Weep With Those Who Weep
The world has endured plagues, wars, poverty and oppression for generations. Jesus promised that no matter what happens in the world, He will continue to build His church. It is the promise and the hope of God’s people that He will uphold us with His righteous right hand. How should we think about emerging from these difficult days?
Weep With Those Who Weep
We currently live in a world that is groaning amidst a horrific pandemic, corruption, disaster, racism and injustice (Romans 8:22). There are millions of Covid-19 cases worldwide, and the number continues to rise by the minute. Nearly 400,000 people have passed into eternity, since the first of the year, from this virus alone. Simultaneously, there are currently widespread protests both violent and peaceful across the United States and around the world, in response to the killing of George Floyd, as people advocate for racial equality. Millions are out of work and unable to provide for themselves or their families. People across all cultures are struggling through hunger, loss, oppression, fear, loneliness and pain. There are few, if any, left untouched by the sorrow left in the wake of these global events. The world is weeping.
In Romans 12:15, Christians are called to “weep with those who weep.” We are to be defined by compassionate hearts that empathize with hurting and mourning people, while lovingly pointing them to hope. As children of God, all made in His image, we are meant to come alongside those who are suffering in this world and in His church, and walk with them in their sorrow (1 Corinthians 12:26). Why should we expose ourselves to the sorrow and suffering of others?
Why Do We Weep?
Jesus did not hold the suffering and pain of this world at arm’s length, but instead He drew near and entered into it. Jesus intimately experienced and understood the sorrow, rejection and pain of this world (Isaiah 53:3). We don’t have a Savior unacquainted with the daily struggles and sadness of our lives, but one who personally knows sorrow even better than we do (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus mourned with grieving people over the effects of sin, death and suffering (John 11:35, Luke 19:41). As followers of Jesus, we imitate the example of our Savior and draw near to show love and compassion to those suffering around us.
All of us to varying degrees have already or will experience sorrow and grief in this life. Grief is a shared human experience that leaves no one unaffected. We’ve been there, or we’ll be there. In those moments, the Lord, and possibly others, have come alongside us to carry us, encourage us, speak truth in love and to weep with us. Having known the weight of sadness and the relief of comfort ourselves, we want to shoulder that weight with others so that they may endure and receive the same comfort we have received from God (2 Corinthians 1:4).
WE WILL WEEP NO MORE
We don’t sorrow like those without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). God did not indifferently watch from a distance as sin and suffering ravaged the world, but instead He took action to deal decisively with it, according to His perfect plan (Acts 2:23). In His love, He sent His Son to die and rise from the grave in victory over death, sin and Satan, and offer us redemption by grace through faith (Isaiah 63:8–9). One day, He will return for His people, make all things new and wipe away all the tears from our eyes (Revelation 21:4). Encourage others with these truths (1 Thessalonians 4:17–18). Come alongside grieving unbelievers and hold out to them the ultimate comfort available to them through our crucified and risen Savior. Weep with brothers and sisters, while reminding them of the glorious eternity that awaits us, secured by the blood of Jesus Christ. We have hope because Jesus did not pity us from a distance, but instead, He came and took our just punishment on Himself and suffered in our place (Isaiah 53:4–6).
How Should We Weep?
We weep with others by walking in dependence on our Lord (2 Corinthians 1:9). We cry out for Him to foster in us love and compassion for struggling and hurting people. We lean on Him for supernatural wisdom, courage, kindness, endurance and strength to bear the weight that comes with this type of ministry. We point to Him as our creator, all-sufficient Savior, the great physician, compassionate burden carrier and friend.
Our world is weeping. Weep with them.