It has been said that of all men, the sorrow of the Christian is the greatest sorrow in the world, and so too, there are none more glad than he. I think this is true because I believe it to be true about Jesus.
No one has ever experienced sorrow for sin as much as Jesus did when He bore it on the Cross. No one was ever loved or had ever loved, so much as to find themselves so thoroughly broken as Jesus.
And no one has known joy like Jesus in finishing the work that the Father had sent Him to do (Hebrews 12:2).
Sin brings with it sorrow and part of that sorrow is experienced in the discipline we receive for it.
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. (Proverbs 3:11-12)
The father who loves his son is careful to discipline him. In fact, a failure to discipline, correct, keep those in our care on the right path, is considered hate (Proverbs 13:24). It’s what you might expect from an enemy who wants to see you fall.
True discipline is painful. David once said that the discipline he received from the Lord was like having his legs broken.
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. (Psalm 51:8)
Discipline is painful. Nobody likes having a bone broken. Nobody likes a flat tire on the F3 and nobody likes losing their job or house or health.
But notice this: It’s not the broken bones that concern David. It’s the absence of joy and gladness.
Restore unto me, the Joy of my salvation.” (Psalm 51:12)
For David, the joy is not tied to the circumstance, as though he were expected to find some monkish pleasure in the pain. That would not be real. That would not be human.
For David, the joy and gladness are in the reconciliation. The hope is that God would look upon David, as a son, and smile.
Like Jacob, having met with God and received a blessing, we now walk out our days with a limp.
Martin Luther says of this Psalm, “I have sinned, I do sin and I shall sin.” The Good News is not that life isn’t limpy. It is. Life can be crushing. Things break, we sin and the discipline hurts.
The Good News is that we are being treated as sons.
The Glad News, the joyful news, is that God is putting you and me back together and He has not forsaken us.
The Good News is that God has laid our sin on Jesus. Upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace. (Isaiah 53:5)
He did this because He loved the world. Any other god would have let the whole thing go up in smoke. But not our God.
Islam has no father. Hinduism has no father. Buddhism has no father and atheism has no father. But we do have a Father, and we are His sons.
And so, like the Son whom God has sent, we too are broken. And so we limp. But we limp with glad hearts. Glad to be so very loved. Glad to be remade.