Find True Joy in God
Psalms 51:1-12 (ESV)
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
One of the biggest struggles that I've been going through ever since high school was watching pornography. I thought it was just a phase for guys to watch it going through puberty, but it became a disease the more I kept falling into it. I knew I was addicted especially in college and felt ashamed because I would go to church and pretend like I am a "good" Christian. I really couldn't help myself but to watch it as years went by and knew I needed help but didn't know the solution.
Maybe it's because of how I was raised growing up and the teenage days played a huge factor. But I knew that this was not something I should've taken lightly. And no matter how hard I tried to resist, I would fall into temptation again and my heart was filled with regrets.
It really made me realize that this "sin" robbed my true joy that comes from God in exchange for a temporary pleasure. I was deceived by the lies of the enemy telling me that it's going to be okay if you just watch it one more time, and pretend that it's not a big deal since God forgives. I would never share this secret with anyone including my closest friends thinking they'll judge me and be made fun of.
I remember at one of the retreats I attended recently, God moved my heart and allowed me to repent during the prayer time. Growing up in a Christian family, I was so ashamed to talk about this and I truly believe that's exactly what Satan wants us to do - to hide in darkness. But despite all my failures, I experienced the love of God through the Holy Spirit by surrendering and trusting in Him more than myself/others in this world. I was able to taste a glimpse of true joy that comes from Christ, which surpasses anything this world has to offer, even porn.
At the age of 26, I am now married to a beautiful, amazing woman of my life who God has blessed me with. I would be lying to say that just because I'm married now, my sin is gone forever. In fact, I think Satan hates any marriage and will always try to break us apart. However, I am reminded that God views marriage as sacred and holy, not to be broken apart. Just like Christ loved the church, I am called to love my wife. It is an ongoing battle that I will face for the rest of my life, but only by God's grace, I can overcome any war. It helps me face my fear the more I open up to my brothers and sisters, especially to my loving wife.
For Your Reflection
Just like how King David prayed after his affair with Bathsheba, I want to receive the same joy restored unto me before God. I pray that God will give me a pure heart and let His light shine through me. I encourage everyone to step out of darkness and know that you are not alone in your suffering. We are all in this together, and no one will be left behind! The love of God is out there for anyone who is willing to receive and I can admit that through my weaknesses, praise and honor goes to God who rescued me when I felt worthless.