I have recently been learning what it means to be sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing seems like a paradox but in reality it is not. Let me explain.
This Friday, at around four o’ clock in the morning, my wife and I will be leaving to go to Wake Forest, North Carolina where I will embark on my first year of Seminary at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. This means that for the past few weeks my wife and I have been saying good-bye to some of the greatest people we have ever met. This is a time of sorrow.
Among those of whom we have to say bye to are our family members. Family is such an incredible gift of God and He has gifted Kahlie and I with great ones. We have families that do not reject us because of our faith in Christ, but that encourage and spur us on in our faith in Christ. They always seek to serve us and always show affection to us. It is sorrowful to have to hug the necks of our families knowing that you will not see them as often as you once did.
We also have to say good-bye to our church. The church is the beautiful bride of Christ and the local church is an incredible blessing to the people of God. It has been so to my wife and I. We have been serving in a youth ministry and this has allowed us to get to know some students that have grabbed our hearts. Kahlie has been able to develop relationships with young ladies that will endure far longer that this earth will endure. She has witnessed them grow and mature in their faith in Christ.
I have been able to see young men weep over their sin before a Holy God and cry out in repentance because of the loving kindness of the Father in Heaven. I have been able to witness young men begin sharing their faith and boldly proclaiming the great truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have seen them conform into the image of Jesus. This has been delightful to Kahlie and I. It will be sorrowful to say good-bye to these people that have become all to precious to us.
Lastly, we have to say good-bye to our community. Christian fellowship is to be prized and treasured. Community allows us to better see the height, depth, width, and length of the love of God in Christ Jesus. Kahlie and I have been able to be apart of a community that abounds in love. It is filled with a mixture of people from all different ages but that are united in one thing and that one thing is that Christ Jesus is Lord and that He reigns forever more. It will be sorrowful to say good-bye to these brothers and sisters in Christ that have benefited our walk with Christ, our sanctification, and our marriage.
With all of the sorrow, there are great reasons for rejoicing. Here are some reasons.
As Kahlie and I depart Friday morning, we know that God looks upon the state of North Carolina and says, “Mine!” This is a God that is eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. He is faithful, loving, kind, gracious, merciful, and just. He is a God that seeks His own glory and is jealous for His people. These are great reasons for rejoicing.
Another reason for rejoicing is that Jesus Christ is Lord. Christ Jesus remains resurrected from the dead and Lord of all. His victory over satan, sin, hell, and death will last for forever. He is seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven and is interceding for His people. He has promised that He will come to get His bride to take her to be with Him where He is. These are great reasons for rejoicing.
Another reason for rejoicing is that the Holy Spirit is at work. The Holy Spirit is not only at work in one area of the globe but all around the globe. They Holy Spirit is convicting people of sin, training them in righteousness, and warning them of the coming judgment. The Holy Spirit is at work testifying about the person and work of Jesus Christ and people are being saved. These are great reasons for rejoicing.
Lastly, the friendships that Kahlie and I are leaving here are friendships that are in Christ. These are friendships that will go on for all of eternity. We will all dwell in the Kingdom of God one day and be accepted in the Beloved. We will be able to worship the Lamb that was slain to the glory of God for all of eternity together and it will be glorious. These are great reasons for rejoicing!
So Kahlie and I are sorrowful, yet we are rejoicing with great joy. This is not a paradox, but a reality for those who are in Christ Jesus.