From Solomon –
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
And from Paul –
Rejoice with those who rejoice;
Weep with those who weep.
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.
From God’s Perspective
June 29, 2020
by Pastor Chuck Swindoll
Any study of the life of the apostle Paul requires a serious look at the subject of pain. Suffering is not a pleasant subject to explore.
Explaining Paul’s words to the Romans, John Stott writes, “It is not only our fragile body which makes me groan; it is also our fallen nature, which hinders us from behaving as we should. Our groans express both present pain and future longing. Some Christians, however, grin too much (they seem to have no place in their theology for pain) and groan too little.”
The man has grown weary of the perpetual Christian grin—frankly, so have I. If you groan and allow your countenance to reflect any measure of inner turmoil, people frown at you judgmentally, as if to suggest you’re not walking in the Spirit.
Don’t get me wrong. I find nothing offensive about Christians laughing. I wrote an entire book affirming that God’s people need to laugh more. Laughter demonstrates authenticity in our lives. I simply believe there’s no need to glue a permanent Cheshire grin to our faces, lest we look like we’re not living a victorious Christian life.
If a fellow believer tells you he’s going through a particularly tough time, I urge you not to insist he smile. (I tell the folks at the church not to ask me to listen to one of my tapes on joy when they notice I’m feeling down.)
Don’t urge people to sing along with you on some tune you think they should be singing. Sometimes we just don’t feel like singing or smiling. After all, God gave us more than one emotion on purpose.
My desire is to help equip you for what life will inevitably sling across your path. I understand you may be bearing a burden or heartache, the likes of which I’ve never known. You may be living with pressures or some debilitating physical disease or emotional pain I couldn’t even begin to imagine.
In almost four decades of pastoral ministry, I’ve often seen the evidence of inner turmoil surface on the faces of God’s people. In those times, when I feel at a loss to offer encouragement, I am most thankful for the Scriptures. In God’s Word we not only discover His will for our lives, we find words of genuine comfort for those times when life comes unglued.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
1 Peter 1:3-6
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.