Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Lack of Joy

Here is an answer to a question posted on my comments for the post "Joy!"

Q: If sin has been confessed and forsaken, and joy is still not present (more of a dry, dusty, maybe-lost-in-the-wilderness-for-40-years kind of life, actually), what then?....

A: There are several possibilities for the dry, dusty, long life.

  1. You have confessed and forsaken the big sins but not all of the little ones that set you up for the big ones. "Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless,innocent of great transgression." (Psalm 19:13)
  2. You do not believe that God has forgiven you. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)
  3. You are not obeying Philippians 4:4, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" That is a command. Disobeying it is sin. Confess and forsake the sin of not rejoicing.
  4. You do not think it is right to rejoice in forgiveness after such a sin.
  5. You believe you have to do some sort of penance for God to know that you really mean your confession.
  6. "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." (2 Corinthians 7:10) There are two types of sorrow, Godly and worldly. There is no virtue in worldly sorrow. It is remorse. It leads to death. Godly sorrow leads to repentance which leads to salvation and leaves no regret. If you still have regret, then you did not repent. You did not repent because your sorrow was not Godly, it was worldly. If you still have remorse then you were not forgiven. If you were forgiven there would be no regret.
  7. There is a possibility that you are not saved. God has promised everlasting joy: "The ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away." (Isaiah 51:11) He has commanded joy now: "Be joyful always." (1 Thessalonians 5:16) The fruit of the Spirit is joy: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace ..." (Galatians 5:22)

Whatever the reason, you are under some sort of chastening. "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." (Hebrews 12:11) That is the only Biblical reason for no joy. Find out what it is and confess it. You will not find it by introspection. That is a downer. Come into God's presence! Have Him search. Don't you search.


Anonymous said...

Welcome to the blogosphere! And your right, apart from Christ we can't know real joy, with Him we can't know the real absence of it.

Happy Blogging.

Sola Deo Gloria,


Mike Spreng said...

We can also find joy in that very same chapter (Hebrews 12)by "knowing" that you are disciplined. The mere fact that we are disciplined proves that we are not bastards (I love the KJV). It's a much more reliable experience than the altar call!

Mike Spreng
Yuma Reformed

Anonymous said...

I really like your blog!
You are now my newest bookmark to read in the morning! Keep up the great work, and may God Bless you and yours.
Merry Christmas!


PilgrimGM said...

Thank you, Mr. Wilson, for your encouraging entries! Oh, to focus on the Word, to "think on these things," is just what I need!

Gordan said...

Pastor Wilson,

I praise God for your entry in the blog world. And for this particular post. I read it this morning and the difference between regret and repentance has been haunting me all day.

By the way, I learned from Doug's blog recently that you are the author of the little book, "Principles of War." A friend gave it to me when I lived in Idaho in the early nineties, and to this day I count it as one of the treasures of my library. You might consider going through those principles again on this blog. Good stuff!