It must have been so sad for his disciples to see the man they loved and worshiped crucified. It was sad for his mother. It was sad for his Father in heaven to see His perfect sun shamefully and painfully tortured and murdered. It was sad, most of all, for Jesus to see these people he loved so much he left the glory of heaven to come save them turn on him. It was sad as his disciples betrayed, abandoned, and denied him. It broke his heart. But even when life is sad, God is good. Jesus became our Passover Lamb. His blood shed on the cross became the atonement for our sin just as the lambs' blood on the doorposts of the Israelites in Egypt signaled the Angel of Death to spare them. When we repent and receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we pass from death to new life. We are set free from slavery to sin.
In Hebrew, the name I AM is pronounced Yahweh; it is the proper name of God. It is a difficult word to translate, but it is full of meaning. In some sense, it means Lord. But it is more. It means “the eternal one, the existing one.” It means “reality” as in “true reality”. In other words: What you think is reality is not really reality; God is reality. God is Truth. Our notions of reality are always skewed by our fears, our sins, our lack of vision and perception. But God is THE LORD. The Lord made it all. He controls it all. No one perceives the way things really are as accurately and deeply as God.
When you think there is no hope, God says, “There is hope. I AM hope!"
When you think all is lost, God says, “I will save you! I AM salvation!”
When you fear you will never be delivered from your suffering or struggle or whatever in this life enslaves you, God says, “I AM THE LORD. I will deliver you! I AM deliverance!"
We are learning that God is good all the time. And all the time, God is good.
When life is unfair, God is good.
When life is scary, God is good.
When life changes, God is good.
When life is sad, God is good.
In all these phrases, the one thing that does not change is: God is good. The goodness of God is not defined by our feelings or experience. God is who He is. He is good. He is always good. God does not change.
We need to trust in the goodness of God—especially when life is sad. When our sadness drives us to despair, we must hold tight to our faith in the goodness of God. Don't let your perception of God's character be corrupted by your sadness (or anger, or fear, or anything else). God is good!
The unchangeable, incorruptible, unshakable nature of God is a sure foundation when life is sad. He is the great I AM, Yahweh, the Lord. He does not grow tired or weary. He does not lose hope. He does not give up.
At the same time, God is not insulated from our pain. Jesus is God. He says so right there in John the day he was arrested. He said, “I Am Jesus.” I AM is the eternal name of God and Jesus means “The Lord saves”. But the most amazing thing is how the Lord saves us. He saves us by living our experience. He allows the forces of darkness to arrest him, beat him, and crucify him to death. So you see, God is not insulated from our pain. He experienced all the painful things we endure: betrayal, fear, unfair treatment, deep sadness, excruciating pain, loneliness, and disappointment. He absorbed all these things and even death on the cross.
And today, when we are sad or afraid or worried about change (or whatever we are facing), Yahweh (the eternal unchanging Lord of all) is right here with us in the midst of it. He knows what we feel; He has felt it too. And wonder of wonders, God even takes our sadness and uses it for our ultimate good. When life is sad, God is good.
The Best Kind of Sorrow