Sorrowful; Yet Rejoicing

But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:  So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.

Ezra 3:12-13

In these verses, we find people shouting for joy and we find people weeping.  The Temple is here being rebuilt, which gives them great cause for happiness and rejoicing.  But they also know that it will be never be rebuilt to its former glory, when built in the days of David and Solomon.  It was the “ancient men” who were weeping, because they had seen the glory of the first Temple.  The other people were “shouting aloud for joy”, and they had good reason to: God had been merciful to them and had allowed them to go back and rebuild His Temple.  These two sounds mingled together to the extent that you would have had trouble discerning the two.  All of this makes me think of a II Corinthians 6:10 “as sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing…”

That phrase was one of many in that passage used to describe Christians.  When you think about it, we are almost always “sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing.”  We are sorrowful because of sin:  sin in our lives and in the lives of others.  My own sinful flesh is the source of the vast majority of my sorrow.  We also sorrow for those who do not know the Saviour.  We know their end, and their rejection of Jesus Christ gives us sorrow.  But in the midst of that sorrow, we are “always rejoicing.”  We know that, while our flesh may be weak and we may sin, Jesus is the only way to be forgiven of sin.  We know that, while not everyone will accept His perfect sacrifice, some will.  In essence, we know HIM.  And that is all the cause for rejoicing anyone ever needs. 

Keep fighting the flesh.  Keep striving against sin.  Keep reaching out to those who need Jesus.  And keep rejoicing in Him and because of Him!

4 responses to this post.

  1. Ben, Thank you for this encouragement to keep rejoicing even in my sorrow. I needed that today. Peace, Linda


  2. I echo Linda’s comment! Also, it’s hard to explain how we can be joyful in hard circumstances, but it’s there and it makes us stand out. It encourages others who are believers to be joyful too, and it draws those who don’t believe, for they want to be joyful too. (or they think we’re crazy, one or the other! ha!) That joy in several Christian ladies is part of what He used to draw me to Himself! 🙂 Love this Ben. You just keep getting better and better . . .


    • That is a good point- it’s what makes us stand out and what sets us apart. Everyone has troubles and trials in life, but only Christians can rejoice through those troubles! It’s amazing the things that He uses to bring us to Himself!


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