Tuesday, September 21, 2010
From Sorrow to Joy
I said to myself, "Come on, let's try pleasure. Let's look for the ‘good things' in life." But I found that this, too, was meaningless. So I said, "Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?"
Solomon, who went on a binge and experimented on an epic scale with pretty much everything this world has to offer, came to this conclusion: "I said to myself, ‘Come on, let's try pleasure. Let's look for the ‘good things' in life.' But I found that this, too, was meaningless" (Ecclesiastes 2:1). Then he added, "Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?" (verse 2).
There is a place for laughter. And there is also a place for sorrow. Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit" (Matthew 5:3), those who see themselves as they are and then take action. The Bible says, "For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There's no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death" (2 Corinthians 7:10). True sorrow will lead to joy, because you see your true state, decide to do something about it, and repent. But without that sorrow, there will be no joy.
Sometimes we are sorry for the repercussions of what we have done. If you are speeding and see the highway patrol in the rearview mirror, with lights flashing, you are sorry. But it is probably not because you broke the speed limit, but because you didn't look more carefully for the highway patrol. You are also sorry because your insurance rates will go up. The question is, next time will you slow down, or will you continue to speed? Sometimes we are sorry for the repercussions, but we are not sorry for the act. We are not sorry enough to stop doing it.
Happy are the poor in spirit, the people who see themselves as they really are. Happy are those who mourn; they want to do something about that condition. They sorrow over it. They repent of it. As Romans 4:8 says, "Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin." Thus, our sorrow leads to joy.
Copyright © 2010 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
Watch Greg Laurie's weekly television broadcast on LightSource.com.
In this new study Bible, I sought to have the reader feel as though I am right here with them as they work their way through the New Testament …and together we are going through the basics of the Christian life. I wanted to give them a sense that I am alongside them trying to anticipate their questions and providing clear answers. That is what the Start! Bible is all about. --Greg Laurie
The Start! Bible has been created to help you to understand what it means to be a Christian and to apply the Word of God to your life in an effective manner.