November 17, 2017—“Godly vs. Worldly Sorrow” – Pr. Lori Nagaoka
10 For [godly] sorrow that is in accord with the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but worldly sorrow [the hopeless sorrow of those who do not believe] produces death.—2 Corinthians 7:10
The commentary by McLaren regarding this scripture is so very powerful: “Very near the close of his missionary career the Apostle Paul summed up his preaching as being all directed to enforcing two points, ‘Repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.’ These two, repentance and faith, ought never to be separated in thought, as they are inseparable in fact. True repentance is impossible without faith, true faith cannot exist without repentance”. I wholeheartedly agree that one cannot experience repentance without regret unless one believes in the God that fully & completely forgives you. Likewise, one cannot have a life of deep faith in Jesus unless one practices godly repentance.
My life has had many ups and downs (like all other people). I remember a particular difficult season of faith. Things that were happening to people I dearly cared about were so disheartening: marriages were falling apart, children were being uprooted from their family homes, and people were losing their faith. I was falling into a pit where my sadness was beginning to consume. Truth be told I was not certain if my “house of God” or people of God were ever going to be “okay”. The sorrow that I was experiencing and if I continued to give in to it would certainly produce death not my actual
physical death but death of my faith and/or death of hope in God and people. I needed to give myself over to godly sorrow. Ultimately, I needed to have faith & believe that even the most terrible situations/seasons God was still Lord over All and that He could bring hope and bring redemption in any of these situations.
Lord, You are Sovereign over All, I am so grateful that in You is Hope and Life everlasting. I am humbled by Your Grace and by Your Mercy. I am overwhelmed by your complete and full forgiveness that You give so Freely when I fully seek You out with a true sorrowful heart. Amen.