By: Matt Carver

Our sins cause sadness–God does this with purpose.

For the majority of our sadness we have no further to look than ourselves.

These are two conclusions that I arrive at upon reading the verse below:

Jeremiah 30:15 “Why do you cry about your affliction? Your sorrow is incurable. Because of the multitude of your iniquities, Because your sins have increased, I have done these things to you.”

Many would object: “But my sadness is caused by something somebody did to me. I’m a victim!” Nevertheless it is still our sin that causes the majority of our sadness. We might be in an even more dangerous place in our heart crying “victimized!” if we use it as an excuse not to admit or recognize our sin.  We must never use another’s sin against us as a smokescreen of blame to cover our own sin.

You see it is in our sinful nature, when we sense that sorrow in our hearts due to affliction, to connect it mentally to “my rotten parents” or “that traitor who broke my heart” or “that dummy who hindered me from my success” or even “those ridiculous democrats.”  And since those thoughts are in the forefront, we never reach the right conclusion, namely that my “sorrow is incurable because of the multitude of [my] iniquities.”

God causes our pain as a megaphone to wake us up to the reality of what sin is. By nature we do not recognize sin to be ugly, disgusting, or offensive. AND YET IT IS! How would we ever see it if we did not go through the pain? If we do something contrary to nature, then we need to learn that nature wins. The old adage, “…hand in the fire…gonna get burned.” Getting burned might be the best lesson concerning the nature of sin we will ever receive.  We must learn at all costs not to fight against the true nature of things as God designed.

And yet God does not delight in burning us!  Even two verses down from this one, V17, we see God “healing our wounds” —that is His aim.  It is never simply for the end of causing sorrow that God causes sin to cause sorrow!  We will be people of festering wounds all over our body until we believe this.

Therefore what would he have us do? I think I see an implication in this verse, namely that God wants us to agree with him concerning what sin is. He would say, “no more crying about the pain until you admit it for what it is!” This is true confession, exposing ourselves to his light. Confessing the true nature of our sin, recognizing the cause of our pain, these things need to be daily events in our lives—that we may be healed.

“It’s me, I did that.”

Believe it or not, a daily lifestyle of that kind of confession, predicated upon the fact that God’s desire is to heal us, is the only and most direct route to the healing of our wounds.