Be afflicted, and mourn

What comes to mind when you think of humility? Think of the actions or lifestyle of a humble person.

Is it graceful? Is it poised? Does it exhibit class and refinery?

I believe most of us would say yes to all those questions. Humility is the epitome of etiquette and grace, charm and affableness. Humility- putting others above oneself- is at the very core of politeness. People who exhibit humility are in every way leading the world in manners and conduct.

Humility is respectable.

Humility is graceful.

Humility is poised.

Humility is also commanded by God. In James we are told, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10

Such a wonderful promise. Just before this promise we find another such comforting verse. It says, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:8

This verse really describes what is necessary in our lives. Drawing nigh to God, and cleansing and purifying ourselves. In between these verses is a verse that I often notice as overlooked.

It doesn’t sound pleasant, and it’s not such a wonderful comforting idea. But it is absolutely essential to understanding humility.

It says, “Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.”

Take a moment and read that verse a second time.

Does that sound like the victorious Christian life? It may not, but it definitely is.

It probably doesn’t sound like a chapter of our lives we want put on display. Being afflicted, mourning, weeping- these are all things that are nothing close to pleasant. We would’t show that side of us to the public, we wouldn’t feel so happy about posting about that on social media.

 

In essence, the path to humility is frought with unpleasantness. It is far from picture perfect moments. It is a stranger to comforts and pleasant feelings. The path to humility is affliction (hard toil), is is weeping, and it is mourning.

The Bible tells us to Humble ourselves in sight of God.

We put that on plaques and signs in our home. Do we read it with joy and forget what it means? Humbling yourself in the sight of God is not something you can do without being changed. It requires surrendering your pleasant and happy thoughts, and getting down to see the filth that you really are.

Giving up your dignity.

Weeping over your sin.

It is for the moment grievous, but for all eternity is is supreme joy.

God says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”

If you are willing to mourn over your sin, and be afflicted over it; God will raise you up.

Won’t you humble yourself today?

Advertisements

Stepping out lately?

We will always have friends at college or the workplace, or at some other place. Many times we have friends of convenience. Its nice when theyre around, but its no great loss when theyre gone. Successful friendships dont happen by accident.

Marriages do not endure without commitment. Parent-child relationships dont continue after the child is an adult unless an effort is made on both sides. Relationships take work. A good friend of mine likes to sing a song that says, Ill start walkin your way, and you start walkin mine. In truth, thats friendship. Effort that is made on both sides.

So, what about your relationship with God?

Are walkin His way? Or are you walking away? James 4:8 says, Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. As Christians, do we really think about what God did for us. Do we realize? Think about this, God died for you before you were ever born.

He definitely put the effort in. What else is greater than to die for a friend?

Now its your turn.

Will you make the effort? Will you decide to grow closer to God? Hes waiting for you. Hes calling out to you. Hes watching you. Waiting for you to make the slightest move towards Him.

Wont you make an effort to cleanse your life of sin and have an intimate fulfilling relationship with your Creator? The God of the universe loves you. Hes waiting to have a closer relationship with you. How long will you make Him wait?