To Discover Real Joy We Must Research Sorrow Psalms 3:4
There are two emotions that are completely opposed or are they? Is it an illusion that joy and sorrow blend into interactive collaboration?
1Peter 1:6 you greatly rejoice … you are in heaviness.
Psalm 126:5 states: they that sow in tears will reap in joy
Tears and moaning over things reverberates with sounds that are depressing. We shun what is gloomy and dismal. Misery is not popular.
How can propagating tears, scattering sorrow and strewing grief secure joy?
Jesus sowed tears at Lazarus’s gravesite. He felt the loss of a friend; He saw the heartbreak around Him as the relatives of Lazarus vented their feelings of sorrow and grief.
Then Jesus reaped in joy when He raised Lazarus back to life. The Lord alone takes what is rotten and decayed and makes it fresh and new.
Hebrews 5:7 reviews how Jesus offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears.
He sowed in tears and then when resurrected to life He reaped in the joy of solving the sin problem. It’s amazing that Jesus experienced the adequacy of God by prayer dependency. He lived out faith as a man who cried out His needs.
In Luke 6:21 Jesus said:
Blessed are you that weep now: for you shall laugh.
This is not lauding the benefit of sadness. The theme is the profit of pouring tears out at Jesus feet. There is a mourning, which, as Augustine says, “has no blessing from heaven attached to it, at best only a sorrow of this world and for the things of this world. What Jesus speaks of is a nobler grief, a weeping for our sins and the sins of others, for our weary exile here.”
This boils down to love: Do we love Jesus, do we embrace Him, or do we love sin and embrace our depravity? If we are drawn to Jesus and His love penetrates our soul we will weep over our sin.
We’re not sobbing about life, but grieving what has robbed our life of its original design. We mourn the defiance of God and lament noncooperation to His Word. This is where real joy is secured in compliance with the Lord and agreement to His principles.
Luke 7:38 depicts a woman: she’s burdened about her bad decisions in life, she’s been degraded to the point of prostituting herself. Here is the merging of sorrow and joy. She washes Jesus feet with her tears and wipes his feet with her hair.
Sorrow merging with joy is not the contradiction of initial impression. This is a great truth, a paradox that finds depth of delight in combining the two. Sorrow in our past and sadness in our plight, poured out over Joy in Jesus person and pity for us.
The structure we see in this scene is Jesus reclining and relaxed. She embraces Him with kisses and tears in repentance for her contemptible condition. He’s receptive, values her grief. He fills with the joy and glory in His saving love. This is the throne of grace and Jesus is grace Himself. We are forgiven of great inconsistency, great love is poured in correcting all our contradictions.
God who comforts those who are cast down comforted us. 2Cor. 7:6
Paul explains that his comfort and great joy was the mourning, grief and repenting sorrow of the people he wrote to in Corinth.
Phillips N.T. in his renditions composes 1 Peter 1:6-9 charting the paradox of sorrow and joy.
This means tremendous joy to you, I know, even though you are temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials and temptations. This is no accident, it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable than gold, and gold, as you know, even though it is ultimately perishable, must be purified by fire. This proving of your faith is planned to bring you praise and honor and glory in the day when Jesus Christ reveals himself. And though you have never seen him, yet I know that you love him. At present you trust him without being able to see him, and even now he brings you a joy that words cannot express and which has in it a hint of the glories of Heaven; and all the time you are receiving the result of your faith in him – the salvation of your own souls.
Jesus tells us:
John 16:19-23 A little while, and you will not see me…you shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And you now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man takes from you. And in that day you shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatever you shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
What hinders joy is not sorrow. The sadness felt in the labor of birth pangs only adds to the joy of the transformation of new birth. As we grow in an intimate relationship with Jesus we find the exhilaration that the Father has given us everything in Christ.