Friday, November 28, 2014

Joy Follows Repentance

Photo by Daniel Oines (Flickr)
I have been the recipient of God’s correction quite a few times. Sometimes, the resulting emotional pain was so deep that it felt like was I being crushed by the weight of it. However, when I stopped justifying or minimizing the seriousness of my behavior – when I honestly repented of my sin – joy and gladness eventually returned. And when the joy returned, it returned with great abundance. (Click on the comment link to read more.)

Psalm 51:8 (NIV) 
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

Psalm 51:8 (GNT) / for meditation purposes
 Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness;
    and though you have crushed me and broken me,
    I will be happy once again.

I have learned that if it wasn’t for God’s firm, but always loving hand of discipline in my life, I would have strayed from Him, or at least strayed from His purposes for me. So, until I reach the point of not ever needing His correction, (ha! as if that day will ever come!), I will thank Him for loving me that much.

What about you?

  • What are some of the ways God has disciplined you? Were you able to discern His love and compassion even while being disciplined? (Click on the comment link to read a little about one of the times I experienced God’s discipline.)
  • Once you repented of your sin, were you able to enjoy a deeper appreciation of God’s love? Did you grow to also appreciate the standards He was calling you to?

Just as our earthly parents often hate to enforce disciplinary actions, our heavenly Father loves us enough to allow us to experience consequences of our sins so we will learn from and regret our choices. Thank God (literally!).

I’m here if you need me. You can use a pseudonym if you want to share a little about your struggle (via the comment link). I’d be honored to pray with you.

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.


  1. Due to my chronic struggle with a serious eating disorder, I lost the privilege of raising my four small children, almost every job for at least twenty years following, and countless relationships, including my marriage.

    While I acknowledge eating disorders are considered a mental health issue, I also believe that for some, this behavior and mindset can develop into a sin issue. It was for me.

    Even though I was a strong believer, anorexia nervosa and bulimia was a constant entangling sin I battled – for decades. While many people gave up on me, I’m thankful for those who continued to pray for and walk with me during that time. Their Christlike spirit helped me to persevere while they helped me to see I did have choices:

    I could continue to choose to be oppressed by the destructive behavior, or I could choose to yield to God’s grace. I began to realize that each time I resisted God’s help, I was actively disobeying Him. But I also knew He was there for me at any time.

    He was with me during the long hospitalizations, each time I lost a job due to my choices, every time a friend could no longer deal with my issues, and every minute I ached for my kids.

    The crushing emotional pain I experienced while not raising my children – and the lost friendships and jobs – was gradually replaced with joy and gladness. It didn’t happen overnight, but each time I chose my relationship with God over giving into the temptation to starve myself or purge, the joy increased. Eventually I was able to stay out of the hospitals for longer stretches of time, until finally the day came when I no longer battled eating disorders. I was then able to see my children on a regular basis and establish a solid work history.

    Although I no longer struggle with the same issues, I still have to maintain a daily closeness with God so I can continue to make the choices He desires for me. My love for Him and His standards (and my love for life itself) continues to grow as I remain in His Word and allow His Word to remain in me. When I allow His Presence to dwell in me (through reading and meditating on His Word), it becomes easier to make daily God-honoring choices.

    Sin can be so deceptive, can’t it? And it always cost us more than we expected. But God uses (and even allows) the consequences of our choices to bring us back to Him.

    I have grown much, but I still have much further to grow. That is, after all, why I am spending time on these verses! With God’s Word dwelling within me, I am growing to be more like Him – slowly, but surely.

  2. You have a very powerful testimony Sheryl! My heart goes out to you and the pain you must have endured from all of this. I find it so amazing and such a wonderful example of God's grace and power that He could heal you and your family from this. That is truly God. This kind of healing does not come from secular counseling or our own will power, but from God alone. This type of healing is a true miracle. I love your humility and your willingness to be honest regarding these issues. My prayer (and I am sure your prayer also) is that others would read your testimony and recognize the powerful and loving God we serve. Nothing is impossible for Him.

    1. Indeed it is my prayer that others will see God's power and love when they read/hear all He's done in my life (and continues to do!).
      And it is my conviction that God can do anything, absolutely nothing is impossible with Him!!
      Thank you again, Barbara, for stopping by -- and for your encouraging words.

    2. Barbara, while having my quiet time today, I realized I needed to add something.

      Your compliment was so sweet (about my humility and being willing to share). However, I must also share how many times I messed up! I was so VERY angry about not raising my children! I certainly wasn't displaying much humility during those years. I loved God, but was deeply hurt that He allowed this to happen to me.

      Thankfully, and very gradually, I was able to trust His sovereignty and His love for me. I remember I prostrated myself on my face (flat on the floor) and said to Him, "If I'm never going to get my kids back, then help me to trust You about this. And in the meantime, please use me."

      That was the beginning of the turning point in my life. Although I still behave quite poorly, I can see progress. And although I still tear up sometimes when sharing my testimony, I am experiencing true joy! (At least a lot of the times!) ;)

  3. I can imagine the level of despair you must have reached to be without your children and to fall on your face before God in total surrender to Him. We may never understand this side of heaven why we have had to endure some of the things we have or even why some things seemed to take us so much longer to push through and with so little real help ever offered. Maybe it is because God wants to teach us how to be "real" help to others, not just help in words, but in practice. God is still teaching me so much about compassion, patience, forgiveness, and practical help. And one thing I know... If I make it, I will make it only because of Who He is, it will not be because of who I am. It is Christ Who holds me up.

    You have been a real inspiration to me and have taught me so much. I can tell from your testimony and and your honest humility when sharing your story that your heart remains tender and loving before God. You did not allow bitterness to take root, but you allowed yourself to be broken at a core level and you offered yourself to Christ and fell on Him for your help and your source. You are a sweet smelling fragrance to Christ, and an example of His resurrection power at work in your life.

    1. I love this comment, Jennifer. You are so right: it is only because of Who Jesus is and His amazing willingness to hold us up is why we are able to "stand" at all.

      Let's pray for each other.

      Thank you for your very encouraging words and please stop by again!


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