Godly Grief

I am born to fail and so are you. We will spend the rest of our lives trying to prove this wrong but it’s an unavoidable truth. Death is the final blow and we must all face death. Our sin has placed us in a hopeless situation and yet it gets worse. We have an enemy who goes by the name of Satan. He has the power of death and through the fear of death he keeps people in slavery. Satan has a spiritual governmental system of demonic angels and a worldwide way of thought which elevates the self. The ruler of the air preys on our fallen nature like a roaring lion seeking to kill and destroy. The age old lie is that if we can give into Satan’s way then we can avoid death but in the end we will still fail.

Because God is holy and we have rebelled against him, he must deal with our sin problem. When a person looks into the Word of God and sees their fallen state they have a choice to make, will they respond in condemnation which they rightly deserve or will they receive the conviction of the Holy Spirit who offers hope? That is the point of counseling, to guide people to the truth of their fallen state and offer hope in Jesus Christ. “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.” Satan is the accuser of the brethren and he will point us to our sin and rub our faces in it and through vice help us to bury us in our guilt.

Godly grief is Jesus standing before the women caught in adultery and asking, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” Jesus doesn’t condemn us in our sin nor does he avoid our guilty state, meets us in our sin. He knows what it's  like to live in a world and be pounded over the head by Satan. What do you think happened when he was tempted in the desert while extremely hungry? How do think Jesus felt when he saw the lepers and the physically ill along with the slaves to sin all around him? He had godly grief, he had hope for them when no one else did. Hebrews 2:14-15 says it this way,”Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”

Jesus said that if we truly live we must face our own death. Whoever loses their life will gain it. Counseling through God’s Word exposes those areas of our lives that we haven’t allowed to be crucified with Christ. Godly grief takes us to the cross once again and sends back into the world free and restored. The cross is the goodness of the Lord and that leads us to repentance. There is a tendency in our American Christian culture to dismiss our sin casually but that's not what hurting people need whether they believe in Jesus or not. The big question is, “Are you and I above godly grief?” We are above condemnation but we will never be done with the conviction of the Spirit until the day we are fully glorified with Christ. This is love, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us and he still meets us there in our death and offers resurrection life in all circumstances. Therefore we don’t have to be ashamed to lay our dirt on the table and be public about our wrong doings. The healing begins when we allow godly grief to lead us to repentance and we embrace the love and hope of the Savior.

- Jon-Michael Gwinnell, Pastor of Crossroads Church and Director of STAND

Author; Jon-Michael Gwinnell Categories: Youth Ministries

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