Thursday, October 25, 2018

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 2 Corinthians 7:10 NIV

On Day 1, we talked about how fasting can reveal the things that control us. True freedom is experienced only when our whole life is surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Anything that competes with Jesus’ rule in our hearts, God will lovingly reveal in order to lead us to life-giving repentance. Sorrow is another one of these avenues that God uses to reveal sin in our heart and lead us to repentance.

Sorrow is akin to grief. It is the experience of losing something or someone very important to us. However, godly sorrow and worldly sorrow are radically different. Worldly sorrow is often caused by the loss or denial of something we want for ourselves. It is self-centered, and its result is despair, regret, self-pity, bitterness, and death.

Judas was overcome by such a sorrow caused by his betrayal of Jesus, but it led to despair and death. Godly sorrow, however, always leads to repentance. Similar to the prodigal son who “came to his senses” and went home back to his father, godly sorrow also will move us into action towards God our Father.

What is the cause of godly sorrow?

Ephesians 4:30 says, And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

Godly sorrow is caused by staying in tune with the Holy Spirit. When we are attuned to the Holy Spirit, we are then able to experience the same grief the Holy Spirit experiences when our lives and actions do not match the identity God has given us. This kind of sorrow always leads us to God, a repentance that leads to salvation

Repentance simply means to “change your mind” so that your mind is aligned with God’s thoughts and His will for your life. Your salvation took root in such repentance and through it you are continually “transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).

As we move towards God in repentance, we are met with a Father who sees us even in the distance, runs to us, embraces us, and covers us with His kisses. Instead of regret, there is only love, joy, and celebration (see Luke 15:11-32). 

Thank God for His unconditional love today. Thank Him for being your Father, and spend time with Him as His child. Ask the Holy Spirit if you brought Him any sorrow in the way you live, and if so let Him to lead you to repentance. Let the Spirit of God use the sorrow to bring you close towards the Father and conform your heart and mind to His Son who lives in you.