Thursday, October 29, 2009

"With Them That Weep"

We are living in days when many thousands of born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ in the United States have lost their livelihood, their homes, and the life they had long known and loved. Others have lost loved ones in Iraq and Afghanistan. In other nations, persecution of believers is increasing at an alarming scale, and uncertainty about the future is felt by everyone everywhere.

"Weep with them that weep." (Romans 12:15)

Our Lord is "full of compassion," that is, He feels the feelings of those who hurt (Psalm 86:15). He calls us to the same. "Having compassion one of (for) another, love as brethren. Be pitiful" (I Peter 3:8). We must choose to care, and prayerfully devote ourselves to God for those who share with us the grace of life in Christ. For many, we will only be able to pray, but such an "only" is as vast in effect as "the unsearchable riches of Christ" accessed and dispensed thereby. For others, we will be called to help, to give, to encourage, and offer a loving heart and a willing shoulder for their tears.

Some brother or sister lost their job, their career, today. Another walked away from a beloved, but foreclosed home where the echoes of family devotion and joy still ring. A mother found out that her son died in Afghanistan. And somewhere, a fellow believer sits alone and lonely in a prison because he loves the Lord Jesus too much to deny Him, regardless of sacrificed liberty. In Heaven, a Heart grieves in such grief known by beloved children whom God's perfect wisdom determines must not be instantly delivered from the present distress. It is a pierced Heart that once knew sorrow to an infinite degree, and that confirms through much shared pain that "we have not a High Priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities" (Hebrews 4:15).

If we have believed, this Heart beats in our own chest through the presence of the Holy Spirit. "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us" (Romans 5:5). We may not always feel it, and reminders will often be required to help us shed tears of compassion for brothers and sisters who may not have any more tears to shed. But the compassion is there, and we must be sure to express it in whatever form our Lord leads us to exhibit toward our hurting brethren. The writer of Hebrews closes our consideration with the call to keep close in mind and heart the truth that so long as we live in a fallen world, our joy in Christ will necessarily be accompanied by the sorrow of our Lord's loving compassion toward the hurting...
"Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body."
(Hebrews 13:3)

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