And weep with those who weep

Paul says in Romans 12 that we should “weep with those who weep” but for most people that is not easy.  I’ve heard people say after a tragedy, “I didn’t go visit him, because I didn’t know what to say.”

If you are a follower of Jesus – you can step into tragedy.   I’ve seen it many times over the past 25 years during my adult life.   We may not have the words of comfort to say because sometimes there are no words.   But your presence and your tears when someone else is suffering communicate that the Lord does care about the pain we suffer.

A follower of Jesus does not run away and hide from the difficulties in this life. We don’t pretend that life is all wonderful all the time – no – there is a lot of pain in this world.   We are called to walk into suffering with our brothers and sisters just like our saviour, Jesus.

Jesus who was called “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” in Isaiah 53.

Jesus who displayed his grief through tears when his friend Lazarus died.

Jesus who suffered separation from the Father – an emotional that you and I can only begin to imagine.

Jesus who suffered physical pain on the cross that was beyond belief.

He knows what it means to weep and if you walk in his footsteps – you will weep as well.

But we do not walk alone.

Rejoice with those who rejoice…

Edd and Katie’s wedding

It is fairly easy to think about obeying this command. I can party with those who want to party. This summer we had a great time at my summer intern’s wedding – not much suffering there!

But do you ever have times when a friend is excited about something that you couldn’t care about? Chelsea won the Champions League – great, but so what?

How often do we actually get sad or angry when others are successful? You’re looking for a new job and that friend comes in and says, “Guess what – I got a new job and I wasn’t even looking for one!” You want to get married and your friend just gets engaged. You work hard for an B on the exam but your friend got an A*.

Rejoice when others rejoice – I don’t think so.

Rejoice with those who rejoice only comes by a work of the Spirit. Often, our natural response is to want others to be as miserable as we are. 
Pray for the success of those around you.  Then pray for your heart.  Pray that you would truly “Rejoice with those who rejoice.”

But there are sad times in our lives as well.  That is for another post…

 

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