By Lydia L. Riley
Ecclesiastes 7:3 “Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.”
This life is full of sorrow - some so intense and breathtaking that our whole world seems to crumble at our feet. This truth in God's Word might be a shock - but the Bible states that sorrow is better than laughter ... why? Because by sadness, the heart is made better.
A good question to ask ourselves is, "Is my sorrow making me bitter or making me better?"
According to the very next verse (Ecc. 7:4), wise people know the value of mourning. When suffering from a bitter loss, allowing the healing steps of grief can make us stronger, wiser, and better.
How can Sorrow make my heart better?
First of all, remember that God uses Godly sorrow to bring repentance and salvation into our lives; God is often working behind the scenes to bring about the most beautiful act of redemption in the midst of true sorrow over our sin. (II Cor.7:10)
As a Christian, how can the sorrows of this life make me a better person?
Sorrows make us MORE COMPASSIONATE.
Sorrows make us MORE CARING.
Sorrows make us MORE CHRISTLIKE.
Sorrows make us MORE COMPELLING.
II Corinthians 1:4-5 states "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. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ." Show the compassion and care of Christ to someone else when they are hurting.
Jesus Himself was a "man of sorrows and acquainted with grief..." When we go through suffering, we come to know our Saviour in a more intimate way and can in some small way, relate to His great sacrifice and the suffering He endured for us. We become more like Christ.
I Peter 3:18 shows the truth that Christ's suffering was so that He could bring us to God! Is my suffering making my life more compelling to others? Can we allow God to also use our sorrow and suffering to bring others to Himself?
Remember that sorrow does not last forever, joy does come in the morning. Psalm 30:5 "...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
I Peter 5:10 "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."
Our suffering is for "a while" -- it won't last forever -- God has plans for your life - to perfect you, stablish you, strengthen you, settle you.
Don't be destroyed by your sorrow -- Allow the Lord to truly make you better and not bitter. Only by His Grace can this be accomplished. For Better or for Worse? The choice is mine; the choice is yours. Choose to believe that HE is faithful.
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