"Jesus wept." John 11:35
It is hard in painful circumstances to know if and how God grieves when his people are suffering. The New Testament gives us a picture of our Jesus, a part of the Godhead, who is not indifferent to grief. If you know his story, you know that Jesus suffered profoundly and I think there is more to that lesson than meets the eye.
Isaiah tells us that, "He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain."
You see, our God tells us to weep with those who weep because he stands beside us and grieves with us through our trials. It is a specious argument to say that our God does not grieve because he doesn't have to suffer as we are in that moment. However, I do think it is important to note that God is our creator and therefore knows what will come for us after the clouds part and we can see more clearly.
The Old Testament, unlike the New Testament, offers a God who sees our suffering and rescues us. It was a much different goal, and it was that of establishing his kingdom as well as pointing to Jesus. But what did he do? he rescued his people over and over.
My friends, God grieves. He doesn't just grieve for the sake of it or because he's emotional in a human way of understanding the word, but he grieves with and for his people and for the state of our fallen world.
Instead of giving you the whole spiel on how we are living in a fallen world, I am going to give you this:
My friends, we are canvases and God is our Renoir. He is adding all of our lines, and filling in our specific colors until we are perfectly finished portraits (perfection in heaven).
We are never alone in our sorrow. God sees our pain, he tells us over and over in scripture that he grieves with us and we see that Jesus wept... many times. My friend and writer Kathleen once said, “We may never know this side of heaven what the purpose of a specific trial was. Not everything is about us as individuals, sometimes it’s about us as a corporate body or about someone else. Sometimes something that is good for us just never feels good to us. And I think that’s okay.” I think this point is beautifully demonstrated through Jesus who was perfect and yet suffered more than we could ever fathom, and my friends, he did it for his people... the corporate body as my friend said. God gave us his perfect son, in a way, to show us how much he cares for his body and that he is with and for us. That he grieves with and for us.
This week, use a study Bible or online search to write down at least 3 verses that talk about how God comforts us and how Jesus grieved. The reason for grief, is so that we learn to pray and speak to our God so that he can introduce his voice uniquely in each of our lives through his Word.
God grieves with us, for us and around us. He is not an indifferent God when it comes to his people. Really search the Scriptures and you will see throughout its entirety how he grieves, and it will change your whole perspective on what kind of God we truly have.