Losing someone is exceptionally difficult to swallow. As Christians, we are charged by the Apostle Paul to “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15 ESV) However, it seems that the weeping is so much more natural. A dear friend of mine just lost his wife of 38 years to cancer. She fought valiantly, but to no avail, she passed last Sunday evening. Paul uses the word in v. 15 that means to cry. When believers suffer loss, other believers suffer along with them. Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) So God gives the comfort to us and we go through these trials so we can cry with others who have been through the same thing.
So, how can we celebrate other’s victories? Here is where the rubber hits the asphalt. It is easy to have pity, but incredibly difficult to have joy for someone else’s good fortune. When a believer receives what we consider blessings and we did not, it is so tough to rejoice with them. Although we see it good for them, our selfish natures rear their ugly heads and we want to just spit. So Paul’s charge to mourn with others seems easy, and the rejoicing is hard. Why? At death, Satan’s plan to remove our loved ones is complete. He, after all, is the reason we are going to die in the first place. When he tempted Eve in the Garden, the couple ate of the fruit, we all were sentenced to death. So Satan’s work is finished and only the aftermath is to come. However, when someone inherits money or gets a promotion, Satan is still pulling the strings on our old nature.
As Christians, we have the ability through the Holy Spirit to weep and rejoice with others. Not only that, we can even weep rejoice at death. This dear lady who fought that disease has passed onto eternity with her Savior Jesus Christ. No more needles, no more treatments, no more pain; only sheer splendor in the presence of God. So we mourn well, now we have to exercise our rejoicing for others. Satan might have killed us, but Jesus keeps us.