We are not “acquainted with grief” in the same way Jesus Christ was. When illness, injury, or affliction strikes us…we suck it up, endure, and just live through it, waiting for it to end. But Jesus faced sorrow head-on…knowing intimately what it was to suffer. He very plainly explained to His disciples in Luke 18:31-33 how He would be mocked, insulted, spit on, flogged, and killed…personally taking on and experiencing all the pent-up evil of this world. We taste suffering and sorrow…but Jesus is intimate with them.
For many of you today this Scripture may be difficult to accept. That’s because today you’re right smack-dab in the middle of trials, suffering, loss, injury, or sickness…and the idea that any light and momentary trouble is achieving in you eternal glory that far outweighs any trouble you’re going through is just a little too hard to take. (II Corinthians 4:17) Or that you should be rejoicing that you can participate in the sufferings of Christ so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. (I Peter 4:13) In this verse God is not discounting your suffering…your loss…the traumatic experience you’re going through right now. Rather, He understands and He’s giving you the grace and endurance to persevere through it.
In these verses Jeremiah is dejected and overwhelmed by the suffering he is witnessing in Jerusalem. In his head he was acknowledging God’s sovereignty…but he was still confused and disheartened by all the destruction around him. We’re the same way in the middle of trials. We know that God is there and in control…but when we’re overcome by it all, it’s hard to remain rational. Jeremiah was honestly laying all his feelings, concerns and complaints before his Heavenly Father, knowing that God would listen and not judge. And today we too have that same opportunity to speak candidly and openly to God without fear of retribution.
Unfortunately, when we become Believers, God doesn’t wrap us up in cotton batting and place us carefully in a box for safe keeping. No, we’re subject to every evil and despicable thing the world can throw at us. But in the midst of all the pain, suffering, anguish and grief, we as Believers have one thing the rest of the world doesn’t… when we cry out to the Lord…He hears us. This verse says that He hears my voice…He knows and recognizes my voice above the din of the whole universe. But God doesn’t stop there…He acts when He hears our cry to Him…for when we summon the Lord, He will come to our aid.
No matter what the world throws at you this coming year…remember that with the Lord you can overcome it. Whether it be troubles pressing down upon you from the outside, or anguish that comes from within…you can rise above them all with His help. Don’t try to make it on your own…God is there, ready to take those burdens. And in the end, you’ll rise victorious over all the pain and suffering.
Problems, sorrow, and illness are compounded one on top of another. We feel consumed by all our pain and suffering. Looking around, all we can see is barrenness, and our stark life stripped of everything good. But the Lord’s promise for us during this very trying time can be found farther in Joel when God states,”I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.” He will reimburse you for every tear you have shed, and every moment of sorrow you have experienced.