You may associate grief with the loss of someone or something you love. But there is so much more in life that causes grief. Do you feel deeply distressed when you see someone whom you love living a destructive life? It grieves you, doesn’t it? Yet you can’t do anything about it, because their choices are out of your control… Grief will last as long as love does. Have we ever stopped to think about what grieves God? He is our loving Father, and has given us free will. Unfortunately, some of us misuse our free will to harm others or ourselves and these choices ache the heart of God. How do we know? Because it says in His word. “The earth became filled with evil. And God was grieved!” (Genesis 6:5)
We know that the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit is a fire dwelling in each believer. He wants to express Himself in every part of our life. When we do not allow the Spirit to be seen in our actions, when we know what we want to do is wrong but do it anyway, the Holy Spirit is quenched. This occurs when we don’t allow the Spirit to reveal Himself through us in the way that He desires. The bible tells us in (Ephesians 4:30) “And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.” For that reason, we should not grieve the Spirit of God, by living as though we are god.
We frequently encounter situations where we are suddenly tempted to do what is wrong through our words, actions, or temper. For instance, if someone treats you poorly, pointing the finger of criticism at something you have done and judging you, your flesh may prompt you to treat them as they have treated you. But the Spirit prompts you to do what is right – to forgive them and move on, letting bygones be bygones. Sometimes challenges are too hard for us to face, causing us to turn the other way, away from the true light. We may say, “WHY DID I DO THAT?”, because our flesh is often at odds with righteous living.
St. Paul said, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15) It’s comforting to know that a Saint like Paul had the same struggles as us and acknowledged his weakness.
It grieves God, when one knows right from wrong, but still continues to live in a sinful manner. Sexual immorality, bitterness and anger, lying and stealing (which includes taking someone’s happiness, marriage, job, etc.), cursing, unforgiveness, and the justification of sinful actions all grieve the heart of God.
We humans are in need of an unearthly power to shape and mold us each day. This power is always available to us but requires our willingness. I realized that I couldn’t do right by my own effort, so I asked God, just as David asked Him in Psalm 51:10, “ Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
When it’s done in humility, this prayer brings us to a place where we recognize our need for a power stronger than the power that the world offers us through science or self-help books.
“Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4)
This verse speaks of the importance of a humble life. If we want to have God’s blessings in our lives, we must allow Him to cleanse our hearts through an authentic and pure relationship with Him. He wants the best for us. So we must be vigilant and faithfully immerse ourselves daily in His word.
If you find that you cannot move forward in your life and come to a roadblock, whether it is a relationship or marital problem, financial difficulties, health issues, or a crisis of faith, if it seems like you are stuck in one place, and your prayers are not reaching the doors of Heaven, then you must ask yourself this question: “Is my way of living aligned with a righteous life?” If the answer is “No”, it’s time to examine what it is that is getting in the way of your happiness and success. Are your actions and attitudes giving God or someone in your life reason to grieve?”
Last but not least, remember – where there is a deep grief (concern or sadness), there is deep love.