Have you ever sinned expecting it to be pleasurable or even joyful and instead experienced the complete opposite?
Part of what makes temptation so damaging is how it makes sinful activities appear appealing. It’s only after we’ve given in to our desires that we realize, or remember, that there is real pain associated with stepping outside of God’s law.
Our devotional this morning is from This is Today by Adrian A. Helleman. Helleman reminds us below that there is no real lasting joy in sin. In fact, the aftermath of sin is usually nothing but guilt:
Some people I know do not like to obey the law—and certainly not God’s law. They make their own rules. The psalmist, however, praises God’s law as true and beautiful. Whether we are young or old, we do well to walk with God, the only source of blessing and goodness in life (James 1:17).
Whenever we disobey God’s law by giving in to temptation, we may feel a thrill or a sense of freedom or fun or ecstasy, but it won’t last, and sooner or later we experience disappointment and grief for doing wrong. Then we realize that the psalmist is right: only by following God’s way for our lives will we have full, joyful life (see John 10:10).
I know this from personal experience. I have done things that were wrong, and later I had no joy. You probably have had this experience too. It’s the Holy Spirit of God who convicts us of sin (John 16:8). The Spirit stirs our hearts to remember God’s law, and we realize we have done wrong. But the Spirit then also encourages and guides us to live by the truth of God (John 16:13). We can depend on him!
Have you ever felt “disappointment and grief for doing wrong?” What’s the most recent example in your life of the Holy Spirit stirring your heart?