You may have heard it said that “Everyone in prison claims they are innocent.” An overzealous cop or an unfair trial is the culprit, not them. But is it true?
Before we dig into examining the claims of the accused this morning, welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — your daily dose of faith that delivers a jolt of joy and grace. I love starting my day with faith and coffee. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend!
D.L. Moody was a well-known preacher; sort of the Billy Graham of his day. He visited the Manhattan Detention Complex in New York, a prison that had gained the nickname of “The Tombs.” Speaking with a number of the men in their cells, he’d ask each prisoner, “What brought you here?” Again and again he heard things like: “I don’t deserve to be here.” “I was framed.” “I was falsely accused.” “I was given an unfair trial.” Not one inmate would admit he was guilty. Finally, Moody found a man with his face buried in his hands, weeping. “And what’s wrong, my friend?” he inquired. The prisoner responded, “My guilt! My sins are more than I can bear.” That man was ready to hear about what Jesus had done for him. He knew he needed a savior.
You might not see how that connects to today’s verse, which says WEEPING MAY LAST OVERNIGHT, BUT THERE IS JOY IN THE MORNING, but let’s explore it together.
WEEPING MAY LAST FOR THE NIGHT
Pain intrudes into every life. It crushes and it burns. The sort of pain that cannot be avoided is bad enough. Things like the death of a loved one or the issues that impact us all in our day to day existence. Accidentally causing pain doesn’t eliminate the pain. I was working at a restaurant years ago, and had an accident with an electric slicer that took off the tip of my finger. It didn’t hurt less because it was unintentional.
However the pain that we have caused by deliberate choices, I believe that’s the worst pain of all. I cringe when I recall harsh words I’ve spoken in anger or stupid and sinful choices I’ve made. I can look back on a life that is littered with the impact of hurtful choices and wish it weren’t so; but wishing doesn’t change the past.
Thankfully, pain diminishes with time. It also diminishes with different choices – choices that demonstrate remorse and choices that can lead to forgiveness and restoration. Those are the choices that lay aside our lies and excuses — “I don’t deserve to be here” or “I was framed” and recognize our role in causing pain. Those are the choices that can introduce joy where there has been weeping.
JOY COMES IN THE MORNING
In my experience I’ve found that JOY – true joy, not just happiness – comes from the peace and presence of Christ within. You may have looked in a lot of different places searching for peace and joy, I know I did. I looked for it in overwhelming power and control, but I could never get enough of either. I couldn’t control others, and I couldn’t control myself. I looked for it in sex, but could never get enough of that either. I didn’t try the route of alcohol or drugs, but you don’t have to look too far to know that road is a dead end. I wasn’t framed; I was absolutely guilty. JOY came when I realized that the only way out of the darkness and pain was to give myself to the one who called Himself the Light of the World.
It is light that dispels darkness. It absolutely overwhelms it. Light wins every time. And with His light, Jesus brings His love, His peace and His joy.
WEEPING MAY LAST OVERNIGHT, BUT THERE IS JOY IN THE MORNING
In the United Kingdom, The Royal Standard represents the Sovereign. It is flown when the King is in residence. The Royal Standard is never flown at half mast. It reminds me of a children’s praise song that says different characteristics of God – love, joy, peace – are a flag flown high from the castle of my heart when the King is in residence there. The chorus encourages us to “Let it fly in the sky, let the whole world know that the King is in residence there!”
Let’s you and I live our lives in such a way that those who know us but don’t yet know Jesus will come to know Him BECAUSE they know us.
JOY is a flag flown high from the castle of my heart when the King is in residence there.