© Copyright 2017 John Foll
“For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leadingto salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10 NASB. What Paul says here is so true!
When a soul is convicted that there is something in their life that they should confess and repent of, there is often a struggle within (before they are born again). When there is a cherished sin it may seem sorrowful to give up because it seems so sweet. Or it may seem sorrowful when they worry what family or friends think about doing what God has asked them to do. They may feel greatly embarrassed if there is something to confess to others or to make right, or if someone else finds out about their guilt or sins. There are any number of sorrows that a soul can experience. But is there a sorrow for sin? Jesus said, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 KJV. Which sorrow do you have? If you are sorry that your life is not what it should be, and desire to have wonderful peace and a new life with God, you will be comforted, because God will give it to you! If you have just the sorrow of trouble that sins or mistakes bring, this is not true sorrow. When you are tired of sinning, hurting yourself, God and others, and want things to be better, humble your heart before God and throw yourself on His mercy! Give into God’s sweet Spirit! It matters not how small the sin may appear to yourself or others. Listen now to David’s perplexity and his desire to confess here: “For I am ready to fall, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I confess my iniquity; I am full of anxiety because of my sin.” Psalm 38:17-18 NASB. Here David shows his sorrow for his sins, so he confessed his iniquity, and in several places in this Psalm he was begging for God’s help and mercy. David knew that he needed help from God to get peace and security. This is the way all contrite people will be!“Do not forsake me, O LORD; O my God, do not be far from me!” Psalm 38:21 NASB.
You may say that you have given yourself to God years before and confessed all of your sins to Him. But you probably know what God is asking you to do right now that you put off… put it off no more, so you can have wonderful peace with God! He loves you! You may have put off long ago what God had asked you to do and forgotten about it. If you lack true, sweet wonderful peace from God, and lack His sweet Spirit in your heart now, please pray to Him to reveal to you again whatever it was that you failed to do that you should have done.
If you have sweet, wonderful peace with God now and are walking in the light of His love, we are happy for you! This is the way you should always be! That means you have a sweetness in your life and example that is a fragrant odor to God! That means that you are loving and kind to others and are seeking to show them how much God loves them, or you are helping them in whatever way that God has blessed you with gifts to do, because God’s goodness is flowing through your life to them. And you are bearing much fruit for God. Does this portray your life? No, then there is a work to do yet in your heart to yield fully to God or to make things right with Him or others, let God do this for you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9. You will never regret it! He will turn that sorrow of sin into joy and wonderful peace! But how can this be, you may say? ‘I love the Truth and am following it.’ Really? If you really love the Truth, you should have this wonderful change in your heart, and you should dearly love your God and others. And serving God will be a constant delight to you! How do we know this? “Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” John 8:31-32 NASB. Thus you see that if you are really abiding in Christ, and are truly His disciple, that you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free! What truth? The truth of God’s love for you and the world! It will transform your life if you let it! If your life is not transformed like this, you are not yet fully Jesus’ disciple, and are not yet fully abiding in Christ, and are not yet fully free. Do not say that you are a child of Abraham, i.e. a child of God, and have no need of this. God is able from these stones to raise up Children for Abraham, i.e. children of God. Matthew 3:9. [We are not saying here that you are lost or that you don’t love God somewhat, or that you are not yet learning to walk with Him, if you do not have this wonderful change yet fully, that is between you and God, but that there is still a work to do in your heart and life, if you will let God do it for you and obey His sweet voice.]
Be honest, if these good things of having that sweet, wonderful peace, and being a New Creation filled with the Holy Spirit does not describe your life, there is still a work to do in your life to give yourself completely to God, because you love Him!If God is not first in your life, because you love Him, and you do not have this wonderful change that only a life yielded fully to God can have, that is filled with the Holy Spirit, God is not yet first in your life, and you are at least partly or fully breaking the First Commandment, Exodus 20:3. If God is not first in your life, because you love Him more than anything else in this life, you need to confess this to Him; tell Him you are sorry that you have not put Him first or continued to put Him first, and ask Him to help you keep His commandments, which are to love Him with all of your heart, mind and soul, and to help you love your neighbor as yourself! Matthew 22:26-40. You will never regret it! We promise you!Your life then will be so sweet and your love for Him will be so deep! You will wonder why you never did it before! And the things of this world will lose their hold on you, as your love for Him grows. When this happens, you will be ready or nearly ready for Heaven! (Only God knows when this process is complete.)
Solomon summed it all up when he declared: “Sorrow isbetter than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.” Ecclesiastes 7:3-4 KJV. Some do not want to think about their course, and what they need to do to be right with God. Their heart is full of sorrow and guilt, but they try to drown it out or ignore it. They want to keep themselves in a constant state of entertainment, mirth and comedy, anything but dealing with the sorrow that needs to be repented of. But Solomon says that the wise are in the house of mourning! This is when someone considers their life to see what God wants them to do, even if it isn’t pleasant. ‘The sorrow of the world produces death’, as Paul says above, but ‘the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces repentance without regret’, i.e. salvation! The wise have the sorrow that is according to the will of God that produces repentance without regret, because they think about their life and are sorry for their sins, and confess them to Him, and repent.
Why does the true sorrow produce repentance without regret? Because you can never know true peace, until you confess all of your sins and make a complete repentance. (Especially the sin of not putting God first in your life!) But once you give in, confess, give up and decide to do what God has asked you to do, He will help you and you will finally know true peace with no regrets! No regrets, because you will be so happy once you give in and decide to do whatever God has told you to do! Why would you regret all the joy, peace and relief you get when you know true repentance? You wouldn’t! God will help those who truly turn to Him, forgive them, and cleanse them from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:9. Amen!
In closing, let us examine the apostle James’ wisdom for us:“But He [God] gives a greater grace.Therefore it says, ‘GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.’ Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” James 4:6-10 NASB. Now note what Jesus said here: “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32 KJV. What Jesus says here also includes confession to God for sins, for no one can truly confess Jesus to men, unless they are first His disciple. And no one can truly be Jesus’ disciple until they have confessed their sins and yielded fully to Him! We should all want Jesus to confess to His Father that He knows us shouldn’t we? “Many will say to me in that day [the day of the kingdom of Heaven, i.e. the judgement], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’”Matthew 7:22-23 KJV. So we should all want Jesus to confess that He knows us to the Father! May God have mercy on all those who haven’t yielded fully to Him, and confessed all their sins to Him, including not putting Him first in their life! May He grant them more time and mercy to learn to love Him with all of their heart, and all of their soul and all of their mind! Matthew 22:37.
“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, says the Lord GOD. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of any one, says the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.” Ezekiel 18:30-32 RSV.
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