First Things @ First

Ministry Perspective,

Isaiah 53:4 says, "Surely, He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows..." We who know the Lord realize that life is still challenging. We still experience the pain of what we often perceive as loss. Families are separated by divorce. Friends are estranged from each other over disagreement. Those closest to you are no longer as a consequence of death. Our lives on this earth continually face some level of grief and sorrow. The wages of sin are indeed devastating, eventually leading to death

(Romans 6:23).

In O.S. Hawkins devotional, "The Believer's Code", Hawkins brings out the fact that the family tree of Jesus was filled with grief and sorrow. There must have been some measure of sorrow in Abraham's heart on the day he packed up his family and left all he had known. Abraham wasn't running from something, he was moving toward something entirely new by faith. But he was human too. When Abraham's father, Terah died in Haran, grief and sorrow came as the unwelcome guest at the door of Abraham's heart once again while on the journey toward God's promise. However, grief and sorrow did not prevail. His faith in God did! And we are encouraged by Abraham's faithful example!

David was another in Jesus' family tree whose life was marked by grief. David suffered the anguish of the death of at least four of his children. David was no stranger to heartache. He was God's anointed. But he still faced the consequences of his own sin and the consequences of sin in general. David knew what it was to be separated from what was important to him. Being on the run from King Saul and hiding in the desert could not have been a pleasant experience. However, God never abandoned his child. David grieved over the death of his son Absalom when he was killed. It's been observed that while God blessed David immensely throughout his life and during his leadership as King of Israel, his personal life was filled with sadness and sorrow over the consequences of sin. As Nathan, the prophet had spoken, 'the sword never left his house' (2 Samuel 12:10) because of his encounter with Bathsheba and his subsequent dealings with Uriah, her husband. The wages of sin are indeed devastating, ultimately leading to the death of something or someone important. And where death is present, sorrow and grief are also.

Mary, the mother of Jesus grieved her son's death. She knew and believed the promise that Jesus came to provide salvation for her and all who would believe, but as a mother, having been told by Simeon a few days after Jesus' birth that her soul would be pierced, she experienced the grief of seeing her son harshly treated and humiliated on the cross.

As you read the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew, you will discover that God included many more from all walks of life in his family tree. Some were people of great influence and wealth while others were not. Some were considered outcasts by society and yet were embraced by God because of their faith. Still others who had soiled their life with harlotry were included too. In Jesus' family tree there is much diversity of culture and character. Each experienced some level of grief and sorrow. The wages of sin is death. The consequences of sin are devastating. But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). That is the good news!

"Surely, He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows...(Isaiah 53:4). This life can be difficult. Seasons of grief and sorrow come and go, and God carries us through!

He did that for His ancestors and praise God,

Jesus still does the same for His descendants.

There is coming a day, when no heartache shall come, no more clouds in the sky, no more tears to dim the eye, all is peace forevermore on that happy golden shore, what a day, glorious day that will be!

Until then, Jesus is faithful and worthy of following!

Pstr K

Psalm 27:1