Solomon wrote, “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken” (Prov. 15:13). Most, if not all of us, at one time in our lives face situations which bring sorrow to our hearts, and as Solomon writes, breaks our spirits. The serious illness of a loved one or even one’s own health problems can bring on the sorrow of heart.
For the faithful child of God, it is not wrestling with a physical condition one finds himself or a loved one in that brings the greatest sorrow of heart. The greatest sorrow which comes his way is when a loved one has been caught up in sin. The sorrow and anxiety he faces in such situations can cause adverse physical reactions such as feeling like he has a fever, yet he checks it and the thermometer shows a normal reading. He may lie awake at night and for hours sleep does not come if it does at all.
Dealing with the sorrow over loved ones who are caught up in sin when they should know better can produce a sense of loneliness and despair, especially if the one is the one person one is closest to upon this earth. Paul expressed to the Romans he had continual heaviness and sorrow in his heart for his kinsmen the Israelites to whom the adoption pertained, and the promises were given. (Rom. 9: 1-5). Yet, in large part, Israel rejected the righteousness of God and established their own righteousness (Rom. 10:3).
Those who suffer great sorrow should look at Paul and ask the question, how did he deal with it? Doubtless, the answer is multifaceted. He kept busy doing the Lord’s work. He looked toward the heavenly home when all of the sorrow of this life will be gone in the blessed home of heaven. Have you ever thought how wise it is of God who declared through His only begotten son there will be no marriage in heaven? Was it not the case, how many men or women might potentially look around and say, where is he? Where is she?
What did Paul write before he expressed his sorrow for Israel in Romans 9? In Romans 8:8 he wrote, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Are there those close to you who have either refused to obey the Gospel or who upon obeying it have not remained faithful? We cannot get around it there will be sorrow connected with such circumstances in this life but let us all serve God faithful in our own lives, and look to the glory which shall be revealed in us.