“…. these are the beginnings of sorrows. Mark 13:8 KJV”

In describing the difficulties leading up to the End of the Age, Jesus used a phrase that in some translations is translated ‘the beginning of sorrows’, and in others as ‘the beginning of birth pains’.
Dr Baruch Korman beautifully explains the difference between the two – birth pains are sorrow and trouble with a redemptive purpose, whereas ‘sorrows’ is merely pain without a purpose.

In life we all go through our challenges – but these are merely birth pains, intended to bring us to the next stage of God’s redemptive plan for our lives. They involve the painful letting go of the past, but enable us then to enter into a new season of fruitfulness and rejoicing that makes the pain and sorrow worthwhile.

On the other hand, sometimes we pick up worries and burdens of life. We pick up sorrows that we were never intended to carry, and through our fears and doubts the sorrows and pain can become unbearable. But we were never intended to carry this kind of sorrow – and it carries no redemptive purpose. Our worries about a situation won’t change it, fix it or make the problem disappear. In fact the more we carry it, the heavier it becomes.

God has never intended for us to carry these sorrows and pains – that is why Jesus was known as a ‘man of sorrows’ (Is 53:3). Truly He has carried it all for us. We are therefore commanded – no, it is not optional – “to be anxious for nothing” (Phil 4:6), but to take it all to Him in prayer. Then in place of our sorrows, we will walk in His peace ‘which surpasses all understanding, guarding our hearts and minds’.

As we draw closer to the End Times, let us be careful not to take upon ourselves extra sorrows on our shoulders. In that way, any challenge that we face will carry a redemptive purpose – and will simply bring forth the new life and destiny God has purposed for us.