I Hope That You Can’t Sleep

   I have often said to the youth here, “If you’re not right with God, I hope that you can’t sleep until you make things right.”  I am sincere when I make that statement.  I hope that the guilt of wrongdoing just eats them up and makes them restless and weary! Why am I so heartless?  Well, I really feel this way because I love them and want them to walk in paths of righteous-ness. Paul wrote these words to the church in Corinth: “For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death” (II Corinthians 7:8-10). Notice some other Bible characters and scriptures that show us the blessings that are to be found in godly grief or sorrow. 

   Solomon knew all the pleasures the world had to offer, having indulged in most of them.  But in his later years, he wrote, “Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of face the heart is made glad. 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). Solomon knew that without godly sorrow that leads to repentance, all the “happiness” in the world would be worthless. 

   The first two statements that Jesus uttered in His sermon on the mount were: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” and “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:3-4). Those who are “poor in spirit” realize that they have need of a Savior. Without this insight, a person would be doomed to pay the penalty of sin with his or her own soul. “Those who mourn” describes those who grieve over disobedience, whether their own, or that of others. 

   So, my desire for you is that you “sow in tears” so that you can “reap with shouts of joy” (Psalm 126:5). When you lay your head on your pillow tonight, allow any guilt you feel to drive you to obey the almighty God.