In this world, particularly western societies, we have embraced a culture that defines and exalts ‘happiness’ and all its ‘expressions’. Every media venue bombards viewers and listeners with idealistic scenarios of fulfillment, contentment and success – and all without God. ‘Happiness’ is a highly marketable commodity in a dark and sinful world, proffered through acquiring possessions, using legal and illegal drugs, planning fun filled vacations and experiencing alternative life styles.
Why all these sensory distractions? Why the bombardment of pleasures and happiness, at any cost? The devil will always present sensory pleasures as relief to man’s needs and pain, yet with underlying evil motives. Firstly, the quest for pleasure and avoidance of all grief blinds us to our sin, our mortality, and our separation from God. Secondly,
Satan knows that that the Creator of the World is a ‘Man of sorrows’ and man’s anguish and grief may lead him to this Savior. In emptiness and pain, man may find Christ, and in Him new life, fellowship and a door to the power and victory He holds.
What power? What victory?
Heaviness, despair, and grief visit every believer, every follower of Jesus. We have a formidable enemy, a roaring lion, who seeks to rip us to shreds. Many days seem that the devil has done this and more, trampling upon a heart already broken. Only a true cry is needed however for wounded, even dying, sheep. The Shepherd will come, He will bring healing salve and even more. He will prepare us through the suffering to serve Him and His Body.
Right relationship with the Lord will deliver and heal and from this healing comes power, as He leads us with eternal purpose. It is the way of our ‘Commander in Chief’, Jesus Christ, whose path of suffering, betrayal, sorrow and great burden brought the Kingdom of God into our hearts with great promise. In His shadow, our sorrows are formidable points of power for us individually and collectively as the Body of Christ. The promises of God become fresh and alive. A salve to open wounds, He is “close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Nearly every Psalm expounds the faithfulness of God to get us through darkness and with divine purpose,
“I will take refuge in Your wings until the disaster has passed. I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills His purpose for me.” (Ps 57:2)
The power in the blood of Christ flows through suffering. Surrendered to Him, sorrow separates us from this pleasure driven world and aligns us with the purposes of God through the Holy Spirit. The broken vessel, surrendered to the Lord, gets the infilling. The infilling of God comes with both purpose and burden – and a call upon our hearts to respond.
Surrendered suffering opens our hearts to the burden of Christ for His Body and this lost world.
Sorrow tenderizes and enlarges our hearts for action, to “mourn with those who mourn”, and act for those who are suffering “as if you yourselves were suffering.” It is a burden laid upon our heart and spirit by the Lord, leading us to fight, serve, and minister. He may call us to ‘go’, to reach out in various ways, and give with sacrifice. The Lord’s burden for His suffering Body may lead us to fast, call us into all night prayer, and join in with like prepared vessels.
The burden of the Lord is an honored gift. The sharing of His heart is separate and unmatchable to anything in this world. The burden of God launches His Holy Spirit through the lives of surrendered men and women.
Sorrow opens a door of fellowship, communion, with the Lord and with His Body. It is a training ground from which we can, like Aaron and Hur for Moses, “hold up the hands” of our brethren in the battle. There is no power in self appointment. Only that which is commissioned by the Lord will have His promised presence and victory.
The Body of Christ is suffering greatly. There are cries of anguish heard only by God. We must avail ourselves as vessels to God, ready to be His ears, His hands, His salve, and the means of His provisions as He leads. If you have been, or are currently enrolled, in the Holy Spirit School of Suffering you are being trained for compassion, being broken for greater strength to serve. No calling here is insignificant and no calling is too high to reach. We will be enabled and prepared through He who leads.
To receive the Lord’s burden and co-labor with Him in this world will magnify our joy at His return. We will share the victory of His coming Kingdom and reign with Him for eternity.