Sorrowful, Yet Always Rejoicing

2 Corinthians 6:10a
Recently, the Lord spoke to me clearly and rekindled my heart for the nations. For more than 7 years, I felt led to write a book but couldn’t really get a clear vision for the book, until I came to Thailand. God took hold of my heart with 2 Corinthians 6:3-10, especially verse 10. I could not move on to other passages, because God would not allow me to stop thinking about the verse. In submission to the Holy Spirit, I meditated on the verse and started to look deeper.

I asked myself, how can Paul be sorrowful and yet always rejoice? Can joy be a constant heartbeat of our soul when severely persecuted for the gospel’s sake? Somehow, the sorrows Paul experienced ignited his inner soul to always and continuously be at a state of rejoicing. I sincerely want to always rejoice, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted sorrowfulness to be the means of rejoicing.

In the next chapter, Paul revealed that there are two different sorrows in life: a godly sorrow that brings repentance and the worldly sorrow that brings death (2 Cor. 7:10). A godly sorrow is something that God permits so that it would produce repentance that leads to salvation. Furthermore, the repentance that is produced by what God permits in our life will never bring regret. However, worldly sorrows will produce hopeless sorrows and hopeless sorrows will breed death.

The understanding of the differentiation between the two sorrows clarified for me how I could be at a state of rejoicing. Then, I realized in reality just knowing about sorrows will not bring about the state of rejoicing. Thus, I continued to dig for more insights. From Romans 9:2, something dawned on me. I realized to always be rejoicing one has to be always sorrowful with a godly passion. The opposite is the same – to always not to be rejoicing is to always be consumed with worldly sorrows that breed death to the soul.

Paul has an unending sorrow and grief for the lost. He desired to be forever cursed from Christ to save his people (Rom. 9:2-3). Here, tears started to flow from my eyes, and I began to repent, because I had allowed worldly sorrows to kill the passion I had for the lost. The Lord seems to say to me, “I thought you once wanted to die for me. I thought you were passionate for the lost?” Then, He said, “What did you do with the godly sorrow that I placed in your heart?” As tears blinded my vision, God rekindled my heart for His glory.

God reminded me of the verse he revealed to me before coming to Thailand and said, “If you love Me, you will rise like the sun in all its power” (Judges 5:31). As I continue to study 2 Cor. 6:10, I obtained a clear vision for the book I always wanted to write. The title will be “Thy Light in My Darkness,” and chapter one will be called “Godly Sorrow,” and chapter two will be called “Worldly Sorrow.” I greatly desire God to use the book to rekindle Christians to hear the call of God to missions.

One thing clear about Christians is that our sorrows for the lost is short lived. I have seen many Christians be passionate about missions but had slowly allowed godly passion to die. We allow worldly concerns to destroy our passion for the lost by trading the Master of our life with worldly gains (Matt. 6:24).

Worldly sorrows are deadly, but we don’t easily recognize them, because we deceive ourselves by living on the surface level. As long as we think we are successful in the eyes of the world, we think that we are well. Here, many live in denial of their true spiritual condition, because we are too proud to admit our deadness. Thus, on the surface of things, we seem to be alive, but on the inside we have forfeited our soul (Matt. 16:26). Can you sow to the flesh and expect to produce spiritual life? (Gal. 6:8). I believe life is a loan from God, and He desires abundant fruit (Matt. 25:14-28). Let us be sorrowful but always rejoicing!

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