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The previous post in this series may be found here

Morgan next explains how discipleship must include a new understanding of sorrow.

First, the disciple must come to understand the nature and source of sin:

“And when, following that desire, instead of returning then and there to allegiance man passed through the door, seeking liberty, he found himself in a great darkling void, without God, and yet possessed of a nature making demands perpetually that neither he himself nor any other could satisfy.

Sorrow, then, is the result of sin, but it is the benevolent, tender, purposeful messenger of the Eternal Love, who cannot see His offspring lose all, without causing within them this sense of loss, and so ever by that means attracting them homeward. Carry out that view of sorrow, and see how wondrously the person and work of Jesus agree thereto”

The disciple must learn that in Christ’s Cross, sorrow has been transformed:

“Surely a stillness in heaven, on earth, in hell,—and then “it is finished ” from His lips, and He, the conqueror, died by “laying down” His life. Sin is put away, and sorrow is recalled. Righteousness commences her new reign and joy follows in her wake, the glorious possibilities of humanity are opened up, for Christ has lived and died, and lives forever now, and is a priest “after the power of an endless life” (Heb. vii. 16).”

Morgan then gives five particulars of understanding sorrow rightly. First, the disciple must learn that much sorrow is self-centered:

“To the disciple the realm of sorrow has become circumscribed, and that in a large measure. The great sorrows of humanity are personal and self-centred. Some loss experienced, some injury inflicted, some disappointment realized, these are the common causes of sorrow.”

The solution to this is to ground one’s hope in Christ alone:

“Very slow we may be, even in the school of Jesus, but this is the growing experience of those who are learning of Him and are submissive to His teaching; and witnesses, to the fact that God fills all the gaps, and brings the heart into perfect rest, are not wanting, neither are they few.”

Second, the man of sorrows draws the disciple near to God:

“From this is seen the Mission of Sorrow. It is ever a disciplinary force, drawing the heart more and more toward God, as it creates a sense of the hollowness and uncertainty of all that has been held most dear.”

Third, sorrow brings us to the “companionship of Jesus.”

Fourth, Jesus transforms our sorrows to joy:

“Looking back over our sorrows since we entered the school of Jesus, there is yet another truth to be recognized, and that is the fact of their transmutation. When the Master was about to leave His earliest disciples, He said to them of the keenest pain of the time —the thought of His departure—”Your sorrow shall be turned into joy” (John xvi. 20). And was it not so? They learned in the coming of the Paraclete how expedient it was for them that He should go away, and so His going their greatest grief—became to them, in His ascension, and the consequent coming of Himself, into nearer, dearer relation by the indwelling Spirit, their greatest joy. In that promise was there not a statement of the whole philosophy of pain to a believing, trusting heart? How perpetually sorrow is turned into joy. Mark—not the sorrow removed, and so joy coming, but the sorrow itself becoming the joy. Have we not all had such experiences?”

Fifth, we leave our own sorrows and become fellows of the suffering of Christ:

“. The disciple enters a new realm of sorrow. Union with Christ means a measure of “the fellowship of His sufferings” (Phil. iii. 10). “A heart at leisure from itself” is a heart to “soothe and sympathize.” Free from the blight of sorrow, seeing my sorrows as His choicest gifts and leaving them ever with Him, I come to understand the awful needs of humanity, and I go to His cross to be in some measure a sharer of His suffering for others”