I’ve often wondered why in the world God would allow someone like me to feel such things like the depression and deep hurt I have carried for so long. I’m far to weak to bear such a burden. I deal with these things often in the worst possible ways. There have been times that they have driven me to failure so great that I wondered if I could ever stand again.
But now I think that the whole entire time, God was trying to give me something special and a lot of the sorrow and pain have been the result of my refusal to accept it. I’ve looked at sorrow and pain as if it was something that must come from somewhere far away from God.
Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.
I’ve even at times recognized that Jesus had his moments of sorrow. His feelings were overwhelming. He was a man on a mission as God in the flesh. His body ached. His heart broke. His feelings stirred within him in the same often random ways they do in every other man and woman. The Father did not spare him from it. He immersed him in it.
Matthew 5:4 God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
The very first beatitude from the Sermon on the Mount speaks to sorrow and loss. Jesus doesn’t say to run from it or be ashamed of it or even to try to conquer it. He simply says we will be comforted. It is the first step of many. Jesus wasn’t singling out little groups of people promising them something if we fall into a certain category. He was promising a fullness of life in him by embracing all the beatitudes and it all starts with being comforted.
I have experienced mourning, I still experience it but my life is far more than being some depressed guy that does stupid things in an attempt to get over it. I can now find comfort in Christ. I can move on to humility, seeking righteousness, mercy, purity and peace.
Having lived all these things I understand more of what Jesus was saying about life. It isn’t a popularity contest where the one with the most votes wins. It is about knowing that Jesus and living for Jesus will bring its own true rewards.
Matthew 5:10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
This last statement, of all the beatitudes is the hardest to swallow. I really don’t want to be persecuted, physically, mentally, spiritually or otherwise. I want to live on a cloud above the tumult of life’s hardships. I can’t make a difference in this world looking at it, insulated from it, isolated and not feeling it.
That’s why Jesus had to come here and walk till his feet ached and live what we live and feel what we feel before he became the sacrifice that makes my life worth living. He made a difference, not so he could be famous or win a prize, but so that I could make a difference too.
Matthew 5:11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad!”
I have been so blessed to have been comforted. I know that when sorrow smacks me around in the future that comfort isn’t far behind. I have to remember that God has ALWAYS kept his word in my life. He has never let me down despite all the times I have let him down.
These days, I can let my pity party get the best of me because life is getting tougher to live in this country for Christians. I can get angry, sad, hurt, fearful, anxious and confused. But God says he will bless me and that I should go against the grain and be happy and VERY glad.
I believe that he will keep his word in this way just as he has in every other way in my life. So I’m thankful for all the sorrow of my past and the unexplainable sadness I may sometimes feel. Jesus has made a way for me to find joy and happiness in the midst of pain and a real appreciation for the times when the pain is far away.