This world is riddled with grief. You either have great griefs which haunt you from behind, or unforeseen griefs yet to face, and likely both. Of course, there’s the grief that comes from your sin and its consequences, but I want to talk particularly about the grief that you face just by doing business in this fallen world.
When a hard providence befalls us––like a lost loved one, financial shortfall, a devastating diagnosis, another miscarriage––we’re stung with the immediate grief. As time wears on, the initial sting may fade, but the dull ache of grief throbs on. Grief doesn’t make appointments. It seemingly just shows up uninvited.
Avoiding your grief-pangs is its own industry. However, all its remedies are short-lived, and what’s more, often only add guilt to grief: the wine, the pills, the porn, the suicidal fantasies, the therapy sessions, the angry outburst towards those trying to comfort, the deliberate coldness to perpetuate isolation. Still, behind all the grief, lingers the question, “Why?”
God’s Word answers this question in a way that is curious to us. In the midst of both the sharp sting of immediate grief, and the throbbing of old griefs our “Why?” is answered with, “Be of good cheer.” Instead of glib words of positive thinking, or the numbness of drugs, God gives us a command.
Your life is being pieced together like a puzzle, which you only see the backside of. Your Heavenly Father hands you the next piece, shows you where to put it, and instructs you to receive both the brightly colored pieces and the ones with dark shadows with joy. The joy is only possible, of course, because God Himself through Christ partook of our griefs, in order that we might partake of His undying, ineffable, infinite joy.
God’s Word assures us that He is near the broken-hearted. He has surely born our griefs and carried our sorrows. The world offers its solutions to blunt our pain, to drown our sorrows, to end our suffering. Instead of turning to these earthly cordials, we must cling to the steadfast & immovable Word as the only cure for our sighings and sorrows. Don’t forget what the hymn-writer wisely reminds us, that Christ “will be with us, our troubles to bless, and sanctify to us our deepest distress.”
Or as one Christian writer insightfully stated: “The records of Christian biography testify that many of the purest souls have emerged from beneath the heaviest burdens, that many of the godliest characters have been seamed with scars, and that many have first seen the gates of Heaven through their tears.” 1https://www.gracegems.org/C/rainbow_in_the_cloud.htm The Gospel alone allows you to face our most bitter trials with joy, because underneath you are the Everlasting Arms, assuring you of this Good News, that God has forgiven all Your sins, and has borne all your griefs.