Tonight will be the third in our annual Gospel Crusade. Last night the hundreds of us in attendance sat at the feet of Glen Elliott, (preacher for the brethren that meet in Greenbrier). Glen spoke to us about the humanity of our Lord, and how He–like so many of us–was faced with grief and sorrow.
Aren’t you thankful that Christ is not just an example to follow (anyone can be an example), but is the perfect example to follow. That’s the reason we chose “DWJD” as our theme. We don’t waste our time doing what any mere man has done in the past; we do what Jesus did, and that way we know we’ll be steered in the right direction. The problem, of course, is that we don’t always do what Jesus did.
If Jesus is the perfect example, and if the Bible gives us record of what He did, why don’t we always do what Jesus did?
The answer is because we don’t always think clearly enough. A tempted mind, for example, is one that is distracted from godliness by worldly desires. An anxious mind is one that is distracted from godliness by worldly problems. And, as Glen discussed last night, a grief-stricken mind is one that can easily be distracted by worldly sorrow.
How many of us can look back on a time of tragedy in our lives and remember only bits and pieces of what we were thinking. People dealing with a close loss often describe the happenings around them as a blur, as though they are unable to focus on any one thing. Do you think the Devil gives us a moment of silence out of respect for the dead? Not a chance! He will use any opportunity to attack our thoughts and pull us away from Christ.
Yet Jesus remains our example.
Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,
And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
When He suffered the loss of a friend He did not distance Himself from God. He did not question why God would “take” someone from Him, as so many people say. In fact He drew closer to God, praying to Him at the site of Lazarus’ tomb (John 11:41-42). Though He felt emotional pain (John writes that He “groaned in Himself”-John 11:38), He kept a level head and took action.
Now, someone might wonder what the application is here, since Jesus rose Lazarus from the grave. Yet Jesus tells us the application:
Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
How do we overcome grief and sorrow? By holding on to our faith in God. Jesus wept over His friend’s death, showing that He felt the grief of the moment. He then prayed to God, showing us what to do with our grief (give it to God). And then He rose Lazarus from the dead, showing us His power to conquer grief, which is what we are to rely on to get through our griefs and sorrows.
What did He do? What can we do through Him?
Overcome grief and sorrow!
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