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We all have “no” stories: times when hopes flew and prayers pleaded, but God said “no.” And in those times, it can be tempting to doubt God’s heart and to question His love. But Lamentations 3:33 assures us, “… [God] does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone” (NIV).

Jesus Cries With You - Encouraging short sermons and devotionals compiled by The Commandment Co

That’s the truth we need to know when we’re hurting, isn’t it? When life knocks us down, we need to know that God doesn’t desire this pain for us. He isn’t up in heaven indifferent or — worse — secretly gloating.

In my mind, no moment depicts this truth more poignantly than when Jesus stood with Mary and Martha outside the tomb of their brother, Lazarus. When Lazarus fell ill, Jesus could have rushed to heal His friend, but instead He intentionally delayed His coming.

When Jesus finally arrived, several days too late, He met the mourning sisters at the tomb. Jesus already had the happy ending planned. He knew that in mere minutes, He would call Lazarus back to life. The sisters’ cries of mourning would turn to shouts of praise.

And yet. With all that joy only moments away, Jesus stopped. He stood there beside these two sisters, and He wept with them.

Why would Jesus cry, knowing He was about to raise Lazarus from the dead? I suspect it’s as simple as this: Jesus’ friends were hurting, so Jesus was hurting. In His tears, I hear these words: “I’m sorry I had to let you go through this. I see your anguish, and My heart bleeds with yours.” It didn’t matter that the pain was almost over. The pain still mattered.

Do you see what this means? Jesus hurts with us. Even if He knows better days are coming, He hurts with us today — right here, right now. He meets us in our present-tense pain — stands with us, weeps with us, mourns with us. Because our pain is real, and our pain is His pain.

Now that’s love. That’s a God I can trust when I’m hurting. That’s a God I can lean on even when He doesn’t give me what I ask.

Devotion by Elizabeth Laing Thompson @proverbs31ministries
Designed by @beth.low
November 24, 2021 — The Commandment Co