I just prepared a sermon on Psalm 13. Part of the question I looked at was how does the world deal with sadness? What is our consultation for the reality that our experience of life is at times terrible?
Do we deal with sadness by saying “it’s just temporary” (like joy perhaps?); or by saying “over time it will go away”? Do we have some sentimental saying to use, at funerals for instance that people separated by death somehow live on in our hearts? Sadness and grief is something we all experience, and so it follows that all respond to it, in some way.
I found this piece of advertising on youtube… It seems to be saying that Coffee is what you need in times of sadness. As an advert, that’s an interesting idea, and I’m sure it makes the product memorable in the minds of whoever sees the ad. But do consumers actually believe that coffee deals in a meaningful way with sadness?
Here is the link.
In gospel presents a different approach to sadness and grief. The gospel acknowledges the reality for our experience, the brokenness of life, and Jesus shared this with us. However the gospel points to a time when sadness with be defeated, as death will be defeated, and resurrection a reality. This is the Christian hope of the gospel that Jesus is Lord over sadness and that his experience of resurrection will be ours as well. Here is a great video which uses the words of Psalm 13 and intertwines them with Jesus life, ending rightly with God’s goodness and love illustrated in Jesus’ own resurrection.
Here is the link.
At this point the church reformer Martin Luther offers great clarity for us by getting us to focus our affections back on the greatness and goodness of God, for:
A god is whatever we expect to provide all good and in which we take refuge in all distress … Whatever you set your heart on and put your trust in, that, I tell you, is your true god. (Paraphrased from Martin Luther on the first commandment in The Larger Catechism, Part I.)
From this diagnostic, what then is your God?