Sunday, October 11th, 2015
Poor People (Part 13)
Have I not wept for him who was in trouble? Has not my soul grieved for the poor?
Job 30:25 (NKJV)
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Matthew 5:4 (NKJV)
John 11:35 (NKJV)
Grief is a common denominator in the human equation. Every person on earth suffers trouble and loss: some more than others. How we react to misfortune reflects our character and determines our path.
If poor people share grief, consider two ways they share it:
1) 'They weep with those who weep' (Romans 12:15), like Jesus did. They go out of their way to bring comfort. More than any gesture of sympathy, more than any statement of condolence, they share the load of grief by their presence. In deed, they 'Bear one another's burdens' (Galatians 6:2).
2) They exhibit grief over their own sins. 'He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy' (Proverbs 28:13).* Because exposing our prior mistakes humbles us and makes us relatable. Even Jesus shared His weakest moments, as in the Garden of Gethsemane.**
Because if suffering doesn't move us, or we refuse to tell our hard stories, our hearts may be seriously diseased. By a constriction of our compassion, by a decreasing flow of joy and tears, by a stiffening of the face and neck, heart conditions become quite visible.
'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; We mourned to you, and you did not lament' (Matthew 11:17).***
Therein, we must mourn like poor people mourn. To do so turns mourning into dancing.
To Be Continued...
* 'If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness' (1 John 1:9).
* 'For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation' (2 Corinthians 7:10).
** Jesus never sinned, but He did make His torments public.
*** Commentary on Matthew 11:17: 'They did not lament, weep, or shed one tear, but sat unmoved, like stocks and stones...' (Gill's Exposition of the Bible): http://biblehub.com/commentaries/matthew/11-17.htm
Short article: 'What does 'Blessed are those who mourn' mean?' http://www.gotquestions.org/blessed-are-those-who-mourn.html
Five Stage of Grief: http://grief.com/the-five-stages-of-grief/
God weeps for the sexual abuse of children (see Pope Francis' Sunday morning address on his final day in America): http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/27/us/pope-francis-sex-abuse-victims/index.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Poor People series.