Sermon Notes & Slides
Is It Nothing to You, All Who Pass By?
Tony Chute, Interim Pastor
Overview: The book of Lamentations invites us to feel the brokenness of God’s people as they express grief over the destruction of Jerusalem, a national tragedy of epic proportions. The once-thriving city is now abandoned; laughter has been replaced by weeping; comfort has been replaced by hard service; feasting has been replaced by the search for food; and guilt has overshadowed grace. The central question is whether anyone who is not personally impacted by these events cares for those who are suffering so terribly. Those who do take notice witness cries without comfort, taunting without mercy, questions without answers, and pain without relief. And yet, in the midst of this awful tragedy, a beautiful confession is made proclaiming the faithfulness of God, thus providing assurance to the broken that He will make all things right.
01. There is a level of grief that goes beyond disappointment to utter despair. It is characterized by feeling entirely alone; fearing an uncertain future; experiencing physical stress and emotional trauma; and dealing with difficult questions about God.
02. If we are willing to enter the pain of others, we will recognize their lives have been overturned and forever changed; what once brought them comfort no longer satisfies their soul; their cries for help are not always vocalized; and their basic needs must still be met.
03. Those who experience unspeakable tragedy and those who enter into their grief willingly are on solid ground when they confess that God is faithful, that God is good, that God is compassionate, and that God will ultimately rid the world of evil.
For Further Reading
C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed (HarperOne, 2001; originally published 1961)
J. I. Packer, A Grief Sanctified: Through Sorrow to Eternal Hope (Crossway, 2002)
Joni Eareckson Tada and Steven Estes, When God Weeps: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty (Zondervan, 1997)
Timothy Keller, Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering (Penguin, 2013)
James Alexander, Consolation: Discourses on Select Topics, Addressed to the Suffering People of God (Soli Deo Gloria, 1992; originally published 1852)
James R. White, Grieving: Your Path Back to Peace (Bethany House, 1997)
Nancy Guthrie, Be Still My Soul: Embracing God’s Purpose and Provision in Suffering (Crossway, 2010)