The Ministry of Sorrow

SORROWS AND TROUBLES are not always necessary to the perfecting of holiness. Our Heavenly Father and the holy angels are perfect without sorrow and trouble. But we know that God’s plan includes the permission of evil. Sorrows, disappointments, and perplexities have served valuable purposes in the ripening of Christian character during this Gospel Age. Also, these made all of God’s Creation aware of the consequences of sin—mankind by experience and the angels by observation.

To enter the Lord’s family it was necessary that we make a full surrender of our will to God, because on no other terms would the Savior become our Advocate with the Father—our surety—and thus enable us to be received as God’s sons by the begetting of the Holy Spirit. But this was only the beginning of our sonship with God. As newborn babes we first needed the milk of the Word, the simpler truths; and then the stronger meat, to nourish and develop us. We need discipline, and training, in order to become qualified for the glorious position to which God has called the church. We must demonstrate our loyalty to righteousness, truth, and virtue, by resistance of sin, selfishness, and other opposing influences.

As consecrated Christians, we find ourselves surrounded by well-meaning earthly friends who consider our course extreme, and attempt to dissuade us from our covenant of sacrifice. Similarly, the Apostle Peter, before Pentecost, endeavored to dissuade our Lord from his sacrifice, saying, “Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.” (Matt. 16:22) But Jesus rebuked Peter, and continued his sacrifice faithfully unto death.

We find great difficulty also in our own flesh, born in sin and misshapen in iniquity. The New Creature must battle with the old. These battles sometimes bring glorious victory, and sometimes inglorious defeat; but our sorrows, disappointments, heartaches, and difficulties are wisely permitted by our Lord to assist in the death of the old creature—to prepare us for the glorious resurrection change, when we shall have new bodies fully in accord with our new, and perfected, will and mind.

In times of trial and burdens, the Lord draws his people near to himself, because he alone can satisfy, comfort, forgive, and bless. His gracious provision for his children is the mercy seat—the throne of grace. In faith, with hearts bowed down, we approach the Lord in his appointed way—in the name of Jesus—and thus we receive consolation and blessings, and bear a song away.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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