Click play to listen to the sermon.
The greatest privilege and joy for a disciple is that they get to live with and learn from their Master, day and night.
And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach (Mark 3:14)
Great sorrow filled the disciples’ hearts when Jesus told them He would be leaving them, even for a “little while.”
But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. (John 16:6)
Saturday was agony for the disciples. They experienced great sorrow because their Master’s presence was missing from among them. But joy returned on Sunday morning!
And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. (John 16:19-22)
Our SORROW is connected to our going without (i.e., missing/lacking/losing/being deprived of) what we love/want.
Ahab was sorrowful because, despite everything else he had, there was one thing he lacked – Naboth’s vineyard.
And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread. But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread? And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard. (1 Kings 21:4-6)
Amnon was sorrowful because he was being deprived of the one thing he wanted above all else.
And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her. And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her. (2 Samuel 13:2)
Men make idols of things. They make themselves sick with sorrow over their lack of material and carnal things.
The Hebrew word for “idol” (atsab) comes from the word for “sorrow” (atsab).
Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips. (Psalm 16:4)
The rich young ruler was excited to report to Jesus all the piety he possessed in hope of gaining eternal life.
And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. (Luke 18:18-21)
But Jesus pointed him to the one thing he lacked – a willingness to abandon the riches of earth for the riches of heaven. In hearing this, the young man became “very sorrowful.”
Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! (Luke 18:22-24)
What made the rich young ruler sorrowful?
Discipleship is costly. Some consider the cost to be too high. They think they have “too much lose.”
And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:25-33)
Religion can serve as a substitute for relationship.
Sin results in the loss of God’s presence.
The loss of God’s presence does not matter to the religious. He is not missed.
Sinning is not a big deal to those who are merely religious.
David had found fullness of joy in God’s presence.
… In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Psalm 16:11)
After he sinned, David could not stand the loss of God’s presence from his life.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. (Psalm 51:11)
Paul knew there was a worldly sorrow though the lack or loss of the things of earth. He also knew there was a godly sorrow through the loss and lack of God’s presence and favor in our life.
For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter. (2 Corinthians 7:8-11)