“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:3)
“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:11)
Which one is it, are we to emulate Christ and also be men of sorrows and grief, realizing the cares and trials, the tribulations and sorrows will arrive, and accepting them because He also suffered in like manner? Or are we to be filled with joy, because we have a High Priest that fully understands not only our grief and sorrow, but the temptations that assail us nearly every day?
I fear that many who profess Christ are accepting the emotionally traumatic events in their life only because they know that one day they will no longer be, we will be free from any and every detrimental occurrences.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:4)
And so they carry on, sometimes quite grudgingly, only seeing what will be and not what is clearly shown to them. The world rubs your back, gives you a hug and says, “Don’t worry, it will be alright, everything will get better.” False platitudes are abhorrent to me, and I see them as akin to the person who says, “How are you today,” and expects me to say, “Fine, how are you?” The world wants you to be happy, it does not have any knowledge whatsoever of what the word “joy” means in the Scriptures.
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1st Cor. 2:14)
Happiness, contentment in this world is the deception of our adversary, and I dare say that at least at times and for seasons even the elect have fallen into its trap, and when they have done so, they begin to think, “Don’t worry, it will get better.”
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2)
Is it wrong to contemplate that place, that eternity of bliss and continuing, unending joy? Of course not, it is in part our hope, but how much do so many miss here by not realizing the opportunity to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, of being blessed with the opportunity to suffer well simply because our Lord suffered?
Which shall it be my friends, my grace is sufficient, or praying to be released from the trials and tribulations?
Seasons of sorrows and grief, or yearning for happiness with no trials? Is your joy here and now, or is it only waiting for you in heaven?
Here is a verse I fear many do not desire to hear, at least in a personal manner, they accept that Paul and others have desired it, that there are those who have sought for it, but it is one that they themselves want no part of. “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” (Phil. 3:10)
It means sorrow and grief, it means being hated by the world, to know trials and tribulations. It means the loss of all happiness of this world. They cannot see joy in the fellowship of His suffering.
Yes, it will get better, heaven cannot be compared to this earth, but the joy there is relative to the suffering here, the rest there is relative to the work one does for the glory of God here. Some have many more bottles of tears than others my friends.
The peace that passes all understanding is not waiting for you in heaven, the fulness of joy will not be given to you when you walk into His eternal Kingdom, it is yours for the taking today. You will not be hid in Christ then, you are hid in Him today.
Why wait for that which has been given to you already?