Have you ever felt the burden of guilt? Have you ever messed up so bad and your heart felt the pain you caused someone else to feel? And you feel like there is nothing you can do, nowhere you can go, and nobody to turn to to help the person, and to rid yourself of that feeling. Guilt is the awareness of having done wrong, but its partner, shame, is the uncomfortable feeling that accompanies guilt. These are two weapons the devil uses to try and take apart the spirit of man. But God has a much more powerful weapon to combat this enemy! It is His Holy Spirit, and when you are in a Father/child relationship with Him, you have 24/7 access to His Spirit to fight the battles necessary before falling into the path of these weapons! Lets look at Psalm 6 for an example:
1. O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger, nor chasten me in Your wrath. 2. Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am pining away. Heal me, O Lord, for my bones are dismayed. 3. And my soul is greatly dismayed. But You, O Lord – how long? 4. Return, O Lord, rescue my soul. Save me because of Your lovingkindness. 5. For there is no mention of You in death. In Sheol who will give You thanks?
You can see here, the Psalmist (David) feels the guilt and shame of causing the Lord pain. He feels the burden of sinning against the Lord. The enemy, as expected, would love for David to “pine away” and feel “greatly dismayed”! He does his best to keep the memory of the moment fresh in our mind in hoping we can’t get past it. The Bible tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength, therefore, if our enemy can keep us from that joy, we are weaker and of less effect for God. When we stew in our moment of guilt and shame long enough we can easily bring ourselves to a point of depression. Look at the next passage:
6. I am weary with my sighing. Every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with my tears. 7. My eye has wasted away with grief. It has become old because of all my adversaries.
David became so preoccupied with his grief, he lost sleep, his heart grew weary, he cried throughout the night. You can probably guess that during this particular time he was most likely of little effect in his daily routine. If he stayed in this state for much time he would probably be diagnosed as clinically depressed! We obviously cannot tell by this writing how long David felt this way. It could have been a few days, maybe a few weeks. But look at the drastic change of attitude that comes next:
8. Depart from me, all you who do iniquity. For the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping. 9. The Lord has heard my supplication. The Lord receives my prayer. 10. All my enemies will be ashamed and greatly dismayed. They shall turn back, they will suddenly be ashamed.
Suddenly, this man of tears, of grief, of anguish, has a surge of strength, of hope, and possibly a glimmer of joy! The Lord is consoling him as he is in direct communication with Him. What a benefit we have especially in the New Testament era, where we have access to the Holy Spirit 24/7! Those who believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, and have turned from their ungodly ways, and have made Jesus their Lord, can live with this Holy Spirit living inside of them 24/7!
Guilt and shame are two of the many weapons the devil throws at man. The Holy Spirit has the power to diffuse each and every one of them. It starts with the joy of the Lord, the day of your salvation! Have you experienced the joy of the Lord? Have you decided to take advantage of God’s perfect gift of eternal life through Jesus death and resurrection? Have you decided to make this Jesus your Lord? If so, you know about the joy of the Lord, which is your strength! If not, make that decision today and watch your enemy turn back and be ashamed!