So learn to think of the good things that can happen to you. Be thankful for the good things your parents did for you, so that you are alive today. God can help you to adjust to the difficulties and trials you are facing. So don't ever give up hope. Don't envy the lot of those who seem to have a better deal in life.
Perhaps you sinned and conceived a child before getting married. I know many girls, in such situations, who made the right decision, to have their babies. Some kept their babies with them; others gave them away for adoption. But they did not kill their babies. And when they humbled themselves before God and repented, He gave them understanding husbands too. The Lord took away their guilt and shame.
So you can trust God even in such dark times - even if others malign you. The Lord is waiting to receive you and offer you a new life. Some time ago, we read in the newspapers in India of three sisters in a family all of marriageable age who together committed suicide, by hanging themselves in their bedroom. Their father had been unable to afford the large dowry that the parents of every boy was asking, if their son was to marry any of these girls - and the father was getting desperate and frustrated.
They decided to put an end to their father's misery by ending their own lives!! How tragic! Perhaps you are facing a similar situation, where every marriage proposal that comes for you ends up being cancelled because of the large dowry demanded. Don't get discouraged. God is your Father and He knows your need and cares for you. Marriage is not the greatest thing in the world. Fulfilling God's plan for your life is. So dedicate yourself totally to God and seek to do His will alone in your life. And you will have a fulfilling life when you come to the end of it, whether you are married or not.
Some of the greatest missionaries in the world have been unmarried women. Have you failed in some examination, even after trying your best? Do you feel that others do not sympathise with you? Does the devil make you feel that your whole life is a failure? Don't entertain those demonic thoughts, for they can finally lead you to the point where you may try to end your life.
Jesus Wept with Compassion
You can stop weeping, my sister. Your life need not come to a standstill just because you failed in one examination - or even in many examinations. Do those exams again. One day you will succeed. Never give up. And if you don't pass, or don't have the intelligence or the financial resources to study further, remember that God has chosen the poor and the weak of this world to shame the clever and the rich. God loves you just as you are - whether you pass your examinations or not!
He doesn't look at your marks-card before accepting you! Perhaps you have been disappointed in love! The one you had hoped to marry has now married someone else. And you weep - as all youngsters will do at such times. But if that young man married someone else, that only goes to prove that he was not in the will of God for you. God has someone better or something better for you - perhaps a single life of service to Him. God allows many things in our lives to make Himself more precious to us than everything and everyone else in the world.
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Let Him then be the fairest of all on earth to you from now onwards. So to those who were forsaken by their parents, let me say: There is no need to find out why your parents abandoned you. You were not a mistake, for all your days were written in God's book from eternal ages Psalm , You were chosen by God before He created the worlds Ephesians , You are not responsible for the mistakes of your parents.
You have pined long enough for a family. Rejoice now that you have a Heavenly Father Who wants to make you a part of His family. And remember: He never abandons His children. He has loved you with an everlasting love and He has lavished that love on you. Picture yourself always as a child, safe in the loving arms of God your Father.
You were created in His image and He longs to bless you and to be available to you always. He is waiting to show you all that He has kept in store for you.
Weeping Amidst Celebration - City Harvest
One day He will take you to live in the mansion He has prepared for you - a far better place than any earthly house or inheritance. But you must accept His offer to become His child and be a part of His family. Then no one can wrench you out of His hand. So give your whole life to Him. As many as received Him [Jesus], to them He gave the right to become the children of God even to those who believe in His Name John You can become a child of the heavenly Father if you admit that you are a sinner, accept the death of Jesus for your sins. Repent of all your sins and forsake them - and He will cleanse you thoroughly in the blood that He shed for you.
Forgive all those who have wronged you - including your parents. Don't allow memories of the past to haunt you or condemn you. You cannot fulfil God's plan for your life, if you keep feeling condemned about your past. You must put your past behind you once for all. Put your past under the blood of Jesus - and press on towards the future. Jesus suffered and died not only to make you clean, but also to make you feel clean. When Christ comes into your life, you are justified before God. And God looks at you now, just as if you had never sinned in your entire life.
Let the realisation of that fact bring joy to your heart - always. Thus you, like many of us who did what I just wrote, will belong to the wonderful family of God. As you read the Bible, you will hear God speaking to your heart. And when you speak to Him in prayer, you will have the assurance that He hears from heaven and will answer you. One day He will call you His beloved child as well - one in whom He is well pleased.
Do not weep any more. You are not an orphan. You are the child of a King. I read a letter some time ago, that beautifully expresses what I am trying to say. It was written by Barry Adams, who has very kindly given me permission to quote his inspired compilation here in full:. The words you are about to read are true. They will change your life if you let them - for they come from the heart of God. He loves you. And He is the Father you've been looking for all your life. This is His love letter to you.
A good friend of mine suddenly lost her husband in a tragic accident. He had not even wished his young wife good-bye. His life was snuffed out by the cruel mistake of a drunken driver who ran him over on the road. And this happened as he was on his way to a prayer-meeting. Another friend of mine lost her husband after a very brief illness. That unwelcome visitor called "Death" comes uninvited to every home. Only the bereaved one can understand the gnawing pain and the loneliness that death brings.
Your thoughts are full of memories of your loved one and you keep wishing that you could re-live those happy days with him again. But it is not to be. Tears that flow day after day and torrents of weeping at night are the only relief that you get from your overwhelming grief. The Bible says that our Lord makes a note of all our tears:.
One precious child of God read the following article the very month her young husband went to be with the Lord. When I met her, I saw how she had found great comfort in God through it:.
Another woman could not live anymore with her alcoholic husband and felt she had come to the limits of patience. All her friends suggested that she separate from him. She was at her wits end. She had nowhere to turn and she did not know how she would ever be able to cope all by herself. Are you suffering something like that? Is your loneliness arising from a separation from your husband?
Are you haunted with memories that bring regret and remorse? Do you find yourself wishing that those angry outbursts had never occurred? Even if you are a single parent facing tangled, complex situations because of your children and surrounded by unhelpful relatives, nothing is too difficult for the Lord. He will enter into your life and undo every knot that Satan has tied and solve every problem - if you will only yield your all- unreservedly to Him. So stop weeping. Just hand over the broken fragments of your life to Him.
He is the Master-Potter who can remake every broken vessel. We are but clay in the Potter's Hands Jeremiah Are you facing the cold, chilly blast of another woman who has entered your husband's life? The Lord can help you to forgive both of them. Your life need not be blighted even by that. Don't shed tears of anger. The Lord will make up for the loss of your earthly partner. He can even change your partner's heart and turn it towards you once again. He is a God Who does wonders. Don't plan something in hatred. Instead, ask God to fill your heart with His love and to give you grace to speak words of love to your husband, instead of bitter words.
God is near those who are crushed in spirit. Perhaps you longed to be married, but nothing has worked out for you as yet. Find your comfort in Jesus alone. He will not leave us comfortless. Perhaps you are disturbed each time you hear the news that someone is getting married. You don't feel like congratulating her. Instead you feel like weeping in your room. Jesus is near you and feels your pain. The dark nights of weeping covered up by outward tranquillity in the daytime, are all known to Him.
He does not stand aloof when His beloved child goes through sorrow. His heart bled for us. He will reach down and touch you and pour His healing balm into your heart and your sorrow will become bearable. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. And your faithfulness in this trial will finally bring you an eternal weight of glory. I have heard the testimonies of some widows whose husbands were martyred for the Lord.
What a note of victory there was in their words! It amazed me! How could they forgive the ones who killed their husbands? The Master who prayed for those who crucified Him saying, " Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing ", alone can help us. I met a poor, young widow once, whose husband had been axed to death in North India for preaching the gospel.
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I was moved immensely as I heard her testimony. Standing there with her little children, she said that her prayer was that in the very place where her husband's blood was shed, a church should be born. Indeed, she was a triumphant, weeping sister. The blood of Jesus cries out for mercy, unlike the blood of Abel that cried for vengeance. God is the God of the widows and fatherless. Jesus taught a parable on prayer where He likened us to a widow who went to an unjust judge for protection against her adversary.
She persisted and thus got what she wanted. Jesus once publicly appreciated a widow who offered two mites - what others considered as so little - to God. But she gave from her poverty and it cost her, her whole livelihood to make that offering. There we learn that Jesus takes note of every little sacrifice that we make for Him - and especially the sacrifices that we make for Him through grief and tears.
The Bible says that a godly widow will " wash the feet of the saints " 1 Timothy - or in other words she will refresh the hearts of God's people by her service. A widow can do that only if she has first laid her own burdens, sorrows and tears at the feet of the Lord. I got a desperate long-distance telephone call from a mother one day. She had sent her son to study in a college some hundreds of miles away. There his friends had led him into a "Christian" cult-group. Instead of completing his education, the boy had become a fanatical member of that group, and was now giving away all his money to them.
He had adopted their ways and their language, and wanted to have nothing more to do with his family. The group quoted Scriptures to justify their actions, but all sensible Christians could clearly see that they were wrong. The leader of the cult would give directions to the members on every little detail of their lives and they lived as a close-knit family. Although they claimed to be happy, they were empty and under bondage. Only a few were ever able to leave the cult. The parents had not given time for God in their family, when the children were growing up. It was only when calamity struck that they began to seek God.
Now, they realised that God alone could speak to their son. Only prayer could break the strong chains that bound him. I think of another young man - this one grew up in a fine Christian family - who was taught by his parents from childhood, to be separate from the world. When he went to college, the peer pressure there made him succumb to wild drinking parties. But God answered the fervent prayers of his distraught parents and today he is a fine Christian man.
Some children who have grown up in godly homes may, at times, have temporary setbacks when they seek to try out the pleasures of this world. We mothers must then pray them out of such dark days. Some weep because their children are born with physical defects or health problems, or are suffering from incurable diseases. Others, because their children have strayed away from the Good Shepherd and are living like the prodigal son "in a far country" with no communication with the parents, even while living under the same roof as them. Some are weeping because their son or daughter is lost in a cult and will have nothing more to do with the parents.
Some children are victims of alcohol or drug abuse. Others are trapped in wrong friendships. Some have got into criminal ways and are arrested and locked up. In all these situations, the child may have been going through pressures that the parents could not understand or fathom. Maybe the child never felt that he 'belonged'.
He may have felt isolated because of the generation gap between him and his parents. There might also have been a lack of communication between the parents and him. Our children cannot run away from the Lord forever. His love and mercy follows after them and catches up with them finally. A godly woman once said, "Nothing is too great for His power and too small for His love".
I visited a Christian family once, where all the four children had been afflicted with a physical disability, that made them waste away when they reached adolescence. Three of the children were bedridden and the oldest had died. But the whole family was still radiant with the love of God. The mother worked hard to make life comfortable for her children, even though she knew that she would have to lay them down in their coffins one by one some day. She wept, but she knew that she would see them in healthy, resurrected bodies one day.
A few months back I heard that all the children were now in heaven, and that their life of suffering on earth was over. God gives us our children as a loan for a short period on earth, to train them for His kingdom. I read a poem once that tells us of our responsibility for the children God gives us:. It may be for a year or two, or five, or four, or three.
But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me? He'll bring his charms to gladden you; and should his stay be brief, You'll always have his memories as comfort in your grief. I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return. But there are lessons taught on earth I want this child to learn. I've looked across the whole wide world and searched for teachers true; And from the folk who live on earth, I now have chosen you. Now, will you give him all your love, nor think the labour vain, Nor hate Me when I come to take this lost child back again?
For all the joys this child will bring, the risk of grief we'll run. We'll shelter him with tenderness, we'll love him while we may. And for the happiness he'll bring, we'll ever grateful stay. But if You come and call him home much sooner than we'd planned, We'll brave the bitter grief that come and try to understand. Remember, dear mother, that children feel many things inwardly. But it is difficult for them to express their feelings in words. So you need to be understanding when they are moody or silent or withdrawn.
They are not being evil. They are just struggling with something. Whatever your child is going through, remember that there is One in heaven Who understands them fully. He stood at the bedside of Jairus' dead daughter and raised her up. Picture that scene, where Jesus took a few of His disciples and the grief-stricken parents of the little girl into the room and shut the door.
Then He raised her from the dead and gave her back to her parents and told them to give her something to eat. Let Jesus do the same for you today. Allow Him to take you as you weep, into the privacy of your room. He will do something just as wonderful for your child too. Don't be discouraged. All mothers who pray regularly for their children will remember occasions when they suddenly got an intense burden to pray for a particular child.
After a time of prayer, they find that the burden has gone. Later they discover that it was exactly at that time that their child was facing some danger. This is how God makes us prayer-warriors on behalf of our children. Prayer is not the last resort, but the only answer to the problems our children face. The widow in Nain got her son back from the dead. Your child may be spiritually dead and even stinking like Lazarus was. But he or she too will hear the call of Jesus and come out alive.
So cry to the Lord day and night for your child. God has given us many promises and He will fulfil them all and answer you speedily. Your eye has not seen, neither has your ear heard yet, what the Lord has kept in store for you, if you wait for Him. This verse has been a hidden spring that has strengthened me so many times in my trials.
I can testify to innumerable answers to prayer with regard to my own children, in so many varied circumstances. I give all the glory to God for what He has done for all my four boys in answer to prayer. I know that prayer changes things. It can change things for you too - and for your children as well. God is able to do far more for us and our children than we can ask or even imagine Ephesians If your child is the victim of a bad habit, never blame him. He is already hurting enough. He wants to be free, but he cannot break free. And never blame yourself either. That is not the time to say, "If only I had been a better mother.
We all do our best, but we make many mistakes as well. Confess to the Lord anything that is bothering you, and get it over with. Get rid of all feelings of regret and condemnation. Condemning oneself is one of Satan's sharpest arrows with which he wounds and paralyses many of God's children and makes them prayerless. We are in a battle-field, fighting for the lives of our children.
So let us not spend our energies weeping. There is work to be done and it has to be done right now. Ask God to help you as you speak with your child. Let God break down the barriers that have been built up over the years. Your tearful pleas will work wonders - both with God and with your son and daughter.
You need to fight on your child's behalf - because he is helpless. It is you who needs to be strong. As David snatched a lamb out of a lion's mouth once, we too have to snatch our children out of Satan's mouth. You were a weak, timid woman until now. But rise up now, dry your tears and join the battle in the heavenlies. Feed on the Bread of Life, use the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, to fight the devil and to chase him out of your family.
God's Word must be precious to you at such times. Don't let this trial with your child sap your spiritual energy. God's wonderful promises can sustain you in your deepest moments of sorrow. Read the psalms of David. They have a special power to lift our spirits in times of trial and sorrow. Go to God and ask Him to "show you a sign of His favour" towards you Psalm Claim promises such as these:. Has He said and shall He not do it? The Lord Who delivered David from the snares that his enemies laid for him, will deliver your child too Read and claim Psalm Treat your child as if he has a disease, not as though he is a criminal.
Never say words like this to your child at any time: "How could you do such a thing to us? Perhaps you are ashamed, because of what others may say about your child. But don't care for the opinions of man. My husband always says that you should throw man's opinions in the garbage bin! Your child is worth more than any man on earth. So don't waste your time weeping for the honour of your family that is tarnished. Weep for your child that he may be restored to God. That's all that matters. Speak words of healing, forgiveness, faith and reconciliation to your child.
Pray in faith and rescue him out of the devil's trap. Use the prayer support of Christian friends. Be ready to receive your child unconditionally, just as the father received the prodigal son. If necessary, be willing to get medical, professional help for him. There are people trained to handle such problems among youth and you can get their help. Or you could read up about your child's problem and help him yourself.
Above all, be united with your husband and pray for your child. If there is division in the home, the devil has a foothold. Jesus said that if two are united in His name and ask the Father for anything, it will be granted. So don't blame anyone. Even if your child may be reaping the consequences of a wayward life, remember that there is hope for everyone. Psalm says, "I thought on my ways and turned my feet to Thy testimonies". The prodigal son returned to his father's home finally. I am sure his parents must have wept much for him. But one day their tears of sorrow were turned into tears of joy.
Whatever is happening to your child right now may have come as a surprise to you. But it was not a surprise to God. He knew what was going to happen and He already has a solution for it. He has a solution for every problem and even for our every mistake. So we can turn to Him with total confidence and perfect assurance that He will bring our children out of every crisis.
Nevertheless I am continually with Thee; Thou hast taken hold of my right hand. With Thy counsel Thou wilt guide me, and afterward receive me to glory" Psalm God will never test you beyond what you can bear. Weeping may last for a night but joy comes in the morning. All these crushing experiences make us yield more fully to the Lord and make us wait for Him to work for us and within us. One day even this trial will come to an end.
But don't wait passively. Be ready to act when necessary. God will give you wisdom as to what to do. Bear the crushing, but work while you weep. We are all so self-reliant and self-sufficient that only trials can teach us to pray and depend on the Lord. The Lord has taught us to fast and pray. Knock at Heaven's gates and they will be opened for you, however timid and weak you may be. In the secret hours of the night, pray your heart out to God. You will soon see heaven open and the answer to your supplication. Write down the promises He gave you in those dark days and you will see each one like a rainbow or a precious gem that you can pass on to help others one day.
The Father who hears your prayers in secret will reward you openly. He has also said that He will answer us speedily. So persevere in prayer until you get the answer. It is not God's will that your child should be lost eternally. The kingdom of God belongs to those who take it by violence; Jesus challenges us to take the kingdom. Pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord Fasting applies not only to food. We can fast from the vanities of life, from living a life of pleasure and from doing what our selfish passions dictate.
It is not difficult to fast when there is a crisis - for our appetite vanishes anyway. But fasting is a choice that we make. Jesus said that some demons could be cast out only if we fasted and prayed. We do not wrestle with human beings but with demonic forces. Satan is furious because his end is near and he is throwing newer and more cunning missiles at God's people. But Satan and his demons were all defeated by Jesus on Calvary. In the book of Revelation, we see a description of their final end. And by faith, we see Satan already in the lake of fire.
Praise God! I heard a godly man once say that prayer is like a rope with which we can pull our children back to God. In 2 Kings , we read of a creditor a picture of the devil who had come to take away the sons of a poor widow, as slaves. The prophet Elisha told the widow to go home and collect empty vessels from her neighbours, shut the door behind her and her sons a picture of prayer and to pour out the oil a picture of the sufficiency of the Holy Spirit.
Her debt was thus paid and her sons were miraculously freed from the creditor. That poor widow must have wept and prayed to God, because she did not want to lose her children. Her prayer and weeping must have been desperate. And God answered her prayer. My dear sister, God will do the same for you. Are you weeping today for your children? Let me give you a promise from Hebrews : "Women received back their dead by resurrection.
The Sorrows of Jesus
Claim that for your loved one who is spiritually dead at this time. God will bring him back to life. God wants to show you great and marvelous things in answer to prayer Jeremiah - and He always plans to do good to you Jeremiah ; Jesus asked her, 'Woman why are you weeping? Jesus knew why Mary was weeping. But I think He was asking her as we would ask our child , "Why do you need to weep?
Jesus Himself wept at the tomb of Lazarus. He knew that Lazarus would be raised from the dead. But He wept because of the terrible state mankind had come to, because of sin. But death has now has lost its sting - ever since Jesus rose from the grave. One childhood memory that stands out vividly in my mind is that of a mother wailing for her dead children. In the town where I grew up, there was a poor woman whose house had collapsed after heavy rains, and her two teen-aged sons had been killed in that calamity. We passed by her broken-down shack on our way to school and saw the bodies of the boys who never woke up from their sleep that morning.
That devastated mother was calling out to them hysterically, in sorrow and anguish, as if to waken them. But it was in vain. She knew they were dead. Every onlooker was moved to tears. God cares for such mothers too, who have lost all hope.
Recently on our national holiday a terrible earthquake destroyed whole towns in Gujarat. What a lot of weeping there must have been in those regions. How many were orphaned and rendered homeless in a matter of seconds! Earthquakes are not necessarily God's punishment. When a tower fell down in Siloam in the time of Jesus, He said that those who died were not more sinful than others. He warned us that in the last days there would be wars, famines and earthquakes.
So earthquakes only remind us that our Lord's coming is near. We must repent and be alert and pray. We must pray earnestly for our land of India that the Lord will be merciful to this land which is so steeped in idolatry. Mary Magdalene had been grieving like all the others who loved Jesus, when He was cruelly crucified. She went early that Sunday morning, after the sabbath, to have a glimpse of the body of Jesus, to embalm it and to weep at the tomb.
Mary Magdalene was the first one to see the Lord after His resurrection. How thrilled she must have been when she recognized Jesus and when He spoke to her! She had no more tears of sorrow after that! Jesus then commissioned her to go and tell His disciples that He was alive and would meet them too. After all this, Mary still continued to be the same humble, ordinary sister that she had always been in the early church.
She did not promote herself as the first one to see the risen Lord. She remained in the background. It was the once-fearful apostles whom the Lord would use for all the public ministry in the church. What an example Mary Magdalene is for us sisters. Even when the Lord gives us wonderful revelation, let Him and the church get all the glory. Dear sister, in your sorrow, think of Jesus who wept at Lazarus' grave. Think of Mary who wept. It's all right for us to cry when a loved one departs from this world.
It takes time for us to get over such intense sorrow. But we are not to grieve like the ungodly people in the world. Screaming and wailing, speaking words that bring dishonour to God and questioning God, must never be found in us at any time. I have heard people curse God at funerals and it has made me feel like leaving the place. The heathen should know that we have a living hope for the future.
Those who die in the Lord have gone immediately into the presence of the Lord. Because Jesus rose again from the dead, we have a glorious hope for the future. Sometimes the hardest thing to deal with is the question of whether our loved one who passed away is eternally lost or not. We must finally leave this question with the Lord. The secret things belong to the Lord. No human being can answer that question for us. Don't ever go to fortune-tellers, or to even so-called "prophets" to find out the answers to such questions.
The Lord has warned us never to do such things See Deuteronomy Only the Lord can help us overcome our grief. Be careful that you do not fall into the mire of discouragement. That can harm you emotionally, mentally and spiritually. You might even stumble others with your speculations.
You may meet that loved one in heaven and regret all the time you wasted - time when you should have gone on with the Lord. Dear mother, you may be weeping as you think of one of your children who has gone ahead of you to heaven. Your child is waiting there to welcome you too one day. So weep no more. Here is a poem of a child of God who went to be with the Lord, speaking to his loved ones on earth:. If you could see where I am now - the beauty of this place - And how it feels to know you're home and see the Saviour's face; To live in peace and know no fear - just joy beyond compare!
While down on earth you miss me now, you wouldn't want me there. If you could see where I have come, and made the trip with me, You'd know I didn't come alone - the Saviour came with me. He travelled with me by my side and held me by my hand, And brought me right into His home - this grand and glorious land. If you could see where I am now, and see what I've been shown, You'd never know another fear, or ever feel alone.
You'd marvel at the care of God - His hand on every life - And realize He really cares and bears with us each strife. If you could see where I am now - where God is always near - You'd see how He just longs for all to find their way up here. You'd see He grieves when one is lost, His heart is filled with pain; And you would see His joy at last when one comes home again. If you could see where I am now, could stay awhile with me - Could share the things that God has made to grace eternity - You'd never, ever want to leave, once heaven's joys you've known; You'd never want to walk earth's paths, once heaven was your home.
If you could see where I am now, you'd know we'll meet some day And though I'm parted from you now, that I am just away. And now that I am home with Him, secure in every way, I'm waiting here at heaven's door to greet you some sweet day. Author Unknown. Much weeping among women arises from self-pity, getting offended, being slighted, or not getting some earthly thing that they wanted. Some women are over-sensitive and touchy by nature. Their violent temper makes them flare up easily.
James tells us that we should be " slow to anger " - for " anger resides in the bosom of fools " Ecclesiastes Satan often makes people lose their temper and then makes them wallow in self-condemnation. Beware of Satan's tactics! Get up from the muck immediately, repent of your sin and turn back to the Lord.
Some women constantly compare themselves with others who are better off than them. This always leads to discouragement and despondency that makes them miserable. If you want to compare yourself with others, then compare yourself with those who are worse off than you, like those who live in the slums. Some women are habitually lonely and impose themselves on others, never finding the comfort they need anywhere. Instead, we could develop an intimate relationship with the Lord.
Some middle-aged women are physically weak and weep easily, due to hormonal changes. Such medical conditions can be treated and so they should see a doctor. God is the One Who created us and He knows our frame and is more than willing to help us at such times - if we ask Him.
Does your weeping arise from worldly sorrow? Go through this check-list and see:. Give your life and your future completely into the Lord's hands and He will help you through your most difficult times. There may be even greater trials in the coming days, but you will overcome them all. He will enable you to overcome the giants in your temperament and give you the power to live a life that pleases Him.
Godly sorrow is the sorrow produced by the Holy Spirit within us. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in human words Romans It was such a sorrow that made us repent and come to the Lord at first. And throughout our lives it is good for us to be responsive to such workings of the Holy Spirit within our hearts.
We must weep whenever we fall spiritually or when we lose fellowship with our Lord as the bride did when she lost fellowship with her Beloved Song of Solomon Such weeping is good for our soul. Tears of repentance are never in vain. When we see our life in His light, we will discover how the cobwebs of our touchiness, covetousness, pride, selfishness and self-pity have defiled our heart and made life difficult for us and for others around us. Our weeping will then lead us to a brokenness and humility that will enable us to receive God's grace continually.
Peter was so confident that he would stand like a rock and never deny the Lord. He even took out a sword in Gethsemane to defend his Master. But he fell in the time of temptation, just as the Lord had warned him. But the compassionate, forgiving look of his Master broke him to the point where he wept bitterly. He wondered if he would ever get a chance to tell the Lord how sorry he was for his failure and how much he loved Him?
This has been the experience of many of God's children, who have failed the Lord at some time. If that has been your experience, dear sister, then let me assure you that there is hope for you. Remember, Satan had to get permission from God before he could sift Peter. And Satan has to get permission from God to sift you too. Jesus prayed for Peter that his faith would not fail. And Jesus prays for you today.
The Lord had faith that Peter would come through the time of testing and be restored. He has faith in you too. After Peter was restored, he went on to strengthen his fellow-believers and did a great work for the Lord. Thus will it be with you too. If Peter had heeded the Lord's warning in Gethsemane and prayed as he was told to, he would never have fallen - but Peter was self-confident. And so he failed. This sounds a great deal like Jesus' prediction, "They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. While the passages I have quoted from Josephus' account are horrible, those I have refrained from recounting are much more horrible still.
No wonder Jesus weeps as he sees with prophetic vision what will take place. After killing more than a million Jews who had taken refuge in the city, and taking captive another 97,, the Romans completed the destruction. Why did this happen? A failure of Jerusalem's leaders to discern God's visitation in Jesus. Here the word means "the act of watching over with special reference to being present, 'visitation. Sometimes episkope is used as "inquiry, investigation, examination" where a judge comes to visit -- examining and passing judgment.
I think of the verse in Malachi which is especially apt with its reference to the temple which Luke mentions in verses Instead of welcoming and submitting to the King who enters to inspect his city and temple that day, they reject him and plot to kill him. Luke touches on The Cleansing of the Temple only briefly; most of our data comes from the other Gospel writers Matthew ; Mark ; John John gives the most detail, but places The Cleansing of the Temple at the very beginning of Jesus' ministry. Is this same event as The Cleansing of the Temple just before Holy Week or were they two separate events?
There are good arguments on both sides, and I tend to favor them as the same event. But however you interpret the timing of the event, Jesus' action was angry and violent. He "drove" out the money-changers and selling "temple-approved" sacrifices. The Greek word is ekballo , "force to leave, 'drive out, expel. In the same way as he commanded the demons so they could not stay, so I can hear Jesus' voice of authority echoing within the temple courtyard. Sales within the temple were apparently conducted by permission of the high priest's family which received a commission from every sale.
Jews couldn't use Roman coins to give as an offering, so they changed their Roman coins for Tyrian coinage for the half-shekel temple tax -- and the money-changers made a bit on each sale. Likewise, the sacrifices to be offered in the temple needed to be certified as "without blemish" by a priest. Many pilgrims would purchase a sacrifice in the temple rather than herd it for several days on their way to the Holy City for Passover. Yes, it was a convenience to purchase sacrifices at the temple, but the price gouging was often terrible.
The Greek word is lestes , "robber, highwayman, bandit, brigand. Jesus' enemies multiply -- and no wonder. Prior to this Jesus had challenged the Pharisees. Now he threatens the economic basis of the high priestly family -- and at such a lucrative time as Passover! Jesus is now a marked man. Verse 47 lists Jesus' enemies, who were not previously united. Now they stand together seeking cause for charges to be brought against him:. The question seems straightforward, but it is a thinly-veiled trick question.
If Jesus answers that God is the basis of his authority they will call him a blasphemer and alert the Romans to the danger of his claims. If he denies God's authority for his actions then he will be accused of acting on his own. The keyword here is Greek exousia , "the right to control or command, 'authority, absolute power, warrant. As he does on other occasions when asked trick questions, Jesus sidesteps and asks his opponents a trick question of own. Since they are unwilling to answer, he also refuses. Jesus' deft handling of the question puts off his opponents for the moment.
But this is only the first round in his opponents' lethal game that is not satisfied until he is dead. Our passage begins with Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. He knows the corruption of her leaders and priesthood. He sees in his mind's eye the utter destruction of the city that will take place in 70 AD. And he weeps because it all could have been avoided. If only they would recognize him who comes to visit and inspect his Temple! If only they can see him as their rightful King! But they cannot and their utter destruction will be the result. I have tried to live by the dictum of picking my battles, choosing to fight only those that I feel I have a chance of winning.
We certainly can't take on all the unrighteousness in the world unless we focus our efforts. But that approach puts me in danger of become cynical and amoral. In our passage Jesus, who knows that he will be crucified for doing so, deliberately confronts and challenges the power structure of the temple and city leaders. It is now his "hour," his time to confront the powers that would displace the Messiah from his rightful place.
And yet his anger at unrighteousness is tempered with his tears over the fate of those whom he loves.
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As a disciple I am challenged by Jesus' example of love that weeps at the same time it confronts corruption with an appropriate and righteous indignation. Is my indignation at sin really loving? God make it so!