Friday, December 16, 2011

Let the Man of Sorrows comfort you in your sorrow

Dear friends,

As the times become more cold, and love ekes away, many people may find they are feeling rejected for their faithful witness to Jesus. They may feel sorrow and betrayal. These are hard things to bear. We are all human, and we all want to feel loved for who we are, but sometimes, because we are human, we are rejected instead. Or maligned. Or misunderstood. Or any of the myriad of things that a population of diverse people feel when they are thrown together and have only one common bond: Jesus.

But what a bond!

Isaiah 53:3 says “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.” Recently I was thinking of when He was alone in the Garden and everyone fell asleep even though He had asked for company. And later, how Peter said he didn’t know Him, denying Jesus three times. That had to have hurt. I thought about the universe’s most ultimate betrayal, Judas. I thought of Jesus saying to Judas, “What you must do, do quickly.” (John 13:27).

You see, Jesus KNEW Judas was going to betray Him, but He loved Judas perfectly anyway. That is a powerful model of love. If I knew I was going to be betrayed and rejected ahead of time, would I love the people all the same? I’m human but sinful and Jesus was human and sinless. Therefore I know I would not.

Jesus came to earth SO THAT He could feel these things with us. Did you know that? We focus on the salvation aspect of His time on earth and His sacrifice as the Lamb. But did you know that He is not only Messiah, but also High Priest? He was fully God and fully Man and He came to feel every emotion that we feel. Hebrews 2:17-18 says “For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

He wanted to feel everything we feel so He could be the most faithful High Priest, not only to save us but to sympathize with us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now let that stop us for a moment. The God of the Universe poured Himself into human skin to live a full life, so that He could save us by dying, but before that, to feel what we feel as we are tempted.

When you are feeling lost, lonely, sad, rejected, tempted, betrayed, angry, bitter, or anything else, remember, that when we pray to Him, He is there. He knows. When we feel betrayed, He knows. He has been there. He serves God as our High Priest, interceding for us in a way that is fully empathetic. He is God, yet He came to us as fully human this so He could empathize with us in our times of sorrow. Are you not floored by knowing this?

Know this also, Psalm 56:8b- “Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?” He not only numbers the hairs on your head but sees and knows every tear shed in His name.

Psalm 34:18- "The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit." So, just knowing He WILL do it, helps us until He does it. That is faith.

Are you crying in your own sorrows right now? This from Revelation 21:4 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Your face may be wet today, but he will dry it Himself on that Day! Isn't it worth the wait, and the tears, just knowing He will fulfill His promise to wipe them away with His own hand? If your tears feel large to you today, just imagine how small they will be when His hand erases them into oblivion and gives you perfect peace.

And finally, remember the Love chapter from 1 Corinthians 13. Love bears all things. Love means we have to open ourselves to people and love them, even knowing that rejection, betrayal, sadness and hurt will come along with that. We don’t like it, but Jesus said to choose this kind of love as an expression of the Gospel He came to proclaim. His hurt and betrayal was so monstrous, how can we then complain of ours? We cannot.

Begin praying for others. Pray for missionaries in places where their mission will bring them death. Converts in the dangerous places where their faith may bring them imprisonment or worse. Praying for others in worse circumstances helps us put our things into perspective; HIS perspective.

The key is to focus on Jesus. He is the lens through which all trials are put into proportion. He gives comfort and He gives a Kingdom perspective, of eternity. Prayer helps and prayer works, because the Spirit brings to mind his Word, and his Word is always the triumph over all. Why? It is the greatest love letter ever written, and relying on it through submission to and by the strength of the Spirit revives even the poorest, saddest child of Jesus.

5 comments:

  1. I'm one of I'm sure many people, who've been persecuted, simply for who I am, no relation to my relationship with Jesus. In fact, I've suffered more persecution apart from my faith. And above all, I've come to know that the worst persecution is that which comes from those who claim to be Christian. People who condemn not because of anything to do with what I believe as a Christian. They simply condemn me as a person, for flaws they perceive make me undeserving of respect, compassion, care, love. I am treated like a person of old, with leprosy. I'm either labeled mentally deranged, beyond treatment and should just be locked away in a mental hospital for the completely insane, and left to live there, ignored, and not even thought of. Or I am labeled as demon possessed, so evil, I am to be condemned and cast away, shunned. Either way, I am blamed for the perceived state, and thus undeserving of both sympathy, and aid. I have to say, the lack of sympathy, compassion, downright hatred, and being shunned, are worse than the erroneous labels, and what makes it all the harder, and more painful, is that it's people who claim to be Christian, who not only hold such views, who have not only been abusive, barbarically cruel, and have shunned me, and who are guilty of huge injustices to me and someone close to me, it's that they privately and publicly assassinated my character, sullied my good name, harmed my reputation and standing as a person, long term. And despite attempts at reconciliation with them, are being at peace with them, they continue to shun and slander. All while claiming to not hate me, but even to say they love me. Two are pastors who I've witnessed online, they're compassion to others, and preaching about compassion, and God's love, yet, they still don't admit their sins toward us, thus there still is no reconciliation, no restitution. In fact, they have justified their selves, and what they've said and done, and they boast about what they have that they stole. I struggle with understanding how God's grace is upon them, being told they are still saved, because they believe in Jesus, as their savior, that they are just carnal Christians and that they're just going to lose rewards in heaven. It seems incredibly unfair, and confusing, that they can be bad, they can willfully sin without repentance, and still be saved, and still be counted worthy to be Raptured, spared God's wrath.

    J.L.

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  2. To respond to your last part of the comment, "The wicked will not prosper, for they do not fear God. Their days will never grow long like the evening shadows." Ecc 8:13, NLT

    Some are saved, and those, we love because they are Jesus's children. Not all who who profess are Christians. Using the proportions in the bible in reference to the Flood, the destruction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, and also the parable of the soils, MANY who profess are not really saved. We don't know who those are, though, so we must love them anyway. We will know when we get there. Meanwhile, we have to keep loving. Why? Because we sin, too. Because Jesus died for them. because He loves them, and you, and me. Meanwhile, I know it is hard to see others act against Jesus without reproof, but believe me, Jesus sees it too. He will take care of them. By the way, there is no such thing as a carnal Christian.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBl568p7aSY

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  3. Its been very comforting to read this posting after breaking away from a friend who has rejected me because I stood up for my beliefs in Jesus..This friend of mine comminicates with Evil Spirits and the dead so it has made it very difficult to have went along with his corrupt ways..It was even harder because I had feelings for this man and still do...

    Spiritualism is going to increase in the last days to decieve even the elect..
    In the last days Christians are going to be rejected by even members of their family, friends and others in our cold society that choose not to want to know Him..

    God is near to the Brokenhearted and will comfort us from our most worst rejections as Jesus knows exactly what it has been like to suffer..

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  4. Thank you for your response, I agree with everything you've said. I do love those, and feel sorrow for them, and have tried to warn them, because I believe they aren't truly saved, based on their behavior, which completely contradicts God's word, so based on that, I know if they continue, without repentance, without confessing and making what restoration they can, I know their fate isn't heaven. So I pray for them and will continue to, because despite how evil they have been and continue to be, I don't wish hell on them, I don't wish it on anyone. It's just so hard to be on the end of such injustice, such evil persecution by those who claim they are the saved ones who are good Christians, while believing the opposite about me. They act as though either they are without sin, or as though their sins are so few and so insignificant that that makes them better than me, and thus justified for the shunning.

    I also agree about carnal Christians. I was shocked when a man of God, one who posts articles on raptureready, told me that those who have wronged me are just "carnal Christians", it was a new term to me, that I had to look up. I don't know how anyone could believe such a falsehood.

    Anyway, thanks again. God bless you and Merry Christmas.

    J.L.

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  5. I am experiencing the same type of thing. I so anticipate Gods return. I am so hurt and tired. The feeling is so heavy. I wish I knew what to pray for to relieve my self of the heaviness.

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