When Sorrows like Sea Billows Roll

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When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
 When sorrows like sea billows roll;
 Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, 
It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

 

Sorrow is that dark feeling of distress that comes after experiencing loss or tragedy. Such an experience can be consuming and cumbersome. As the people of God, our hearts ought to be filled with a genuine sense of compassion and care for our troubled brother or sister. We ought to love them (), cry with them () and pray for them (). In this post, it is my desire to provide encouragement to the troubled person by pointing them to the provisions found exclusively in the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

It is important to note that trouble does come in the lives of God’s people (). However, when trouble overwhelms the heart of the child of God, what are they to do? In we will note the cure to trouble. J. C. Ryle calls this passage “a precious remedy against an old disease”. The disease is trouble and the remedy is faith. Our Lord spoke these words,

 

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”

The disciples were troubled because one of them was going to betray Him () and Christ was going to depart from them (). Our Lord provides an answer to their troubled souls and by extension the cure to all troubled souls.

 

Rest in Christ’s Person

The Lord Jesus simply said to His troubled disciples, “Believe in God; believe also in me” (). They are to put their trust and rest in Jesus Christ. He is “the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God” (), He is the One “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (). He is “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (). Troubled soul, find your rest in Him. He is aware of your situation () and only He can provide you with the comfort you need. Remember who He is and what He has done. Remember what His word says concerning who He is and rest in His person.

 

Rest in Christ’s Preparation

He goes on to add, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” Our Lord is preparing a place in His Father’s house for His people. What a thought! This is a reminder that what we are experiencing now is not forever. Our eternal home is in Heaven with our Lord. This eternal home is for all in Christ, and it is a place of communion with God, changed conditions and converted citizens (). Child of God, Christ has made room for you there. Rest in His preparations!

 

Rest in Christ’s Promise

The final remedy in this passage is Christ’s promise. He promised, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Christ Himself assures His people that this is true. He has prepared a place and He will come back for His people. Take refuge in this promise and long for His return.

 

The Lord Jesus Christ loves His people and He cares for them. He purchased His people by His own blood () and has provided them with complete forgiveness according to the riches of His grace (). He said to His disciples and He says it to you too, “Let not your hearts be troubled“. The cure for our troubles is not found in a series of rules and regulations or even in the expectations of others. It is exclusively found by resting in Christ. For this reason troubled soul, “consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted” (). Let us be sensitive to the troubles and struggles of our suffering brothers and sisters by praying that they would find their rest and refuge in Christ.

Dedicated to Jonathan and Fiona Kusilek. Today marks one year since the death of their precious daughter Olivia (29/05/2012).

10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.

14:1 “Man who is born of a woman
is few of days and full of trouble.

14:1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”

22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke.

33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’

14:1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.

17 To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

Published by

Andrew Courtis

Andrew Courtis

ANDREW - Serves as Pastor of Hills Bible Church. I am married to Dianne and we have three children (Kate, Emma and Jack). I was born and raised in Melbourne, moved to Adelaide to undertake theological studies (BMin.), and have completed additional studies with the Australian College of Theology (MATh.). I have served in pastoral ministry in both Melbourne and Sydney and am a qualified school teacher. I am committed to expository preaching and making the word of God known and understood.