Man of Sorrows and Acquainted With Grief

As a sufferer of depression, I often have the feeling of being alone. I can be in a crowded room with kind and caring people and still feel isolated. There are times that I experience this at the Sunday morning gatherings of our dear church body. In the worship gathering I am surrounded by brothers and sisters in Christ who love me and want to help me carry burdens, yet I feel alone. It is one of the plagues of depression.

Something that I have personally longed for as a sufferer of depression is the camaraderie of others who have walked the road of depression. As a shy person I often find this through books or sermons. Charles Spurgeon was a man who suffered from depression as a pastor, and as a fellow suffering pastor I have found immense help from him. Recently, William Cowper has been a companion through his hymns and poetry. Although not a sufferer of depression, Martyn Lloyd-Jones certainly understood and sympathized with the spiritually depressed. I also plan on reading John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress soon.

Something that has taken me too long to learn is the companionship of Jesus as a man of sorrows. I believe we often forget that our blessed Lord became a man to live on our behalf. He was truly God, and this must never be forgotten. I believe that the controversies over the deity of Jesus have strengthened the church’s belief and understanding of the Godhood of Jesus Christ. However, an area of weakness in myself and most Christians I interact with is the humanity of Jesus. He really became a man (John 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8). He really faced all temptations that we have, yet He remained sinless (Hebrews 4:15). He really felt the sorrows of sin and its results. He really experienced the physical and spiritual horrors of Calvary. He is as Isaiah 53 says “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3).

The knowledge that my Lord is not someone aloof to my suffering makes a major difference in how I manage suffering. Jesus not only feels sorry for me in my suffering, but He has taken on my suffering. He has truly “borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4). When my heart cries out in sobs and sighs in dark rooms alone my Savior’s heart understands its language; He has also cried out with tears and loud cries (Hebrews 5:7).

In my desire to relate with fellow-sufferers I have met some who can relate and others who cannot. But in Jesus I have found the One who perfectly relates to my sorrows, because He was not only acquainted with grief, but He carried mine for me.

Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version ®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved