to swallow me into it's despondent depths. This kind of sorrow is worldly sorrow because it sees no hope and fatalistically condemns future generations to repeat the cycle of rebellion. Rebellion against God's law produces grotesque, hard brokenness. Watching it daily causes me deep pain, and threatens to callous my heart.
Within a week, I met two young women on different islands with babies that the respective daddies rejected. One was about sixteen and the other in her early twenties. Seeing the rejection of these girls and their babies created sorrow in me. God's family is precious and our reflection of His family here on Earth is our joyful purpose. It breaks me to see a generation of children giving birth to a succeeding generation of broken identities.
The Secret to Sorrow
How does a Christ-follower see constant darkness and have sorrow without shipwrecking on the shoals of despondency? What did Jesus do? Jesus was the perfectly balanced God-Man. He anchored His sorrow and joy in the infinite attributes of God. That is what we must do. We must focus our minds' eyes on the character of God. God is infinite holiness, limitless love, perfect justice, rightfully sovereign, delightfully joyful, infinitely good and quick to help those who cry out to Him.
Why do we care so much? It's partly because we care about God. Seeing the broken images of God smash themselves on the rocks of rebellion causes me intense pain. I know how it could be for them... how it should be. Every person was made to be a God's glory in their daily lives, especially in their families. It's partly because we are made to love: Love God and love others. Seeing people act in hate, slices into the love that we have for them.
We have to process what we see within intimate contemplation of our God's character. When we trust His sovereignty, depend on His goodness, and anticipate His mercy, we will have weep godly tears and embrace His joy!
The Complete Story of Sorrow and Joy in 3 Verses
The life of every Christ-follower is described briefly in Isaiah 60:1-3. In these verses, you'll see our sorrow and our joy.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
Get up! Shine because Jesus has come and His glory shines like the sun on and through you! This is the daily life of a Christ-follower. Get up! Spend time with Christ. Reflect the glory of His character in your day's activities and reactions! The Holy Spirit has everything you need to be empowered in your day!
See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
We are citizens of the kingdom of Light! Yet, we live in the kingdom of darkness. We are surrounded by a evil and the darkness that rebellion against our Creator and created purpose generates. We walk among people who live in darkness so thick it has a presence of its own.
But the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
Our King has risen from the grave and conquered sin, death, disease and the Satanic forces. He has turned on the light! His kingdom advances, as He takes back what He bought with His life: His family. As long as we keep our eyes unwavering upon Jesus Christ and walk in daily relationship with the Holy Spirit, we will not be cast down by sorrow. We will experience godly sorrow and godly joy!
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn."
Christ is the LIGHT! We first find our joy in Christ. Then, we find joy in seeing each new believer drawn to Christ's light and converted by His Holy Spirit empowered gospel. Christ's light lives inside of every believer... overflowing out through every crack and cascading over the brim! As we go to the palaces and provinces, kings and nations are drawn to the Jesus Christ, who is eternal Light and eternal God.
We're a family on mission to bring the good news of Jesus to the Philippines.