I know in revival culture we love to laugh and what a gift that is! Joy, which is more than laughter, is an even greater gift. It is something the world cannot give and the world should not be given the privilege of taking away. It is our constant because it is from Him.
Jesus, The man of joy wept though when his friend Lazarus died and He wept over Jerusalem too. He was acquainted with grief and pain; “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain” Is 53:3.
We weep now as our South Africa writhes in pain. Do not feel ashamed to weep or mourn or lament. It does not take away from revival culture or even joy in Christ, in fact it deepens it.
There is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together…” Eccl 3:4-5
And in your mourning, pray. Even when you do not know what to pray amidst the pain and turmoil, He helps, “likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” Rom 8:26.
And in your mourning, do something: speak out, march, protest, fight for someone, protect someone, write to change culture and enlighten minds, release songs and art that shift our atmosphere, use your influence to shape government, education, the legal system, give to causes that are trying to assist abused women and children, father the fatherless, stir faith, awaken hope, think, feel, embrace, act. Just don’t allow yourself to be numb to it and to just go on as normal.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” Edmund Burke. These words have stuck with me through the years.
And as you do these things, remember also that we do not mourn as those who have no hope (1 Thess 4:13), for we believe The Lord sits enthroned over the flood (Ps 29:10) and laughs (Ps 2:4). Jesus, knowing our pain intimately (surely he has borne our friends and carried our sorrows – Is 53:4) has indeed conquered all.
This same conquering King has anointed you and I as heirs of a Kingdom. A Kingdom which shall overtake every other kingdom, and which cannot be destroyed (Daniel 7).
Grieve but do not despair. Mourn but do not faint in fear.
Instead become like the Hebrews 11 heroes of faith who believed despite the odds, become like the sons of Issachar who understood the times, become like the Mighty Men who prevailed in battle, become like the disciples who turned the world upside down, become like the ordinary men and women throughout Church history who did extraordinary things in their time and who now cheer us on in our time.
We are the generation who get to declare, “It is Finished!”