Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:29)
Life is filled with sorrow. The common lot of all men is the struggle with the travails of sadness, grief and tragedy. There are few answers. Clouds of doubt fill the mind with despair. Hearts are ripped open with anguish as tears flow from the eyes. Life cannot be changed as events fade into the past but guilt remains and unanswered questions roam the corridors of a broken spirit. Why? When will peace return? Where can we find rest?
The gospel is the power of God unto salvation. It is also the pillar of knowledge that helps us find the difficult answers to the haunting questions of sorrow. Jesus came to save all men from sin. His mission was to destroy the works of the devil and through His resurrection conquered Satan, death and hades. The resurrection of the Lord from the grave gives assurance that joy remains after this life. There is no greater promise than to know of the eternal blessings of God. The gospel brings comfort to the downtrodden. Jesus offers an invitation for men to come to Him seeking rest. That rest is the spiritual hope of redemption but it will also serve to wipe away the tears of sorrow.
When Jesus emptied Himself becoming a man He dwelt in a human body experiencing the pains of sorrow and grief. He felt the pain of His earthly father’s death when Joseph died. Along with His brothers, sisters and Mary He experienced the emptiness of the loss of someone He loved dearly. During His ministry, He wept over Jerusalem and He wept in the death of His friend Lazarus. There were most likely other times in His life He lived the moments of grief as His eyes filled with tears. Jesus understood the meaning of these life events because He had a relationship with His heavenly Father. The joy we find in facing these uncertain times is to embrace that same relationship with the Lord.
Jesus offers rest to those who are troubled. The heavy-laden soul needs comfort. Trusting in the Lord brings a peace that passes understanding. Whether all the questions are answered does not matter. The man Job suffered incredible sorrows and yet the scriptures never reveal his need to know why. He trusted in the will of the Father and found rest. In our dark days of trial, we must go to the Lord for comfort, peace and rest. He offers a rest that no man can give. His arms encircle us with a greater calm than we can comprehend. It is sufficient that God understands all things. Allow Him to bear the burden of the sorrows of life so that peace and rest may fill your life.
Bereavement is the deepest initiation into the mysteries of human life, an initiation more searching and profound than even happy love … Bereavement is the sharpest challenge to our trust in God; if faith can overcome this, there is no mountain which it cannot remove. (W. R. Inge, Survival and Immortality, 1919)