Summary: Burdens take away our joy, but God's forgiveness of our sins brings us joy and happiness.
Text: “Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” (Psalm 32:11)
How do you feel this morning? Is that a good question? You might not think so. You might say, “Do I look like I feel good?” You know that we all have some issues in life. Our body just doesn’t function like it used to. You might not feel 25 years old.
I have pain when I move my arms or legs because of the arthritis. I can’t walk as far as I would like to because of my heart and my lungs limit my activity. I used to have 20/20 vision, but something has caused that to change.
At times I have to ask people to repeat their words to me because for some reason, I can’t hear all their words. I can’t eat or drink anything I want because of my diabetes, my ulcer, my colon, my allergies, my heartburn, or my teeth.
All these things may be true, but I am asking how you feel deep down in your heart. Physically, none of us are like we used to be. These bodies are going to wear out, but remember “….your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19).
Are you “….glad in the LORD...and…can you shout for joy…? (v. 11) I ask this question because there are “things” that can interfere with your being glad, joyful, or happy.
I believe there are times when we have all felt bad. I am not talking about feeling bad because of some physical aliment or condition, but I am talking about feeling bad because of something you have done to someone or something you have said to someone. In other words, you have hurt someone and now you have a guilty feeling.
Maybe you have taken what belonged to another person. You showed greed by claiming what rightfully belonged to someone else. Perhaps you spoke to someone in a very unkind way giving them the impression you were superior to them. Possibly you turned away from one who needed your help or assistance. Maybe someone was in need of food or drink and you walked away from them.
All of us have likely done some of these things. We are not perfect by any means. We all have a selfish streak somewhere in our system. There are periods of time when greed creeps in and gives us temporary high and then suddenly drops us making us feel lower than a snake-in-the-grass. Have you ever felt like that?
Some people have a tendency to want more than they need. They may even take advantage of other people in order to fulfill their wants. Pride may creep into the picture giving the person an inflated ego, thus projecting a picture of superiority.
Anger may show its’ ugly shadow when one person has such determination to acquire or to do something that they lose control of their actions and words. This can and probably has happened to most of us. The question I have is this: “How did we feel when we realized our wrongdoing?” Did we feel good about our actions? Were we happy with ourselves? Did we have a smile upon our face? Were we miserable?
When we do any of these things we have committed sinful actions. We have placed a barrier between us and the other person. What is worse is that we have set ourselves apart from Almighty God. We have moved away from His love, compassion, and understanding. In the process, we have committed ill-feelings with the other person involved. We have messed up.
Our heart is hurting after we come to realize what we have done. We are miserable. Not a single one of us here wants to be miserable, but there are some people who seem to strive on misery. The people who are miserable are not happy people.
There is no joy in their heart. They are not concerned about their Maker and what He has done or can do for them. There is no close relationship to their God. In fact, they don’t even think about Him.
No one has to be miserable. No one has to live life under the burden of sin. No one has to carry the load of iniquity alone. No one has to feel as though all is lost and they are worthless.
Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gently and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).