Tim Keller appeared on a Gospel podcast with wife Kathy Keller to discuss sorrows.
Don't waste your sorrows Psalm 126: 5-6
"Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out reaping, carrying seed to sow, will return songs of joy, carrying sheaves
with them." (NIV)
"We know as Christians, if you look to Jesus this can come true. Jesus is the ultimate example of someone who brought joy out of sorrow. Jesus brought joy out of weeping, his agony, and his weeping was substitutionary; therefore, his punishment and his weeping brought an ultimate harvest of joy."
1. Suffering for me. "I won't suffer in guilt. I won't sit there and say maybe God is punishing me but no, Jesus took my punishment."
2. Self-pity and anger. "How dare God let this happen to me? Wait a minute, God suffered far more than me so that I can someday live with him forever."
3. Patience. "His disciples didn't understand what God can bring any good out of this."
To not suffer in guilt, avoid self-pity and anger, and to be patient, one must humble themselves. "Then I just become patient leaning on him humbling myself. When it's over, it creates Christ-likeness ability to depend on God, not on my circumstances. Jesus Christ was the ultimate example of sowing tears that reap joy. Keep your eye on him when you suffer your sorrows will not be wasted but they will bring long term great joy."
During the Q/A, the interviewer, Kathy Keller and Pastor Tim Keller discuss difficult and tragic times on how to unmask those things you're going to share with other people. Kathy asks, "difficult, tragic times, seems to be an ultimate waste. Tim talked about people who try to put their minds somewhere else. The tendency to put your head down rather than using it as a learning opportunity. People grieve. It was told in scripture that was supposed to comfort people with the comforts we received. So if we didn't receive any comfort, then we just wasted the whole thing. So how does one unmask those things you're going to share with other people.
Tim Keller responds that the main way is to focus on Jesus and what he did for our sins. "When you read the bible, pray, go to church, reach out and help people, under your suffering it just feels awful; yet Paul said our slight momentary afflictions are achieving for us an eternal way to the glory which far outweighs them all. Being renewed every day, obeying God especially through hard sufferings, and being kind to other people is how to unmask things that one is going through." Just like the gym lifting weights you're getting stronger.