Today’s verse may seem depressing, especially for a Sunday, but it doesn’t have to be…
Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. (James 4:9)
Remember that James was the “half-brother” of Jesus. There are several places in James’ letter where you can hear the teachings of Jesus coming through – particularly His famous Sermon on the Mount. Even though Jesus’ siblings did not believe in Him as Saviour until after His Resurrection, His teachings must have rubbed off on them, and stuck with them for later in life when they would embrace them.
In this verse, James is not trying to put us in a depressed mood; he is saying something strikingly similar to what Jesus said in the second beatitude, which is part of the introduction to His Sermon:
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)
Jesus and James want us to mourn over our sin, so that we come to Jesus for forgiveness, cleansing, and healing. People who are not concerned about their sin or sorry for their sin are in a terrible position, because they cannot receive the healing they need from their sin. However, when they reach the point of mourning there is hope, because then the comforting can come.
Today’s Good News is that Jesus can change our mourning over sin into the joy of His forgiveness.
Now, go share the Good News…
FAITH in ACTION!
If you are joining us part way through this Journey in James, you can access the devotionals you have missed in the archives. (The series started on June 1.)
If this is your first visit to this website, please read the “Featured Post” from March 1, 2018.