It was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief. (Isaiah 53:10)
Those of you familiar with the Peanuts cartoons may be thinking I have misspelled the title of today’s word of encouragement. (Charlie Brown was fond of saying, “Good grief!”) No, today I want to look at God grief, because understanding His grief will take us a long way into growing and maturing in our faith.
The dictionary tells us that grief is the pain of mind produced by loss or misfortune, injury or evils of any kind that lead to sorrow. With that in mind, let’s first see that the grief that God the Father put God the Son to was our grief. Jesus suffered our grief. He took our sin, our beating, our crown of thorns, our nine-inch nails, our cross, our condemnation, our death, and our tomb. This God grief was our grief. Yet when Jesus willingly took our place on a cross and paid the full penalty for our sin, drinking the full cup of God’s wrath, He took our grief too.
Second, our God is a grieving God because of His eternal and sacrificial love for His people. We read in the Old Testament that the Lord said of Israel, “I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after their idols” (Ezekiel 6:9). God is grieved as His people turn, time and time again, to the false gods of the pagan nations. The psalmist lamented, “How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the desert” (Psalm 78:40).
Like any parent whose children rebel is grieved by their poor choices, so too is our God grieved when we turn away from Him and embrace the way of the world. Jesus Christ, who made God known to us (John 1:18), wept as He drew near to the city of Jerusalem (Luke 19:41), reflecting on His people’s unbelief and idolatry. He told the crowds there, “How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing” (Matthew 23:37). Christian, God loves you; He is love (1 John 4:16). When we reject His love and follow our own paths, we put Him to grief.
So . . . if you take a few minutes to prayerfully consider the life you are currently living, is it possible you are responsible for a bit of God grief? Fear not; we all find ourselves grieving our God from time to time. There are times when we would rather do our will than do the will of God. There are times when we want what we want rather than what God wants for our lives. Our rebellion which leads to God grief should lead us to a godly sorrow, just like Peter experienced on the night Jesus was arrested. After Peter denied Jesus three times and heard the rooster crow, he went outside the courtyard and wept bitterly.
God grief led to godly grief, and it is my prayer that this would be the confession of our lives. May that godly sorrow produce the good fruit of repentance in you and me.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!