"...do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ..."
(1 Peter 4:12-13)
Imagine Abraham’s feelings when he had to face killing his son Isaac, the one whom God had promised would be the bearer of the ultimate blessing to all mankind. Abraham must have been crushed at the thought of Isaac dying and of him having to be the instrument of it. But as the KJV puts it, “he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief” (Romans 4:20). If God wanted him to sacrifice Isaac, then God would have to resurrect Isaac to fulfil His promise.
Many who have had the experience of bereavement, like my wife and I, have a testimony that when the pain was at its sharpest, we were given grace to rely on the promise of Jesus that those who believe in Him will never die. We didn’t try to repress our feelings or deny them. We relied on God’s promise that we would see our dear one again and that she was safe in His care.
We wait confidently for the joy of the morning to follow the night of weeping (see Psalm 30:5), believing as Abraham did that we will be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.
Jesus is King over our hearts, and there can be no joy if our feelings reign supreme instead.