My eyes fail from weeping, I am in torment within; my heart is poured out on the ground because my people are destroyed, because children and infants faint in the streets of the city. Lamentations 2:11
Death, destruction, sickness bring about weeping to every person. No one likes to see friends and family getting hurt or going through pain for any reason. As loved ones are suffering, a person weeps with them wishing he could make it better or remove the suffering.
Questions are always raised as to why someone must go through suffering and pain. Anger rises because of the suffering and pain, both in the individual going through it and those who love the person.
Jeremiah is watching his nation, his people being destroyed as they are sent into exile. The nation of Israel has been destroyed and overcome by the enemy. The people are suffering and he cannot do anything about it, but weep and mourn for them.
All over the world people are suffering and dying daily for many different things. One of the greatest sufferings is things brought on by sin. Many people suffer because of their own personal sinful choices that they had made. Choices are made that bring on pain, suffering, sickness and death.
The heart of the believer who is seeing this suffering, should be breaking. His heart needs to be like the heart of God. God does not want to see anyone suffer. It is only because of sin that there is suffering, sickness and death.
Nations, cities and communities are filled with people who do not know Jesus as Savior, who do not serve or love God. This should break the heart of the believer. Watching people die daily without God should be one of the greatest torments in the heart and life of a believer. This gives reason for the believer to be a witness for Jesus to this dying world.
As you watch the news or see what is going on around you, what are your thoughts? Do not be like many with a cold heart believing that they got what they deserve. Allow your heart to be broken as Jeremiah’s heart was.
Weep for those who are suffering because of sinful choices. Weep over the sin of people and nations that is being done and promoted.
Be a witness of who Jesus is and the life He offers to everyone. Share the news that God does want to forgive and proved an abundant life.
I pray today that you will see the world as God sees it; that your heart will break for those who do not know Jesus; that you will be a witness of who Jesus is; and that God will change lives through you.
Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back. Isaiah 38:7
Suffering and sickness occur on a regular basis with people all over the entire world. The range of sickness that occurs is extremely wide. Some sickness are of a minor, temporary sort, while others are life-threatening and bring about death.
One of the questions that is commonly asked by most people is why the sickness? Why does one get sick? Why does one recover and another does not? Very rarely does a person look at a sickness or disease as something good or as a benefit.
Hezekiah had followed God faithfully for a time, but then started to walk away from Him. Isaiah comes to him telling him that he will soon die and must get his life in order. After asking for some more time to live, God grants it. Hezekiah realized that the sickness was for his benefit.
There may be times when a sickness is a wakeup call to a person. One can be facing death in the face and has to make a choice as to whom he will serve, self or God.
God has mercy on people and wants everyone to be saved. He may use disasters or sickness to get one’s attention. This is especially true for those who already believe in Him and have been following Him. God can strike a person to get him to get his life in order.
Many people who are facing death suddenly have a different perspective on life. They realize what is really important, and it is not money or positions, but real life. They also begin to realize there is the rest of eternity to deal with.
As a believer, your life should be focused on living for God in every area of your life. This means you will strive to flee sin and be His witness in this world.
Take a look at your life and see how you are doing at truly following God. Does your life show one who loves God from the heart, or one who loves God only in words?
God is giving you a chance today to get your house in order. You may or may not have tomorrow, but you do have today. Don’t make God have to strike you to get your attention. Live for God while you can and receive the gift of eternal life that Jesus promised.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will live for God in every area of your life; that you will see God’s hand at work in your life; and that you will trust God with your life.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
After setting the base of love, Paul mentions joy as the second fruit of the Spirit. Joyo is something that people sing about during the Christmas season–Joy to the World. Yet, joy is something that appears to escape or evade many people.
Walking around and looking at the faces of people, very few show any signs of any type of joy in their lives. Often all that is seen is hurt, pain, suffering, and depression, anything but joy.
What is joy?
Often people will think of joy as happiness, but it is much more. Throughout the bible joy is often mentioned.
I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing (joy) in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:7
Let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them! Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles, 16: 32-34
There are also many other verses that talk about joy. Joy is found in heaven and on this earth. We are to be filled with joy.
So what is joy? It is more than just happiness, it is extreme happiness. It is happiness in spite of what is going on around you. Being filled with God’s joy is being filled with His extreme happiness and pleasure.
You may now be asking how can I be filled with joy when this world is filled with such hate, destruction, pain and suffering. My life is full of hurt and pain. I am struggling to survive, so where can I find joy in all of this?
Joy can be found in the Lord and in the salvation that He provides. Take a moment to look at and read 1 Peter 1. After talking about salvation, Peter says that in all this you greatly rejoice, even though you may be going through many trials.
Think about how exciting salvation is. All of your sins have been removed forever! You get to live forever! You have a day that is coming in which there will never be any more sorrow, pain, suffering, sickness or death! Jesus is preparing a place for you in heaven so that you may be with Him and the Father for all eternity!
All of these things are wrapped up in salvation, what Jesus did for you on the cross. And one of the greatest things is that this salvation is free. All you have to do is accept it, deny self and follow Jesus. What better news could you ever receive than this?
While the world has no hope and is seeing only death and destruction, you can see life beginning and spreading around the world. God is a God who brings life to people, not death. He wants all to be successful in Jesus and building His kingdom. This is a great joy to have.
Along with what God is providing for you, you can also see when God moves in the hearts of other people and they begin to follow Jesus. All of heaven is rejoicing over the new salvation. You can also rejoice with great joy.
Now as a believer and follower of Jesus, you are filled with God’s Holy Spirit. You have His Holy Spirit living in you and guiding you. If you have His Holy spirit living in you, then there should be some sign of His presence in your life. This is where the fruit of the Spirit comes in.
You should be bearing fruit as to what is inside of you. Your life should be one that is bearing and showing love (self-sacrificing love) and joy. Do not be like many in the church walking around with a serious frown on their face and no joy in life at all.
Allow joy to overflow in your life so much that those around you cannot help but see it and get a taste of it in their own lives. Live in the positive mindset that God has saved you, given you a new life and He is in control. This will show joy to this world.
Thank you for stopping by and reading this. Next week I will be looking at the fruit of the Spirit–peace. Until then, may your life be filled with God’s love and joy.