For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.” (II Corinthians 7:10)
As we saw in the last post, Paul is speaking of two kinds of grief. One is the grief of true repentance while the other is a worldly grief most often associated with the sorrow of being caught for a sinful act or the pain flowing from the consequences of sin.
Godly sorrow feels the pain of Jesus. Thus we become grieved deeply within our hearts. We may weep and experience feelings of pain for the fact that we put Jesus on the cross. We caused His suffering and death. We then turn in true grief and confess our sins to God. This is what David did when He came face to face with the gravitas of his sin.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love, according to Your abundant mercy, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You may be justified in Your words and blameless in Your judgment. (Psalm 51:1-4)
David acknowledged his sin before God. He took ownership of it. He didn’t justify himself, make excuses or blame others. I noticed how many times David used the personal pronouns, “I” and “my.” After his sincere and sorrowful acknowledgment of sin, he sought God’s forgiveness and cleansing.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that You have broken rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. (Psalm 51:7-12)
I plead with God that He would give me that kind of passion when I sin against Him and others. I pray that I will face my sins honestly by taking responsibility for them. I pray that I will acknowledge hand experience the pain and suffering Jesus bore for me on the cross. I pray that I will plead with God to cleanse me and to restore to me the joy of His salvation. When I do these things, I will be sorrowful with godly grief and will experience the true forgiveness of God and the abundant life that flows from Him. The joy of His salvation will return I will be set free from the guilt of my sin because God will remember it no more!
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