Do We Weep or Do We Rejoice?

Two Babies-laughing-cryingRejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited. (Romans 12:15-16 RSVA)

Susanne Schuberth wrote on her blog:

“Just today I realized that I do need trials in order to get me focused on God and Christ, again and again. If I am full of joy, instead, and cannot sense any trial anywhere, I am always in great danger of being deceived – by the wrong spirits, so to speak.” *

In the last few months I have been having tremendous victories over some long standing spiritual bondages and weaknesses I have been plagued with. Each time I get a new release from God, I get so excited and have so much joy that I do not notice the pain in others around me. I get in a mode where I can only rejoice with those who rejoice, but if they are in sorrow or pain when I am so exuberant, I don’t notice what they are going through and my joy only adds to their pain! Paul wrote that we should rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep, but if we are so wrapped up with our own pain or joy, can we do this? Or do we find ourselves out of sync with the ones Father has put us in fellowship with instead of walking in unity with them in true empathy? The Corinthian church seemed to have this same problem because everything they did seemed to be all about them! Paul wrote to them like this:

“And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your boasting… I die daily.” (1 Corinthians 15:30-31 KJ2000)

They were out of touch with Paul’s sufferings for them. I am just starting to understand what he was saying after reading these verses for forty-five years, thanks to what Susanne shared above in her blog. We seem to be in the greatest danger of being used by the devil to hurt others or being deceived by him when we are happy, happy, clappy, clappy Christians, thinking that we stand and are doing fine. James wrote something that seems very harsh to our way of thinking in the church today.

But he gives more grace; therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to dejection. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you. (James 4:6-10 RSVA

Susanne, you probably didn’t know that you were speaking scripture when you wrote that sentence above. I thank God that you did, because God has used your words once again to sensitize me to a very important aspect of what it means to be one with one another in the body of Christ. Where once I always looked at what Paul wrote in Romans as everyone else’s duty to get in sync with me, weep with me when I weep and rejoice with me when I am happy, now I see that when I am flying high I am in the greatest danger of falling and doing damage to others who are hurting.

The Spirit had been speaking to me about the last half of the Gospel of John for some time. But as I progressed through it, I got to John 17:20-28 and it was as if the Captain yelled down the speaking tube to the engine room, “ALL STOP!” Jesus prayed something here that has not come to fruition for the body of Christ. For the last 1900 plus years, the church has become a house divided against itself, and as a result the salt has lost its savor and is being trodden under the feet of worldly men.

“I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which thou hast given me in thy love for me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world has not known thee, but I have known thee; and these know that thou hast sent me. I made known to them thy name, and I will make it known, that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:20-26 RSVA)

Here we have the unity of the Father and the Son and the glorious love they share as a benchmark for the true ekklesia of God! The Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father. They are totally one! Why? Because of their intense love that they share for one another. Where you find this kind of love, the Father and the Son’s glory and unity will not be far away. But it does not end there. Jesus prayed that we who are His would have this same unity and love for one another as well.

When I get arthritic pain in my elbow, wrist or hands, do the rest of the members of my arm go right on with their agenda as if it was no concern to them? Not hardly! In fact, my whole body takes notice and tries to find a way to alleviate the pain so it can go on in harmony. Either my whole body is suffering or it is all rejoicing because the body is not indifferent to its parts. What does the love of God demand of us, so that we might be truly one, more sensitive to the hearts and spirits of other members of the body of Christ that He is knitting together?

Real selfless love, the agape love of God, unifies and makes the members of the body of Christ one with each other and with God. Just as Jesus is our heavenly High Priest who is not out of touch with our sufferings (see Hebrews 4:15), so it is with those who are His. May the Lord do what it takes to make us all aware of the needs of others more than our own needs, victories and joys.

* https://enteringthepromisedland.wordpress.com/2014/09/26/against-all-anxieties/comment-page-1/#comment-13330

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37 comments on “Do We Weep or Do We Rejoice?

  1. Thank you for writing this for today I weep. I do not know where my place is. I feel more and more out of place. I try not to but I feel so insecure. Anyways I don’t want to say much for my perceptions may be wrong but even if they are wrong I still feel it. I’m confused.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Michael said,

    “Susanne, you probably didn’t know that you were speaking scripture when you wrote that sentence above.”

    Well, you were absolutely right here, my brother. I had no idea since I always write my comments as blank-minded as I write my blog posts and poems. 🙄 But I am glad to hear that these few words were helpful for you. 🙂

    I so love the picture you chose here: Little babies that seem to be unaware of what is going on in the other one. One might assume that it should be easier for the one who rejoices to feel compassion with the one who weeps since… could that work the other way round, too? Well, that is almost impossible, I guess, as long as we tend to live after the flesh, so to speak, like these little babies who can’t help but express their current feelings.

    But the same apostle Paul who said “Rejoice in the Lord always” in his letter to the Philippians also said, as you quoted right at the outset of your article, that we should be able to do both… at the same time? Hmm… Maybe, there are different kinds of “joy”… A more spiritual joy that springs from agape love is rather quiet on the outside because the heart has been quieted by God whereas joy that is still connected to our carnal habits tends to overlook the Spirit’s nudgings regarding the feelings and mental state of others around us. It is a learning process to get more and more aware of His voice telling us all we need to know, even without words. We do not only need eyes of the heart to see beauty that cannot be seen on the outside, we also need ears of the heart if we want to hear the desperate heart cries of those who are suffering but have no words to express their pain so that we could perceive them with our natural senses. However, God who hears the cries of those who are crushed in spirit will tell us all we need to know so that we can weep with them while our heart remains quietly in the presence of Him who answers our joint prayers for those who are suffering, for it is written,

    The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Ps 34:18 ESV)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Thank you, Susanne. So much to experience and learn as we give your hearts over to God for HIM to change them and make them HIS heart within us. Did you know that you can take a knife and cut a small piece of heart mussel off a beating heart and it will keep pulsing with the heart it came from? Somehow that is how it is with a heart that is His in us.
      Thank you so much for sharing your insights on this! 🐻

      Liked by 2 people

      • You’re very welcome, Michael. Yes, I heard that about heart’s pieces that keep pulsing too. I am not sure how long they can keep doing so unless they are connected to the (a) body again…? 🙄

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Yes, the separated piece will die not being connected to the heart, but it will beat in time with the heart until it does is what is amazing. And I think that spiritual hearts are the same, only their heart connection can not be broken so they continually are nourished by HIS heart, too, and this common connection to Father’s heart is what makes us ONE and listening to HIS Spirit is what makes us hear and see the same things all the time. It is sooooo good to finally have old Adam and Eve out of the picture with their contrary agendas to that of God. Susanne, I think that more and more we will be able to experience what Paul had, “For me to live is Christ”… One with our Father just as Jesus is. So be it!

        “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that any of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common [including spiritual insight!].” (Acts 4:32 KJ2000)

        Liked by 3 people

    • I used to go to AA meetings all the time years ago. And even when I seem to be happy, I was always still pretty much sensitive to the pains of others. Without losing my own joy I could still reach out to those in pain. I would oftentimes almost run out after then if they left the meetings if someone was harsh to them. That was not what they needed. After all, that person was crying for help and needed comfort. There tends to be a lot of insensitive people in AA especially the know it alls. And as for the newcomer they are always told to shut up and listen, when actually maybe they need to be heard. Hmmm. Sure wish I had a way of getting around. But there seems to be a lot of foul language that just makes my ears cringe. Even on FB if there seems to be someone who is hurting I pull them off to the side to try and comfort them as well as I seek to find someone to comfort me in my time of need. Sometimes I feel like I get the baseball bat and that may not be what I need. So I back off. I don’t want to be the one who brings a baseball bat to pound over the head. And yet at the same time I need to just say to the person well I don’t know what else to say for you. But pray.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        Yes, I know what you mean, Stacey. I have only been to one AA meeting as a guest and it was not that way. Everyone got a chance to talk in an orderly way and they sat in a big circle… much better than a church service where only the “Paid Christian” gets to speak. But I suppose that they are all different in each local.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Oh yes there is a huge difference between church and AA. But after awhile it got to be an anything goes gods and it was hard to speak about the God of Abraham. Very touche. But in some ways understanderable since a lot of people were turned off by religion or churches as a whole. Then looking at the Big Book even further it talks at the end of the spiritual appendix that it was highly approved by catholics because it made the catholics better catholics. Then too also they either become new agers which I did that for awhile, then tried going back to catholic and my daughter asked too many questions in the class so I told her she was right, then off to Methodist and heard more catholic stuff and other weird things that I was so totally unaware of by going with friends to listen to other preachers like several of them from TV and the way people were acting and it was just getting to weird for me and plus the fact that I was a single mother. She had many needs as she was born with bi-lateral cleft lip palate, and even got runned over once and where did I get any help? Church? NO! AA? NO. So I said bye bye! Worked 3 jobs and taking care of appts. with daughter and yes I was angry but not at God. Angry with people. I was the lone ranger. Superwoman! LOL But also it was party time. That, even though God protected me from lots of troubles, I did have troubles never the less that was not God’s fault at all. AA did teach me that much. Take responsibility for my own shortcomings.

        Yep. Totellthetruth! LOL I am okay today. But read OC this AM and it seems very fitting for me now.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Fred Thoren says:

    Thank you for this clarity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Fred, I am sure glad that our Father prompted me to call you this evening. It was really good. to get to know you better and hear your heart.

      I love you, my brother,
      Michael

      Like

  4. This is really perfect, Michael. I’ve just come from a lovely sermon about that very thing, about the body working cooperatively like a team and how when your leg hurts your arm doesn’t just go, “oh well, I’m feeling good today!”

    I have that joy within me, that desire to rejoice always because redemption, mercy, forgiveness, because Jesus Christ has victory! I mean, are we not all truly blessed and favored no matter our circumstances? 😉

    In a perfect body however, in a healthy church, I don’t think there would be people going on vacation while others are going hungry or people buying second homes while members of your church have no homes at all, or elderly people feeling lonely while we all enjoy our families. We really are called to rejoice, (and again I say rejoice! ) but wasn’t it Paul that also said, “…that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren..”

    I am not quite that empathetic, not quite willing to give up my own salvation for another, but I do hear the sentiments being expressed there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Dear Gabrielle.

      “…God put our bodies together in such a way that even the parts that seem the least important are valuable. He did this to make all parts of the body work together smoothly, with each part caring about the others. If one part of our body hurts, we hurt all over. If one part of our body is honored, the whole body will be happy. Together you are the body of Christ. Each one of you is part of his body.” (1 Corinthians 12:24-27 CEV)

      That was good that the pastor at least was addressing the disconnection that exists in the minds of American Christians. I am sure you have seen how the people of the world pull together and help one another. We have seen gallon glass jars full of money with the picture of a child who has cancer (or some other sickness) in our local communities by cash registers in businesses with an explanation of the need and a chance to help out financially. Yet, in institutional churches there is no such thing allowed, not even a special offering taken up for its own members needs! It is all Corban (see Mark 7:11). I know, I used to be on a church deacon board and less than 5% of the church annual budget went for benevolence.

      So, I got the picture of a body in which the hand drops a flat iron on its toe and just says, “Sorry about that, it is your fault you were in the way,” and goes on about its business as if nothing happened.” Meanwhile the toe is further abused by not getting the healing attention it needs and gangrene sets in, then we wonder why the whole body winds up sick! What a far cry this is from the early church where no one was lacking as they pooled their resources and actually functioned as a body.

      So, Gabrielle, it is up to the individual members to help one another out, forget the institutions. And we are not off the hook because we ran all our gifts through the church books. We will all be held accountable for our own stewardship (see Matt. ch. 25).

      You might be interested in an article I wrote about proper body life, “Not Without Feeling,”
      http://www.awildernessvoice.com/feelings.html

      Thanks for your comment, dear sister.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I enjoyed this read immensely, why? I was thinking of my own father who I love so incredibly so. I always loved him since as a child, I wanted to marry him because I thought that was what you did when you love someone. But my older brother [said] you can’t marry him he is your Father. I was so suprised and learned oh! He is my Father. After reading this article and since my Dad passed away 2 years ago, I still long deeply for him. WHile reading this I went OH! again. I always read this scripture as God/Jesus/God/Jesus etc… but tonight I saw it as , My earthly father in me and me in my earthly father. We had a great relationship and it was of love. I never could have children and I am now wondering how many parents look at the children like what this scripture says. God is in Jesus, Jesus in God. I am in my child and my child is in me…. such wonderfu love to be in real contact with on earth, and to be able to touch it. As for my dad and I we never spoke of God love like this, no one speaks of it like this. It is a beautiful thing this love we all have..
    e

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Michael says:

    Dear Elizabeth,

    That is a nice name. It is also my mother’s name. Your story of the wonderful loving relationship you had with your father is very touching. I am so glad you had a dad like that. For most of us, though, the last person we would want to marry is someone like one of our parents. For me the name “father” has made it hard for me to relate to a loving God called “our Father.” Only in the last year or so have I been able to call Him Daddy and mean it. I was told that the verse in Romans, “whereby we call Him Abba, Father,” means “Daddy, my Daddy!” I had a father that was gone a good part of my growing up years and when he was home he was not really there for he was distant and removed emotionally and very stern and I always got the impression that I was more of a bother to him than a son. I have found that most Christians I have met on the net have father issues that they are still trying to work through as well. Some of them have been beaten, browbeat, neglected, abandoned, and even sexually abused and raped by their fathers or step-fathers.

    When I came to Christ I could relate to Him as my brother, for that word had no negative connotation to it, because for the most part I was an only child most of my growing up years. But calling God “Father” was a big step for me. With the help of a dear sister in Christ only a year ago, was I finally able to call Him “Daddy” and feel something positive. I have heard that the phrase in Romans, “Abba, Father” means “Daddy, my Daddy.” I always thought it precious when a little child goes running up to their father saying, “Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy!”

    My mother was also from a broken home and her love was conditional at best. So, when I came to Christ at 23 years old, I expected that the church would finally be that long lost loving family that I had always wanted, but it turned out to be a dysfunctional family at best and that most of us were from broken homes that did not know how to love. You cannot give away what you do not have. My own dear wife, Dorothy, came from a dysfunctional home as well and her father was as selfish man into the occult and her mother had to work all the time to support the family. God knows that Dorothy has done all she can to love me and I her, but it has been an uphill battle. But when I met her God told me that this woman would go the distance and stick with me through it all and she has.

    I, like many, have had to turn to God and Jesus to find the love that was missing in my own heart and about two years ago, God gave me back my First Love that I had when I first came to Christ 45 years ago. Wow! What a difference! After many years of church abuse, I now have love in my heart once again, God’s love, and finally I have something to give besides criticism. He has also given me a few saints that can also love in return and I am finally starting to feel like I have a functional family for the first time. God has even sent people like you, Elizabeth, to this blog to love on one another. Many have felt at home here, by His great mercy and outstretched arms. So, thank you so much for your loving comment, dear sister. I hope to hear more of your story in the days ahead. I am sorry about the loss of your earthly father. I would have loved to meet him.

    In Daddy’s great love,

    Michael

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Pamela says:

    Dear Michael,
    On the road I am able to read your posts off and on (and Susanne’s), and comment on them even less predictably (I’m typically just on my phone), but I had to pull out all the stops tonight to tell you how much I thought this was so good. The comment from the person above [Elizabeth] also jumped out at me, about the oneness she shares with her earthly father. I loved this quote of yours, “The Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father. They are totally one! Why? Because of their intense love that they share for one another.” It might be my religious background that, by default, thinks of oneness in terms of first being of “one mind.” You know…the things we believe. But your quote put some fresh perspective on the subject. Love it. Thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Pamela, it is so good to hear from you once again. I am glad that you found something in my latest blog that blessed you. Jay Ferris, whom you knew so well, had a lot of wonderful insight about God’s love and how it works between people who He connects together according to his plan and I don’t ever remember him saying anywhere that we had to have the same doctrines to love one another in God’s unconditional agape love. In fact one of my favorite quotes from him said the opposite, “We do our best work for God stupid.” In other words, our heads only get in the way of what He wants to do through us. Most of the divisions that exist between Christians is because of them trying to relate to one another on a head level instead of letting God fill them with His love, and loving each other the way that God does. Like Paul said, “If I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge…, but have not love, I am nothing.” Thank God that when that which is perfect is come into our hearts that which is imperfect is done away with… “And the greatest of these is love.”

      I hope you can drop by more often, dear Pam,

      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Ken Burgess says:

    Sooo much transparency and love filled words in these comments and soooo little of it in the “institutional church,” or the corporate body of CHRiST.
    Generally speaking I am a very upbeat and happy individual, but today has been my weeping day. I don’t know why, what, when or whom. I just know that for awhile today my heart was broken and sadness overcame me. Sweetie and I began de-decorating the house today of CHRiSTmas decorations and the sadness that I had been suppressing all morning just bubbled up and overwhelmed me. Sweetie asked me what was wrong and honestly, I couldn’t tell her. She embraced me for a long time and just let me cry it out. I do know that Dad has been exercising me in the area of being more sensitive, kind and tender.

    Michael, I think you know me well enough on a personal level, that we have been on the “potters wheel” for many years. Especially in the area of my health and our finances. Not much has changed in that regard. In fact, I am meeting with my Orthopedic surgeon tomorrow about having knee replacement on one or both of my knees. I can’t say I’m thrilled about that in light of my intense desire to have Dad do the job HiMself, miraculously. We would appreciate everyone’s prayers and I will continue to pray for the rest of you.

    I just love 1 John 3:1-3 The Voice Translation (VOICE)

    1 “Consider the kind of extravagant love the Father has lavished on us—He calls us children of God! It’s true; we are His beloved children. And in the same way the world didn’t recognize Him, the world does not recognize us either.

    When we feel like we are not good enough to be loved by God, we should remember that God’s love is greater than our doubts. We must silence the sounds of condemnation so we can hear the voice of God’s loving assurance and remember that He has selected us to be part of His family.
    2 My loved ones, we have been adopted into God’s family; and we are officially His children now. The full picture of our destiny is not yet clear, but we know this much: when Jesus appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him just as He is. 3 All those who focus their hopes on Him and His coming seek to purify themselves just as He is pure.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      My dear brother, Ken B., after reading this I had to call you on the phone, so my comment won’t be long. Dorothy and I and others on here that have got to know you will be praying that God uses the outcome of what comes out of this meeting with the orthopedic surgeon tomorrow for His glory as He continues to do a deeper work in your loving heart. He is after a heart in all of us that is broken and poured out upon Him. That perfume that was “wasted” upon Jesus that day in Bethany, satisfied Him and the smell of it filled the whole house.

      So much of what we go through in this world after coming to Christ seems like such a waste. Fourteen years of my life God had me unplugged! The prime productive years of my life wasted in a time of total spiritual wilderness. But what seemed like a waste back then has proven to be a treasure in His kingdom. When our love satisfies Jesus, then He will use it to touch others and meet their needs, too. But Jesus is always first and that comes through our own vessels being broken and our lives being poured out so the Son and His love can be poured back in.

      I love you dearly, Ken. Thanks once again for touching me with your heart,

      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Pat Orr says:

    Thank you, Michael, for the article and the other writings on here by repliers. Truly I consider myself rich with spiritual brothers and sisters as I read what is written.

    Love to each of you,

    Pat Orr

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Pat, you are welcome. What a wonderful fellowship we share on here and Susanne’s blog, too. I am glad that you are being encouraged by what we all share.

      Love to you, too, dear sister,
      Michael

      Like

  10. Loretta says:

    hi Michael, and Susanne,

    Thank you for this article. Sometimes I experience weeping and rejoicing at the same time, which is a praadox and a bit hard to manage emotionally. Right now, I’m experiencing rejoicing with my husband, as we have had some wonderful loving relationship growth together, which is a joyful blessing because we have had some painful trials together in the past. We are celebrating our 25 year of marriage milestone this year.

    At the same time, i am sorrowful because a good friend of mine (girl friend) is suffering a terrible illness which is causing much emotional anguish for her, her family and everyone who knows her.

    So I am rejoicing with my husband, yet i am weeping with my friend.

    And I believe that our Lord God is in both, and understands and compassionately relates to both, and it is ok and of Him and in Him, that i experience both.

    Thanks for sharing and caring. love, your sister, Loretta in SF Bay Area

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Hi Loretta,

      I know exactly what you mean about rejoicing and weeping at the same time! It seems to be happening a lot lately as God keeps doing a deeper work in my heart. Over the last two years He has got me in touch with my heart that was all closed off for many years from many old wounds; childhood abuse, war, family, church, cults etc. It is great to be able to cry again. It is wonderful that you can have these experiences with your husband, too. Congratulations on 25 years together. Next August Dorothy and I will have been married 50 years and we also have been through many hard times, but somehow God uses them to draw us closer to Him and each other.

      Do you know where Davis, CA is? My mom and sister and niece live there and I graduated from H.S. there, but now live in Coeur d Alene, Idaho where we have two feet of snow. 🙂

      Thanks for writing. I know that I have seen your name on the net for over 15 years. I think it was at first on house church egroups.

      Your brother in His love more and more each day,
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Ink Pastries says:

    Priceless photo!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Michael says:

    Yes, it reminds me of my two oldest sons when they were that age. 🙂

    Like

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