Monday, August 17, 2009

The Comfort of Jesus

What are your sorrows? Here are a few of mine:

• watching your husband lose his job days before your first child is born
• seeing your father die of cancer when you are a teen
• caring for a sick child for eight years
• • caring for a mother who can no longer see or walk before she dies
• having a few trusted family members and friends betray you
• being chronically ill through childhood and into early adult years
• experiencing years of poverty
• caring for a relative who suffers with bipolar schizoid-affective disorder
• watching a child turn away from God and God's love
• dealing with other trials so painful to write about

Other sorrows might include:

• a spouse’s rejection
• unwanted singleness
• infertility
• infidelity
• paralysis
• chronic pain
• caring for a dying spouse or child
• a learning disability
• caring for a disabled child
• dementia
• an embarrassing failure
• suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
• enduring criticism and ridicule from a boss, a spouse, a family member
• an outgoing conflict
• persistent panic
• awful Post-partum depression
• addiction
• ongoing loneliness
• fear over finances
• being imprisoned legally or by fear, sin, or discouragement
• living where you cannot worship or speak as you wish
• burying a child
• becoming a widow or widower
• experiencing grief and sorrow
• losing everything you own
• suffering with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, OCD, or bipolar disorder
• torture, genocide, starvation; sexual, physical abuse, or psychological abuse

I never expected life to be this difficult, but I have discovered that life is hard—very hard—for most people. And, if it isn’t now, it may become really challenging, especially when we face end of life issues. Suffering has taught me to be less judgmental of others. It has also taught me to love the Lord in ways I would never have experienced otherwise.

Jesus knows our pain. He has already suffered every grief, sorrow, hurt, or loss that we will ever know—and much, much more. He described himself as a man of Sorrows, acquainted with grief.

The night he was arrested, our Savior went to the Garden of Gethsemane. He asked Peter and the two sons of Zebedee to wait for him while he prayed. The scriptures tell us that he began to be sorrowful and troubled, and he said to his three disciples, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

Luke writes that Jesus’ perspiration became like “great drops of blood” as he suffered for our sins, sorrows, and pain. We cannot comprehend this depth of suffering, but we know that He suffered because He loved us. He told us, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

You may not understand my suffering, and I may not understand yours, but Christ understanding everyone’s suffering. He has already experienced it. What comfort that gives us! We are never alone!

Paul says, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed...Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Paul knew a lot of suffering, yet he found peace because he fixes his eyes on Jesus and on the eternal glory that awaited him. As our eyes become single to God and to his glory, we discover that Christ will carry us through the good times and the bad. He loves and understands us! Isn’t that the best news ever!

© Carol Brown


  1. This would be an excellent talk in church! You have a beautiful way with words and an optimism and faith that I'm constantly striving for! Thanks for sharing these beautiful thoughts!

  2. Thank you for sharing this today, it was so needed. God Bless all of us!


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