I hurt with the hurt of my people. I mourn and am overcome with grief. Jeremiah 8.21
How do you feel when you see someone hurting. Most of the times, the commonest thing to do is to thank God that we are not the ones experiencing the hurt, shrug our shoulders, turn philosophical “What is this world coming to?” Then we walk away.
An Ibibio adage says, “The death of another man is a light occurrence to an outsider.” God’s word, however, says I hurt with the hurt of my people. I mourn and am overcome with grief. This goes to buttress Christ’s mission on earth as prophesied by Isaiah about 800 years before Jesus was born. Surely he had borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4).
The Lord Jesus Christ came as a burden bearer. He expects us His children to bear the burden of others as well. Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfill the laws of Christ (Gal. 6:2). The English word for it is empathy: Sharing in the feelings of others.
Sharing in the emotions of others makes us partakers of the nature of Christ, and purges us of the vice of selfishness. It makes us to take responsibility in the vicarious mission of Christ.
Moreover, sharing in the emotions of others is fulfilling the commandment of God. It is God’s commandment that we bear one another’s burden: Rejoicing with those that rejoice and grieving with those that grieve.
Similarly, sharing in other people’s emotions affords us an opportunity to communicate Christ and His saving grace with those the hurting. It is an opportunity to let the victim of hurt to know that Jesus has the power to heal. He does not only heal bodily sicknesses, but emotional ones as well.
Finally, sharing in the griefs of others affords us an opportunity to develop and strengthen our faith in God. This is because when we share with the hurting, as children of God, we do not just give them words of comfort, we also pray with and for them. In praying, we trust that God will answer us and heal the hurting. When He does our faith in Him is strengthened and we have the boldness to witness His power to others.
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