In the strict sense, “It came to pass” is an old time way of saying, “Later this is what happened.” Yet often the jovial meaning I applied is true.
Have you ever been nearly driven to distraction because someone you really care about is going through a time of weeping over a person, an event, a loss? We all have, but keep in mind tears, and the emotions that are at the root of them are only upon us in the now and they will pass in time, and eventually they will cease to exist.
Revelation 21:4, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
Being naturally of a morbid heart set, I have fought the battle often with tears of frustration beating me down, but continuing on knowing that the tears and inner feelings that accompany them are temporary. God promises to wipe away our tears along with the assurance there will be no more death, sorrow, crying, or pain, for all these are passed away, or as I said it, “these painful things came to pass.”
Please understand that until Jesus wipes away the tears and their cause, it’s okay to cry and to feel. If we are unable to cry or feel, we are really in desperate need of help, for the Bible speaks of people who are “past feeling” whose hearts are covered with a thick callous. These are the poor souls who do not permit anything to trouble them. Their attempts to eat, drink and be merry are a cover-up for the inner emptiness of life as they merely exist in it. At the foundation of this type of existence is a soul that is dead to the realities of Jesus and God’s Word.
David, the shepherd boy who became a giant killer and king gave us a key thought that can be the catalyst of positive change. Samuel the prophet wrote of David’s inner strength in the most discouraging circumstance: 1 Samuel 30:6, “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”
A sincere turning to Christ in our stressful times will trump whatever circumstances are surrounding us. PTL.
Keep in mind that many times God will use us to be a “word of comfort” to those who are going through it in some way. A simple sincere smile from you may be used of the Lord to dry a person’s tears. A compliment, or just simply standing or sitting with someone can make all the difference. Surely if you have accumulated any age you have been on the receiving end of such encouragement.
Modern preaching seems to be marked by two extremes, that of simply striving to make folks feel good and the other pole, simply giving out the truth. Both extremes leave much to be desired in that the truth according to John 8:32 makes you free, that freedom being the kind that permits living and feeling and expressing joy. The late poet, Maya Angelou said it this way, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
So why can’t all of us, preachers included, speak the truth in love (with feeling) and give a darkening world feelings, sensibilities that will stand the tests that God permits to come our way as in Job’s case.
In his mostly now forgotten story, Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens wrote this line about Oliver having received a kind word from another child:
“For the rest of his life, Oliver Twist remembers a single word of blessing spoken to him by another child because this word stood out so strikingly from the consistent discouragement around him.”
I paid special note to the phrase “this word stood out so strikingly from the consistent discouragement around him.”
The prevalent discouragement around us is the opportunity the Lord has given to us to trust Him and give out a word of encouragement.
I take the liberty to share the word encouragement for comfort in this closing passage.
2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
Copyright © 2014 Larry Lilly
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