What Makes Us Sad/Glad?

By Not Known

There are a lot sad people about town just now. Their paper wealth is tumbling in
the stock market slide. Or perhaps their en bloc sale ‘fell over’ and they depend on
a new and better offer being made and the market holding up. Just a little while
ago many of these people were glad as the stock market surged up and up and en
bloc offers abounded.

Our sense of what makes us sad and glad says a lot about our heart. If our greatest
sadness and gladness is tied up with family, bodily pleasure, wealth or health – well,
that reveals what is dear to us. What makes you glad and sad?

It goes without saying that the Bible speaks against making money the source of our
gladness and sadness. We do need money and it is a blessing to thank God for.
However, the love of money is a source of all kinds of evil (1 Tim 6: 10). Love of
money fosters greed which readily becomes idolatry. Such idolatry of money
excludes us from God’s kingdom (Eph 5:5). And that is the ultimate folly (Luk 12:20)
because real life does not consist in the abundance of possessions (Luk 12: 15).

The clue as to what should make us sad and glad lies with God. Jesus told two
parables with the themes of lost and found (Luk 15:1 -10). They have very similar
punch lines. What makes God glad is when a lost person does a u-turn and heads
away from the world and back to God.

This is a major theme of Luke’s Gospel and is emphasised in his repeated mention of
the kinds of people that Jesus associated with (Luk 15:1 -2). This theme comes to a
great climax when Jesus said that he came to seek and to save what was lost (Luk

God is sad when someone turns their back on him and instead faces the world to
watch it, listen to it and follow its ways. This is truly being ‘lost’, for the world’s
friend cannot be God’s friend (Jas 4:4). God desires that all turn back to him and
take, pleasure in it (Ezk 18:32; 1 Tim 1 :15, 2:4).

Let’s be glad at what God is glad in. Why? God’s joy in the repentance of sinner is
salvation for us for it led him to send the Lord Jesus. Let’s also be glad at what
gladdens God in a second sense: by pinning our sense of joy on God and his
salvation. Then we can be glad even as markets tumble and deals fail.