How do you feel when you know you’ve messed up? How do you feel when you know that you’ve sinned and done what God does not want? You most likely feel sorry about the whole matter. You know you’ve failed in some way. You may feel like a failure. It could be that the matter weighs you down to the point where you feel grief. Some of those caught in the Ashley Madison hack probably feel that way now. Will you find great joy in the midst of it all?
The absence of joy
Of course some people are only sorry because they were caught. However, being sorry for your misdeeds or failure is entirely different. That’s when you experience the heart-felt sorrow that can weigh you down. That’s when it’s harder to find great joy.
However, there’s no point in getting stuck in that place. Yes. Contrition is important. The first route out of that place is to tell God about your mistake, your failure. Fess up to God with genuine repentance. If someone else is/other people are involved, fess up to them also. But don’t stop there. Receive God’s forgiveness. God’s promise is sure:
If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
Once you’ve done this, experience great joy. You know, the joy of the Lord can be your strength.
Finding great joy
Think about this. Nehemiah had spearheaded the rebuilding of the Jerusalem city wall. Now in Nehemiah 8 it was time for the survivors who had remained there to be reminded of who and whose they were through the reading of the law, the Scriptures. Not surprisingly given all that had transpired, those who had survived and remained in Jerusalem wept when they heard the reading and interpretation
Was it joy? No. For they were told not to “mourn or weep” when they cried (Nehemiah 8:9). Perhaps they realized that they had drifted from what God wanted. After all, the broken down city wall meant that all was not well.
Regardless of the source of their grief, the good news is that their leaders pointed to them to the source of their strength—the joy of the Lord. Did they find great joy? They sure did. The grief opened the door for the great joy that was to follow. Now, they could celebrate and rejoice because they understood the law (Nehemiah 8:12).
Isn’t that something? As they found out and you can find also:
- There is great joy in moving from darkness and out into the light as,
- We understood God better and who we are before God,
- We understood our responsibility/response to God, and
- We are ready to serve the Lord with renewed commitment
When this happens, the day becomes holy, different, set apart for God and we find great joy.
Experiencing the shift to clarity and peace through honest, surrendered, whole whole-hearted praying.
Image courtesy of AdinaVoicu, Pixabay.Com