Jesus Wept―Finding Hope in the Sorrow

Jesus Wept

Jesus wept.

John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the Bible, but some feel it is one of the most powerful.

Why?

Lazarus had died, and Jesus spent time with Lazarus’ sisters seeing them through their grief. Jesus hadn’t hurried to Bethany or spoken a command to prevent Lazarus’ death, but at the point of His weeping, He knew He’d be raising Lazarus from the dead. So why did He weep?

There are a lot of wonderful commentaries on the subject of why Jesus wept. For insightful, doctrinal reasons, I’d refer you one of my favorite writings on the subject via Jon Bloom’s perspective from John Piper’s ministry and the Desiring God blog and website.

For me, I find great comfort in knowing that Jesus wept and grieved with Mary and Martha over his dear friend Lazarus. He showed His full humanity in connection with exercising His full deity in raising Lazarus from the dead. In showing His humanity, He grieved.

Does He grieve when I weep?

Does He grieve when a parent mourns the death of their child?

Does He grieve when villages are wiped out from disease or atrocities?

Does He grieve when a child is abused and forever changed?

Does He grieve when a husband makes the choice to abandon his marital vows?

Does He grieve when a wife is caught up in the compliments of another man?

Does He grieve when families fall apart from not seeking His path?

Does He grieve when we grieve??

Yes. He grieves for us as His children. He grieves for a fallen world.

In regards to Lazarus:  Knowing all He knew, knowing all He was capable of doing in the situation, and still knowing what He would do afterward, our amazing God and Lord wept.

In regards to us:  Knowing all He knows, knowing all He is capable of doing in our situation, and still knowing how―with our obedience, love and cooperation―He plans to work our hurts and our weeping for good, we can know He weeps with us, too. He weeps with us about what we have done, about what has been done to us, and about what has been done in this world.

Through my own trials and challenges, I know He has wept with me as He’s held me in His strength to walk me through my anguish. I know He has wept as He has comforted me in His loving arms.

Jesus wept. He weeps with you, too. Go to Him.

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Monday’s Musings — At a Loss for Words

This has happened to me more times than I care to remember, and I know it has also happened to you:

Someone is hurting through their circumstances. You know it, and you have no idea what to say to them. So, you don’t really say much of anything.

When we’re at a loss for words because of the hurt another is experiencing and we choose to say nothing, we fall short of providing hope to them. The simplicity of a few words to tell your friend or acquaintance they are being thought of can lift them up. Saying nothing does nothing.

After going through my own devastating hurts in the last few years, I’ve experienced this from the other side, also. There were many times I’d run into someone who knew bits of what I was going through, but they’d skirt the topic, avoid me completely, or just stand there acting like nothing ever happened. I’m sure most never meant to be hurtful in their avoidance, but doing so did not help me at all. The people who offered me a kind word or thought were the ones who impacted me. They were the ones who offered me a piece of hope.

Yes, there are times when words are not necessary. You’ll know what that looks like with your closest friends. But, truly, how many times have you walked away from a co-worker, an acquaintance, a family member or a friend in pain and not said anything? I’m guessing when you did, your next few moments were thinking about YOURSELF and how YOU didn’t know what to say.

“Why didn’t I say something?”

“What should I have said?”

“Wow, I fumbled through that conversation.”

“I am so glad that isn’t me.”

“I am so glad my life isn’t that messed up.”

In these circumstances, why do we often think first of ourselves instead of thinking about the person who needs a glimmer of hope in their life? We, instead, have the choice and the chance to genuinely think about them and find a way to help them through their trial.

So back up.

Back up to the approach where someone is hurting through their circumstances. You know it, and you have no idea what to say to them.

This time, here’s what to say:

“I’m thinking of you.”

“I’m praying for you.”

“You have been in my thoughts.”

“I will continue to hold you in prayer.”

“I can’t begin to understand all you are going through, but, please know, I will pray for you.”

Do you see the hope? Do you see how you are still using the word “I,” but the focus has become about them and what YOU can do FOR them. Prayer does this.

When we lift others up in prayer, their trials begin to have hope. The amazing thing about this, too, is that when we have a chance to offer hope to others, we, in turn, feel more hopeful.