Great Joy & Great Sorrow

Romans 9:1 – I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, (Verse 2) that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. (Verse 3) For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,…

What’s amazing about these verses is that Chapter 8, in the book of Romans just talked about “nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.” But now, in Chapter 9, Paul has such a burden for his brethren. Here is what Paul was saying, “I would go to hell if my brethren could go to heaven.

How could Paul think that he would trade places with his brethren so that they would go to heaven? That’s a pretty heavy burden. Paul had gotten to the place that he is now thinking like Christ. Did Christ not take our place on the cross? Christ said that He’d be cursed so we wouldn’t have to. Cursed is anyone who hanged on a tree.

At the same time, Paul had great joy over nothing being able to separate God’s love for him, but at the same time, he had great sorrow for his brethren. Is it possible to have sorrow and joy at the same time, if you are a Christian? Christians are the only people in the world that can grieve and rejoice at the same time! We grieve but not as those who have no hope.

Do we not grieve when a loved one, a believer dies, but yet have great joy because we know they went to the Father. So why did Paul say that he would go to hell if they could go to heaven? Paul understood some things that we all should be reminded of:

Condition of the lost.

Paul understood the condition of lost people. I think we forget about the condition of lost people because it’s been a while since we were lost.

Ephesians 2:12 – that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenant of promise, having no hope and without God int the world. 

Without Christ, there is no hope. There’s no hope for the future. There’s no peace and no purpose unless it’s for selfish reasons, but what then? Everything they accomplish in their life is for what? Themselves?

Without Christ, there is no life and certainly no life to be joyous about after death. They may seem happy now, but when they die they will be terrified because they never thought about life after death, their entire life.

From the outside people can look great, but on the inside, they can be falling apart and not know where to turn. We won’t necessarily know this unless we are close to them. People are so distant in their relationships these days because it’s “all about self.” We only see what people want us to see on the outside. Most are as lost as a ball in high weeds.


Paul knew their condemnation, for the Bible says that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ and those who love the Lord, but there is condemnation for those who are not in Christ.

But, what does condemnation mean? What’s the definition of “condemned” in the Bible? Most think it means to “feel condemned.” However, that’s not what condemned actually means. From the Greek, it means a death sentence. It means being found guilty of something that’s worthy of death.

Romans 8:1 – There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Everyone knows John 3:16, but read the next two verses: John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (Verse 17) “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (Verse 18) “He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Jesus didn’t come to condemn us because without Him we were condemned already. He came to save us! We were born with a death sentence – going to hell. God didn’t want us to go to hell so He sent His only begotten Son! You can’t believe in heaven without believing in hell. It’s the Bible that taught us about hell in the first place.

God did not create hell for humans! He created hell for Satan and his fallen angels. So I hate it when I hear people say, “Why would a loving God send people to hell?” That statement tells me they know nothing about God or the Bible. It’s in the Book! And when it’s time for Satan to be thrown into the bottomless pit, one angel does it.

The problem was and still is, when people begin and began to follow the devil, hell had to be enlarged. God had made hell a specific size to hold Satan and the angels that followed him, but when humans began to follow Satan, Hell had to enlarge itself! It’s in the Bible, so look it up.

Our burden for the lost needs to be strong. Our witness for the Lord needs to be powerful enough that the person would accept Christ and not go to hell. Plain and simple!


Mark 6:34 – And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things. 

Jesus was moved with compassion and the word compassion in Greek means to put an action in your love. People can love someone but yet not have compassion for them. When someone has compassion they will do something, otherwise its just sympathy.

Before Jesus went to the cross, He said this to His disciples: John 16:20 – “Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.”

We should have sorrow for people who don’t know Christ. If we have great sorrow for someone who doesn’t know Christ, then we’ll have great joy when they get saved. Maybe people don’t get as excited as they should be when someone gets saved is because there was no burden for them to get saved in the first place. The great sorrow for the lost comes first and then there will be great joy when they come to Christ.

Matthew 11:28 – “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Verse 29) “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Verse 30) “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

So what is Jesus’ burden? It’s people. Take My burden, which is for the people that don’t know Him. And then He says, “You will find rest for your souls.” So, we take the burden fo the lost on us, and give Jesus all other things that burden us. Make sense?

All we have to do is ask the Lord to give us a burden for whom He wants us to have a burden for and then with passion and compassion we pray and take action!

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