Beloved in Christ,
I greet you in the sweet name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Many are agonizingly perplexed as to who would hear their tragic stories patiently, with whom they could share their stories and have deliverance. There are times of joy and also times of sorrows. The Bible says, “…. but the sorrow of the world produces death” (Cor. 7:10). The things of this world make them unhappy. In their daily life, things that happen in their place of work, in the family or in the place where they stay disturb them to a large extent and are saddened. Because of selfishness or ego, they are driven to harsh words wounding others and resort to acts of wickedness. Such acts affect peace in other people’s lives.
Once, I discerned the intention to commit suicide in a woman as I prayed for her and enquired her why she was pushing towards that. She replied that it was all because of the inimical acts of her husband. All that happened in her family filled her with sorrow and made her think of resorting to death as an escape. In this way the happenings in this world disturb them and lead them to evil acts.
The Bible talks also about ‘godly sorrow’: “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted . . .” (Cor. 7:10). This sorrow is analogous to those of this world but those who have it look to the face of the Lord for help. He who searches the hearts of people knows their sorrows. He would give them the sense of repentance. Their hearts would receive the blessings of the love and grace of the calvary. They would humble themselves and turn completely to Christ.
Dear child of God who reads this, because of those things that caused sorrow in you, you would have repentance as you experience the love of the Calvary.
There are people who would hurt the Holy Spirit given for the day of salvation. They would speak and do things unacceptable to the Lord. They make the Holy Spirit to lament. When they continue to do so, He would fully leave them. This happened in the lives of Samson and Saul.
We read about the agony of Jesus Christ at the garden of Gethsemane in Matthews 26:37. He sensed and was worried about the horrible death on the cross. One who came to this world and did good things, and worked miracles and taught the living word was sorrowful. His sorrow was about us. He knew and was agonized over all the things that would happen to Him during the last minutes of His life.
Dear Brother / Sister, the Lord Jesus Christ who submitted Himself to the afflictions and trials and death on the cross was sorrowful for the sake of us, to deliver us from our sins, to bear upon Himself all our sorrows, sins, infirmities, and curses.
Reasons for Sorrow
“For the land is full of adulterers; For because of a curse the land mourns. The pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up. Their course of life is evil, And their might is not right.” Jeremiah 23:10
Today the sin of adultery is so common all over the world. As a result, there has come into being many terrible diseases. There are diseases which doctors cannot make out. AIDS is one such disease. They have come as curse upon mankind. In all nations adultery is so common among the young and the old.
In one nation, we completed our ministry and were coming back to our place of stay. On the way we saw so many young and middle-aged women dressed beautifully standing at both sides of the road at 12 O’ clock. I came to know that they had come to sell their bodies. They had come for higher education in Universities, but had no other way to earn money for their education. This scene was extended for over two kilometers. I enquired the person who accompanied me why it was so. He only told me that they had to pay their fees to colleges and to pay for their food, but had no other means. So they indulged in such practices. The number of such people would be around a few thousands and the number would swell to several thousands on week ends – on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. It would be impossible to walk on the pavements as it would be crowded with girls all around.
In those days such types of sins were restricted to tourist spots with people who could not earn in other ways. But today it has become a way of life for earning money and many thousands of people have been drawn in to this sin. This results in curse which again leads to untold worries.
“Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrew 12:11
Chastening is not for all. It is for those who are loved by the Lord. When our children in their young age refuse to study or walk in good ways, we try to put them in the right track by scolding or beating them. Out of love we try to correct them by some means. In a similar way our Lord tries to draw us near to Him and chastens us for a holy life.
In my young life, I always gave importance to my hobbies. My friends were suited to my taste. And I did not give room for knowing Jesus Christ. I also saw the torments in the life of my father who was a Presbyter in a C.S.I. church. My father asked me to study in a Theological Seminary to do ministry after him. But I refused and I worked and lived as all others of this world. The Lord allowed a disease and so after 14 years I committed myself to do the ministry of the Lord through that chastening.
Dear child of God, the Lord Jesus Christ chastens us to correct us and lead us in a victorious life. If we know that this chastening is only for our good, the sorrows would disappear.
3.Lack of Good Qualities
“Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” Matt.19:21, 22
We read about a young man who came to Jesus Christ in Matthew 19:16-22. This man wanted to have eternal life. But he returned sorrowfully unable to inherit that blessing. He had done according to the commandments from his early life. He had honoured his parents. He said that he loved his neighbour as himself. But he did not do so in practice. He could not do as was adivised by Jesus Christ. He was not ready to lose the riches of this world for Christ. So he became sad and left the place. There are many such people who declare that they love the Lord and trust the Lord. But in practice they do not do that.
Dear Brother / Sister, what have you done for the Lord? Do you know and understand what He has done for you? If you have any grudge in any of the things you need, give place for being filled with His love. From what you have, give help to others. It might be your time, things or money. The Lord will certainly bless you. You would also be worthy of having eternal life. But this advice made that rich man leave sorrowfully.
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,….” 1 Peter 1:6
The very word ‘trial’ sends fear in the hearts of people. Once, a person’s certificates were sent for verification by the company before employing him. Thereafter, they returned the certificates and he was refused employment as the certificates were found to be false.
When our faith is tested or our love for Christ is tested, we are disturbed. But as we have victory in the trials we face, we would have exaltation and blessings. When a woman of Canaan approached Jesus Christ and his disciples recommended her case, He did not do a miracle. But He found great faith in her. Then He said, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” Immediately her daughter was healed. Trials lead to miracles.
The risen Lord Jesus Christ before handing over His ministry to Peter, who denied Him three times, asked him three times to test him whether he loved Him. This made him worry.
Now, when your faith, or your love for Christ or your obedience is tested, do not be worried but praise the Lord.
When Will Your Sorrow Be Turned Into Joy?
1.Victory over the Designs of the Devil
“… To establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar, as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor.” Esther 9:21,22
Our enemy Satan wages tactical wars against us. He works against us through those who are under his dominion. The Bible describes him: “that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9). He schemed against the Lord’s people, the Jews in those days.
Haman received sealed orders for all nations from the King Ahasuerus, to destroy all the Jews. It was a scheme to destroy all the Jews on the 13th of the month of Adar. When this news reached the Jews, they were highly agonized and they wept and lamented. At this stage the matter was reported to Esther by Mordecai. Esther had favour in the eyes of the king and he consented to come to the feast arranged by her. The king was accompanied by Haman who had plotted to exterminate all the Jews in the kingdom. Then Esther revealed to the king the plot to kill all the Jews by Haman. Haman was terrified. The king stood up from the dining table with terror in his eyes. Then things changed. A new message was sent throughout the kingdom and the Jews overwhelmed their enemies. The Jews who had been terrified by the enemies had joy by their victory over them.
When we turn to Jesus Christ who stripped the devil of all his powers on the cross, we would have authority. As the prodigal son who came back to the father received his authority, we would also receive authority. The word ‘Judah’ means ‘to praise’. So let us repent and praise the Lord, and have authority over all the works of the devil. Our sorrows would turn to joy.
2. By Prayer
“But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.” 1 Samuel 1:15
Dear child of God being dismayed at what you lack, if your sorrows should be turned to joy, you should pour all your agonies in His presence. The day you do this, that very day all your sorrows would end.
Prayer is the act that builds the relationship between man and God. As you pray in His presence, the God of gods would give His plan through His Son Jesus Christ and reveal it through His Holy Spirit. Along with that He would fill you with the gifts that are needed for the ministry that you do. As you work as an instrument to redeem all those who perish, in the name of Jesus Christ there would be happiness in those redeemed. Today commit yourself to a life of prayer. Let all your sorrows turn to joy.
3. Coming Before the Presence of the Lord
“ Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old, together; For I will turn their mourning to joy, will comfort them, and make them rejoice rather than sorrow.” Jeremiah 31:13
All these blessings will come upon those who come before the presence of the Lord. These blessings make us happy. Jeremiah 31:12 tells us, “Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, streaming to the goodness of the LORD — for wheat and new wine and oil, for the young of the flock and the herd; Their souls shall be like a well-watered garden, and they shall sorrow no more at all.” So let us come to the Lord Jesus Christ for the blessings.
He is present in a gathering of two or more people who praise Him. Going to the church and praising the name of the Lord brings the Lord’s presence. Let us come to His presence. Let our sorrows be turned to joy.
May the Lord bless us all!
In the service of Christ Jesus,
Bro. C. Ebenezer Paul.