Consider, contemplate Our LORD Jesus Christ! He was a Man of sorrow acquainted with Grief, He understands the depths of your suffering and pain, and as Risen LORD seated in Majesty on High, adored and worshipped in purity and perfection He has not forgotten you in your trials, troubles, temptations, or deep deep sadness or suffering. For He bids, you come confidently to the Throne of Grace to RECEIVE Mercy, Grace, and Help in your time of need. {Please read Heb 4:15-16}. And He who gave His life for you supplies the Holy Spirit to impart Joy to you in the midst of your pain, when no one sees the suffering or sadness, He does and He cares. He is not asking for superficial “joy” let’s “pretend” you are not in real deep deep pain, to be expressed in front of others, as though you or others are not in real pain, but He promises His Spirit which each follower of the LORD Jesus Christ possesses to give you reasons and the ability to rejoice as we submit to Him and contemplate the Person of our LORD God, His PROMISES and the assurance that even these things in His providence He will bring “good” out of them as He conforms us to the image of our LORD Jesus. There is no sorrow, or suffering, wasted in His care.

Our delight is not in our pain but in what He has promised to “produce.” Romans 5:3-5 gives us a glimpse into reasons to confidently rejoice. Paul teaches, “And not only this, but we also EXULT {Joyfully confident, rejoice} in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”-Note, Paul does not ignore the pain or difficulties of “Tribulations,” the word means Great Pressure, suffering. He does not ignore it. Life is hard and painful, crushingly so at times. So please do not in any way, shape, or form, misunderstand that somehow in the pain, to be “rejoicing in the LORD” is to deny the pain, brokenheartedness, and suffering that is happening in someone’s life and they are to ignore, live as though it is not happening or has not, as though somehow that is a mark of their spiritual maturity. No, for Paul in 2 Cor 6:10 teaches, “Sorrowful yet always rejoicing,” How can they both exist? They do. Side by side!

  • In the midst of the sorrow as the MIND focus’s on the LORD who is present, His promises, such as to “work all things together for good” includes the painful scenario you or someone else is experiencing is included in the “all things” of Romans 8:28-29 in conforming you to the image of Christ, His ultimate goal in glorifying His Name.
  • Also know that from your crushing He will use this too to “work out for good” to benefit others in your comforting them as God comforts you.-{Please Read 2 Cor 1:3-4}
  • That this too will “work out for good” to advance the Gospel as a result of your circumstances as it did Paul, who as an older man, incarcerated wrote in Philippians 1:12.

Your, or that of another suffering soul is not to pretend there is no pain in your loss, difficulty, pain, suffering, the Scriptures do not but speak openly of them, for otherwise there would be no need for the verse “weep with those who weep, rejoice with those who rejoice,” which speaks of identification, compassionate identification with those who weep from the anguish of pain. Job’s friends failed to do this when they began to lean to their own understanding and speak to Job and tell him why they thought these things were happening, and they had no clue of the conversation the LORD and satan had in chapter one. Job said, “in times of affliction there should be KINDNESS From his friend.”{Job 6:14 that is all he wanted, and they were so insensitive because of filled with their own self-importance and had to verbalize it and instead of compassionately identifying with him in his suffering, added to it. There is a lesson there for us!

Back to Romans 5:3-5. In the midst of great, crushing pressures, tribulations, and sufferings, Paul says “we know” the word “know” means to be “fully aware,” God does not want His people to be ignorant but informed of what He is going to “produce,” in the life of the suffering one! God will from it “produce”- “achieve” three beautiful virtues, namely “perseverance, proven character, and hope,” Hope the passage says that “Hope” does not put us to shame. It is not a wishy-washy “hope so” of uncertainty but the assurance that God will do what He said He will do. It is confident expectation in the LORD as the Source and reason for our hope! And what is Paul’s confidence? “The love of God!” – {Romans 5:5}. The verse is not speaking about your love for God but the assurance of His love for you! How kind of the LORD, for the suffering one, needs to be assured God loves them. For His love gives comfort, and assurance that they are not abandoned, or being “punished” but that God loves them and will “produce” good out of their tribulations, sufferings, and great pressures.

  • THIS IS NOT AN EASY LESSON TO LEARN. INDEED, IMPOSSIBLE BUT FOR GOD’S GRACIOUS PROVISION OF HIS SPIRIT AND WORD TO TEACH US! And this He will, and when we forget as we are often prone to, HE will remind you and me, and He is painstakingly patient with us, knowing our frame, weak, frail humans. Oh, but His Love poured out into our hearts assuring us of the love of God for us will meet you, and me, we can testify of it in times of great distress. And the waves that seek to sink us He will use to cause us to rise above them to use us to benefit us, others, to His Honor!

Paul’s confidence and his desire for those whom he writes to are that they too may be fully assured and be built on the foundation of God’s Love, which has been poured out through the Holy Spirit who has been gifted to each and every believer- including you! And in this, we can confidently rejoice in the LORD! That God will produce something beautiful from the suffering, – Godly character!

It does not mean we are numb or do not feel emotional pain in the midst of the suffering, for Peter wrote of “distressed,” “suffer grief” by various trials that the believers encountered in 1 Peter 1:5. The word “Distressed,” means to be “suffer grief, tearfully sorrowful, mental anguish!” “Mental anguish!” How often do you hear messages on the “Mental anguish” that Christians encounter? Somehow it is swept under the carpet, as though Christians are to be untouched by the sorrows and suffering of this life if they are to prove they are “victorious Christians” who are untouched and cannot be touched by the sorrows of this life. But touched we are, we all are. No one departs this life without having been through the vale of sorrows and tears at some time in their life. For it is a world marred with sin, our own and that of others which often is the cause of such sorrow. And we have an evil foe who seeks to “kill, steal and destroy,” who is “the father of lies,” who seeks to dishearten inject fear, and torment.

Peter does not ignore the “mental anguish” the believers were encountering, and experiencing, nor does he upbraid them to “rejoice in the LORD,” insensitive or ignoring or making light of their pain, but he turns their focus on the greatness of God and the Greatness of their Salvation to give them reasons to THINK Right in the midst of their affliction! We need TRUTH to help navigate and steer our minds in the midst of crushing sorrow and the empowering of the Holy Spirit in such times. And this we have.

There have been times over the years when the pain from my muscle disease has been so so intense, and the lack of sleep that has brought me close to breaking point has been so so hard that only by His mercy, He has enabled me to “Bless” the word means to “Praise” or to “Speak well of” Him as I have praised Him for each aspect of the Greatness of God and the Greatness of the Salvation He has supplied for me in 1 Peter 1:2-6. God gives us His Spirit, Promises-{Read 2 Peter 1:3-4} to help us in our sorrows to see our SAVIOR… SYMPATHETIC, EMPATHETIC VICTORIOUS, COMFORTING SAVIOR in the midst of our sorrows we see the bigger picture that God is working, though we may not understand at the time and may not until we see Him, we do see from His Word and from our own experience the LOVE OF GOD displayed in the sending of His SON, the Cross, and the Spirit of God gifted to us.

Yes, it is possible indeed for the Christian to be “sorrowful yet always rejoicing” at the same time. Not through trying to “manufacture” it in their own strength for that is impossible but in the strength of the Spirit of the indwelling Holy Spirit, who supplies Joy-{Gal 5:22}

  • The Greek word, “Sorrowful” used in 2 Cor 6:10 “Lupeo” is a verb and means “distress, to grieve to experience deep emotional pain {sadness}, severe sadness, is very intense and hence even used of the pain of childbirth {Genesis 3:16}”- {Greek lexicon}.

So this sorrow Paul writes of is intense grief, pain, deep emotional pain, and yet in the midst the ability to rejoice accompanies it. How can this be? It seems such a contradiction, an impossibility, an absurdity, and it is in the natural realm. by that I mean if left to ourselves, if we are on our own, “But God…” is in the scenario, LORD over the scenario, imparting the ability and reasons to find joy in Him! It is not natural but supernatural. it is the work of the Spirit of GOD IN THE INDIVIDUAL!

  • “REJOICE” xaírō (from the root xar-, “favorably disposed, leaning towards” and cognate with 5485 /xáris, “grace”) – properly, to delight in God’s grace (“rejoice”) – literally, to experience God’s grace (favor), be conscious (glad) for His grace.”-{Helps Word studies}. God is leaning toward you with Favor! Grace and Rejoice to share the same root word, “and therefore the same core {fundamental} meaning.”-{Helps Word- studies}
  • How wonderful, we experience God’s Grace and can delight in His favor. Rejoice in that He has saved us. Rejoice in sins forgiven. Rejoice He never will walk out on us, reject us but is ever present and in an unbreakable love towards us. We can rejoice that the gospel is going forth. Rejoice that our story does not end with suffering but in the presence of the Savior for all eternity. We can rejoice that Jesus saves. Jesus sustains us, Jesus forgives us, and Jesus is our ADVOCATE with God. He is Our Friend and LORD and will present us faultless before the Throne with EXCEEDING GREAT JOY!-{Read Jude 24}

SOMETIMES PAIN, SORROW, SUFFERING, and HEARTBREAK COME FIRST, AND THEN THE JOY; CONSIDER THESE VERSES…

  • Sometimes there is weeping, the pain first and then the joy follows, such as in Psalm 30:5-“…Weeping may stay for the night BUT Joy comes in the morning.” There is the experience of weeping, without the joy, but Joy comes! Because God makes sure it does!
  • Psalm 125;5 “Those who plant in TEARS will harvest with shouts of JOY!” Note tears first, then Joy follows!
  • In John 10:20- 22. “I tell you the truth, you will WEEP AND MOURN over what is going to happen to Me, but the world will rejoice. You will GRIEVE, BUT YOUR GRIEF WILL SUDDENLY TURN TO WONDERFUL JOY. It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you WILL REJOICE and NO ONE CAN ROB YOU OF THAT JOY.”
  • And in Romans 12:15 the command “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep!” And in these verses we see JOY Comes AFTER THE PAIN.

THERE IS AN END TO SORROW;

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”-{Rev 21:3-5}

So, “sorrow” that precedes “rejoicing” comes to and end. Jeusus puts an end to the sorrow,… PERMANTLY!! GLORY!!!

In such passages as Romans 5:3-5 we see that IN sorrow is the possibility to rejoice because of what is confidently revealed to the believer and they can confidently “be assured” that in the face of suffering, great distress, and pain, they have reasons to “exult, rejoice because of what they know God is “producing “-{Please read Romans 5:3-5}

  • And we see that JOY is possible IN OUR Sufferings. The Scripture teaches both. At times Joy follows sorrow, at other times we can experience JOY in our sorrows at the same time!

The LORD told Paul when he had asked for his painful “thorn” to be removed, “My GRACE is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” And Paul’s response was to delight in weakness knowing that his weakness made him a candidate for the LORD’S power to be unleashed in him. His weakness in exchange for the LORD’S strength! And in His grace made known to and in him, he found reason to delight! -{Read 2 Cor 12:9-10}. God’s provision FOR him gave him reason to delight in His grace TO him!

  • It is not rejoicing for rejoicing’s sake. There has to be a reason to rejoice. Where do we find this joy in the midst of deep, deep pain? And for the follower of our LORD, it is Himself. His grace towards us causes us to lean into Him and find in Him reasons to delight, to be glad, and even this ability to rejoice is all of Him! He gives us the Holy Spirit and as we submit to Him, submit to His Word the fruit He produces is Joy -{Read Galatians 5:22}

The Sorrows are real and undeniable, but they do not define us, though God is working all things together for good, and can use them to shape our character, to draw us into deeper dependence upon Him-{Read 2 Cor 1:9}. And also equips us for greater and deeper ministry for the benefit of coming alongside others to comfort them with the comfort which God has comforted us. And this He does.

For in our sorrows we see Him meet us with Himself and so we rejoice, delight in His companionship in the furnace of difficulties, knowing He understands when we cannot verbalize, or when it seems others do not understand. We know He, The Man of sorrows, acquainted with Grief, does, and we find comfort in that, we find comfort in Him who imparts comfort to us and we delight, and rejoice in Him, and at times it is through tears and in the midst of heartbreak! For He bottles up our tears, He is near the brokenhearted, and He heals the broken-hearted binding up our wounds. What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our griefs and sins to bear…

IT’S NOT “NATURAL” BUT “SUPERNATURAL!”

So, we see in Scripture, two groups as it were, one being Sorrow first then followed in order by Joy as an experience, then the second group of JOY IN the suffering!God gives Joy in the midst of the suffering! It seems impossible, Yet, the fact today you are a follower of Christ also seems impossible. Indeed it is apartfrom the new birth which GOD Caused, brouth about in your life.{Read 1 Peter 1:3}. Both are a work of GOD! The fact you have been “born again” is a ork of God. The fact you can rejoice in your sorrow is an act of God. Both TESTIFY OF Him and both Testify TO Him. This is an act of God! A Testimony to a lost commuinty , or people around you, for it seems and is so un-natural, and it is, for it is “SUPERNATURAL”- As salvation is a “gift”-{Eph 2:8-9} so too is JOY in the midst of sorrow! Glory to God!

Yes, today you may be sorrowful, but in your heart of hearts, Rejoicing, delighting, being glad in the FAVOR, GRACE of our LORD For…

  • His PRESENCE WITH you.
  • His PROMISES FOR you.
  • His PERSPECTIVE REVEALED TO You.- Through His Word
  • His POWER For you- By His Spirit To enable you and me to Rejoice in the LORD
  • His ASSURING LOVE For you!
  • His PREMIENCE over all – Working it all out for good to those who love God and are called.”-{Roamns 8:28} And He knows that you love Him who first loved you!-{Read 1 John 4:19}

You are not alone, He is with you, for you, loves you, and will work it all together for good. We may not see how, but by faith in His Character, He will!

Your story does not end with suffering or sin, but with Him, one day in His presence, and there you will experience the fullness of Joy!-{Read Psalm 16:11}.

You can Rejoice in the LORD for your FUTURE IS BRIGHT- YOUR FUTURE IS CHRIST!

God bless, He has and He will!

Aidan.