The other day I was recognizing how much joy I have in the morning. It is so easy for me to praise God and receive the riches He has for me in the new day. I also recognized how heavy I can be in the evening hours. I have a difficult time being joyful and I am often weary. There is a heaviness I battle after the sun goes down.
I wondered if this was why, as many of us get older, we go to bed early and rise with the sun.
I went to the Lord in prayer and He instructed my heart.
There is a common human condition that escapes no one. It is grief. As we gather years in our life, grief is gathered. It is carried in our souls. Like a heavy weight, by the end of the day it becomes too much to carry, and we must rest from the weariness.
It is grief that weakens the human soul and some die early for the burden.
Jesus came to carry our grief for us.
When we introduce ourselves to a large group, we say our name and perhaps the most important thing about us.
When Jesus introduced Himself and His ministry on earth, He chose these words from Isaiah 61 and in so doing, He shared the most important thing about Himself.
The mighty Spirit of Lord Yahweh is wrapped around me
because Yahweh has anointed me,
as a messenger to preach good news to the poor.
He sent me to heal the wounds of the brokenhearted,
to tell captives, “You are free,”
and to tell prisoners, “Be free from your darkness.”
I am sent to announce a new season of Yahweh’s grace
and a time of God’s recompense on his enemies,
to comfort all who are in sorrow,
to strengthen those crushed by despair who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful bouquet in the place of ashes,
the oil of bliss instead of tears,
and the mantle of joyous praise
instead of the spirit of heaviness.
Because of this, they will be known as
Mighty Oaks of Righteousness,
planted by Yahweh as a living display of his glory. Isaiah 61:1-3
This powerful description of the mission of Jesus addresses grief and its effects seven times in three verses!
Seven is a number in the scriptures associated with completion and perfection.
1. His anointing heals our broken hearts.
2. His anointing brings freedom by speaking, "Be free from your darkness."
3. His anointing comforts all those who sorrow.
4. His anointing strengthens those who are crushed by despair and who mourn.
5. His anointing gives us beauty (new life) for ashes.
6. His anointing replaces our tears with a joyful oil on our face.
7. His anointing removes a spirit of heaviness and puts on us a garment of praise.
Jesus came that we would have life in all its fullness. John 10:10
Grief comes in many ways: The death of a loved one, broken expectations, separation, isolation, and lack are some. Dashed dreams, condemnation for mistakes, and comparing yourself to others all open the door to grief.
There is a time to grieve and give God our tears. Our Father God takes the tears (Psalm 56:8) and bottles them as precious. He receives them, but we do not take them back.
It becomes our own when we do not release it.
Human souls carry grief.
Our Messiah, Jesus Christ, removes the grief.
Scripture says that "He bore our grief and carried our sorrows" on the cross (Isaiah 53:4).
When our human souls were vessels of grief, He took that grief. He allowed that grief to pour into the vessel of His own body on the cross.
When He rose from the grave, we rose with Him. We were made new. This new man in Christ is not made to be a vessel of grief.
Like a powerful engine designed to run on jet fuel, the new man in Christ runs on grace and hope.
Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope! Romans 15:13
As His followers why do we still grieve?
Grief says, "If my loved one was still here, they would be able to tell me what to do. They could embrace me and I would be filled with peace."
"If I could have gotten that job, I would be happy and wealthy."
"If they were here, I would not be alone."
Friend, Jesus provides ALL of these things. He is your source. He is your abundance, joy, wisdom, and peace. He is your comfort and your hope. He never leaves you.
Let the sunrise of your love end our dark night.
Break through our clouded dawn again!
Only You can satisfy our hearts,
filling us with songs of joy to the end of our days.
We’ve been overwhelmed with grief;
come now and overwhelm us with gladness.
Replace our years of trouble with decades of delight. Psalm 90:14-15
When we give God our grief, the broken heart becomes strong.
"Only You can satisfy our hearts, filling us with songs of joy to the end of our days." I can be filled with joy until the end of today and the rest of my days.
In the last verse of the Isaiah 61 scripture, we see that as a result of receiving Jesus (and all He gives us through His anointing) we become "oaks of righteousness planted by the Lord". Our lives are mighty and stable. We are aligned under the anointing and not broken under grief. We are unwavering and strong in Christ.
Let us pray together, "Thank you, Jesus. Take my grief, today, and carry my sorrow. I receive Your joy. Your love is poured into me making me strong. My hope and confidence are in You. You bring rest to my soul. "