For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter. – 2 Corinthians 7:10-11
If I were to tell you that you can find joy within your conviction, you might think I’m crazy. As a believer in Jesus, conviction is a gift from the Holy Spirit that lets us know when we have offended God by disobeying Him. I’m not talking about that feeling you get becauseyou did something bad. I’m talking about that feeling you get when you realize you have offended God.
Paul calls it, here in 2 Corinthians 7, “godly grief.” A feeling of grief or sorrow that we have disobeyed our Master. You know that feeling if you are a believer. It’s not a fun feeling. How is it that we can find joy in our conviction?
My son, Jaiyden, is at the end of his terrible 2’s and about to enter his terrifying 3’s. Everything is “no” to him. So, when he disobeys,we place him in time-out. But we tell him that he’s in time-out, not because of the action he did, but because he disobeyed mommy and daddy. Our conviction of our sin is not just because of what we have done, but also because of who we did it to. So, Paul shares with us in 2 Corinthians 7 about convictionand even how we can find joy in it.
Conviction produces repentance
We can find joy in conviction becauseit leads us to repentance. I am thankful for conviction because it allows me to know when I have done wrong and that I need to repent and turn to Jesus. I had a 90 day review one time at my first full time youth pastor position. It went fairly well. However, a couple things were pointed out to me that I needed to work on. I was thankful for that opportunity to learn where I have failed so that I can change.
Martin Luther’s first thesis that he nailed to the Wittenberg Castle Church in 1517 said, “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent,” he intended that the entire life of believers should be repentance.”
Conviction produces repentance that leads to growth
We can find joy in conviction because it leads us to repentance which then leads us to spiritual growth. Paul calls it salvation in chapter 7, but he’s referring to maturing as a believer. As we repent of our sin, we grow to be more like Jesus. Our greatestdesire in life should be to look more and more like Jesus.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 7:1, “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.”
Conviction produces repentance that leads to growth that gains a zeal for godliness
We can find joy in conviction becauseit ultimatelyleads to a stronger zeal for godliness. As we repent of our sin and grow to be more and more like Jesus, we can an eagerness to be more and more like Him. When we begin to see the results of godliness in our lives, the more eager we get to see more of it!
True conviction that produces repentance is a mark of a true believer
We can find joy in conviction because it is a mark of a true believer. If there is no conviction of known sin, and no repentance, there is no salvation. Even though conviction hurts, it’s a blessing. As the Holy Spirit convicts you, and He will, remember it’s a gift from God so that we may grow to be more like Jesus.
“If we sin, we shall feel the weight of God’s hand. We ought to thank Him for this, for though it brings great sorrow, yet it brings great safety to us.” – C.H. Spurgeon