"Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up."
– James 5:7-9
I really like the book of James, probably because it is the "man’s" book. There are no holds barred and the author is direct and to the point and calls out hypocrisy for what it is. As I read this passage this morning, I know what it is talking about from life experience. If you cannot relate to the part that says "Let your laughter be turned to mourning" or to the part that says "Let your "joy" be turned "to gloom", then you probably aren’t done fooling around with the devil. I have fooled around in self seeking, pleasure seeking and pride long enough to be brought to the place of tears ("mourning" and "gloom"). The tears finally brought me to the place where I turned my back on Satan and turned and ran to Jesus. And the amazing thing is, Jesus also ran, to me!
Have you had enough of yourself to see the emptiness and the gloom? Do you despair for something better? Do you want to know what true fullfillment in life is all about? Then come to your senses, pick yourself up, turn your back on that old serpent, the devil, and run to Jesus. Jesus is glad to show the sinner back to The Way to true happiness and fullfillment! In fact, He will run to you, welcome you, clothe you in His finest, and top it all off with a feast in your honor!
For the greatest story about this very subject, read the story of The Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-31. Also listen to the version of the song "When God Ran" by Phillips, Craig & Dean ( just click on the link in my Music List).