STOP GRIEVING

LifeLink Devotions (Click here for Apple podcast)

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Children, and even grandchildren, can be a source of both joy and sorrow. From the moment they are born we invest our time and energy into nurturing them and teaching them the values that will sustain them through this difficult preparation period for eternity. We set up boundaries and provide guidance, knowing from our own experience the consequences of ignoring them. To the children we may seem mean, unfair, and constricting, but our motive is to protect them and show them true freedom. When we finally trust them to make decisions for themselves, and they reject the training we gave them, we are grieved. We experience the pain of knowing the pain they are going to experience. Our love for them magnifies the sorrow. We hurt even more deeply because they have chosen not to trust our guidance. We may even think they have rejected our love. We experience both the grief of watching someone we love being hurt, and the grief of our own rejection.

Now consider the response of the Holy Spirit of God when we reject His teaching and guidance.

Ephesians 4:30  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Triune God. He is the fullness of God and the spiritual expression of the living Christ who dwells in each and every born-again believer. He has personality, emotions, and feelings, all existing in sinless perfection. He brings to us all the nature and characteristics of God as seen in Jesus Christ. He is God’s gift at the request of Jesus, so that His life might be lived in and through us. He teaches us all the things we need to know about Jesus so our lives will be lived to His glory and honor. He guides us into all truth. He gives wisdom for every decision. His love is God’s love, complete and perfect, and motivates every input into our lives. His influence is constant. His patience is perpetual.

Yet He can be grieved. Every time His influence is ignored, He is grieved. Each time His wisdom is outweighed by our wishes, He is grieved.  Whenever we turn from trusting Him to trust in self, He experiences the pain of rejection. If we, as parents and grandparents who love deeply yet imperfectly, can experience such sorrow over a child’s rebellion, how much more deeply does the One who loves perfectly feel that pain? All rejection of the Holy Spirit’s direction is rebellion. All choices made to please self are rebellion. All distrust of the Holy Spirit’s love and purpose is rebellion. All rebellion grieves Him.

It not only grieves the Holy Spirit when we rebel, but it grieves Him when we redefine rebellion to justify our rebellion. How often are we guilty of justifying sin because it provides us immediate gratification? It is time for revival in the church of Jesus Christ, and it must start with our repentance from sin. That is only going to happen when we truly define sin as God does. The Holy Spirit who lives within us has taught how God defines sin. He reveals every temptation to sin when it shows up in our lives. We are grieving the Holy Spirit when we ignore His input for whatever reason. Imagine the power of God that will be revealed in and through us in our churches if we would all live in the fullness of the Holy Spirit and stop grieving Him. Imagine the number of people who would come to Christ if they saw the effects of His transforming power in our lives.

The Holy Spirit knows the will of God for our lives. He is intimately involved in every detail.  He is constantly present providing wisdom. He knows exactly how to nurture us and teach us the values that will sustain us through this life. Do not grieve Him by ignoring Him. Do not grieve Him by distrusting Him. Do not grieve Him by rejecting His influence. Surrender to Him, for in that surrender you will be truly free.

Pastor John