There is one thing that every single individual has experienced or will at some point or another. It unites us, it tears us apart, and it emphasizes our instinct that there has to be more than just this life. It is grief. My two year old experiences it daily when he falls down or his feelings are hurt because he has been disciplined by us for unkind behavior. The next door neighbors experienced grief a few weeks ago when the matriarch of their family passed away and cars filled their yard and the street as they came together to comfort one another. Several of my friends grieve constantly over a way ward child, broken that they are left to watch their precious ones self destruct, refusing to turn to Jesus. A family wrestles with grief over the loss of a precious child as they see their beloved legacy off to be with our Savior. A pastor grieves at the state of his nation, the rebellious hearts of its’ people towards God, always praying for revival.
We also experience grief when we can’t seem to break free from a sin pattern. We fall into the same, painfully obvious trap set by the enemy over and over. We feel as though we have become captive to that one thing that we just can’t seem to get rid of. That immense knot that wells up in the pit of our stomach when we simply cannot break free from that one habit, that one addiction. This kind of grief, as well as the ones mentioned above, will aways fall into one of two categories according to 2 Corinthians 7:8-10.
“For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”
You see friends, in any circumstance where our hearts are grieving, whether it be at our own sin, loss, or someone else’s darkness, we have two options. Paul’s words tells us that there is Godly grief, in which we choose to repent and ultimately seek Christ. Additionally, there is worldly grief, that if chosen, means we are seeking death. Often Satan uses our grief over our own sin and maliciously converts it into guilt. Don’t ever be fooled, dear one, God loves you deeply and would never put one drop of guilt in your heart. This is from the enemy and the enemy alone. If we are deceived into allowing our grief to overwhelm us to the point of despair, whether it be from our own struggle against our flesh or a circumstance that weighs heavy on our hearts, we are choosing worldly grief. We are choosing to believe that there is no hope. The morning will never come. The dark is too great for the Light. Oh, but if we choose to protect our hearts and choose Godly grief, then we are choosing hope! When we choose to take our mourning and intentionally claim it as Godly grief, we offer up our brokenness at the foot of the cross and tell our beloved Father to take it and make it something beautiful. For His glory. Whereas worldly grief leads to a dark pit guilt, full of shame and despair, Godly grief will only lead to a heart turned back to God, a lost one to new life, and hope for the future.
Lean into Him today friends, and choose hope. Much love,