All Sorrow Turns to Light

4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Romans 10:4

That which once satisfied, satisfies no longer. Write these words on a napkin, neatly fold it, and place it away deep in your mind. The world is zealous for our attention. It is a living organism with millions of parts working day and night to capture our hearts and our minds. We make it easy for the world as all here are descended from Adam and therefore we are descendants of the Fall. We are fallen. We were once separated from God’s righteousness and now we must sojourn back to Him. So, we journey back to Him.

There is an intrinsic part of us that lusts. We lust over so many things and we seek always to consume. As a matter of grave fact, we are always busying about mending tears in our heart – all collateral rending from Adam’s disobedience .

I was righteous and I operated with this righteousness in my life with the same authority a goldfish has to swim from its bowl to the sea. My experience is from a godly perspective that what I once did not see, I see clearly now. However, I still find voids in my heart  and as I try to patch, I can see clearly. Seeing is the opportunity for godly growth. I am assured I am not yet perfected. Knowing these voids creates godly discernment. We can see the end and the means at one time. It is His wisdom in us showing growth or lack of growth. Do not turn a blind eye and disparage opportunity

My vision now is clear: this is not about a attacking voids that appear on the surface as addictions. It is about empty parts in all of us that are places of inner battles in our heart. Some are inflicted more than others. But surely no one is perfect without a struggle to confront.

The patching of holes is the busyness of filling a need at any given moment in time. We have hurt feelings, greed, lust, loneliness, pain, poverty. Without God in our life, we frantically pace, back and forth, in wringing angst. This cues the enemy to provide a dessert tray of all sorts of delightful treats. In each treat there is a lie proportionally bitter as the treat is sweet. Unfortunately, the bitterness lingers. Our sorrowful soul scars and our trust wanes.

O how we try to stop this cycle in our walk. We are so easily distracted. It is a cycle because we seek God, repent, pray, grow lethargic in our seeking, find a hole, start patching, seek. We are wired to be masters of finding new ways to patch and the world is a master provider of ways to fulfill our quest.

I walked a walk of self-righteousness once. With me I had an army of friends always in step with a single direction to nowhere.  I knew a direction to travel and it was good. I let others opine and grafted opinion into my own theories. Together we contrived a world. Actually we invented the heavens too.  Personal invention – as if we are creators? I invented the heavens and God. It was great as I paved my path, I could easily know the route forward. But alas, the road is short and too soon I wallowed in sorrow and pity. If we are on that path of self-creation, we must turn to God or turn back to God. Surely, remember Him.

To remember God you must first take steps to know Him. Once I did, I found a life not much different except at one point: I had eternal hope on a straight and beautiful path forward. My perspective widened and my prayers turned to intimate conversations with the Lord. This is bliss now. My heart tears and scars no more. The touch of our healing Lord is everlasting. I can see and I can know in a way allowed through the grace of our Lord.

We reach the end of our self-righteousness and become righteous through God’s way. Our inventions of heaven and earth are all but a flash of light. Our visions of a path forward are meticulously planned – unique for each of us. Unique for me and you. The sorrowful heart changes. The tears of old are healed. We are welcomed into God’s righteousness, justified by the blood of our Savior.


The end of our sorrow is the beginning of our bliss. Believe this and all sorrow turns to Light.

Rick Stassi

November 22, 2012

revision  12/28/2012

the first faith to the last faith…

Artist: Sean Seal

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Romans 1:16-18

How can there be shame in the gospel? For it is Good News of the revelation of God , of Himself, to mankind to show perfection and flesh as ONE. What we first ‘heard’ we then ‘saw’ and now ‘do’.

The shame in the gospel is thus: Jesus was denied by those closest to Him. Jesus was mocked and scourged (Mark 10:34). The Messiah – the unblemished Lamb that came to be the propitiation, or complete appeasement, of sin, was spat upon and hung on a cross with a thief.

But even, more! We deny speaking His name as it is not a part of our cultural vernacular. Jesus is considered and outsider to conversation because we are uncomfortable and the one we converse with is as uncomfortable.

It can be said shame exists even in our walk with God. However, here it is said “I am not ashamed”. Say it and pray it.

In the gospel is God’s revelation of righteousness.  As Matthew Henry states (paraphrased) the first faith is from God, Christ yet unseen, to the last faith, Christ thus come and risen. The just or righteous, the obedient and law-abiding, shall live by the last faith and we shall know this faith is evolved. For as once faith was unseen and then fulfilled through the stripes on Jesus’ back,  it is also our initial commitment to Him,  and the works of obedience we do and loyalty we have thereafter.

Wrath of God is now the eternal separation from our God because there is no righteousness where faith is absent. Where faith is absent, God yearns for our heart. We believe God.

No wrath is greater than eternal separation in our unrighteousness and what seems righteous to the world is folly. Every man has his set of values. Each man a little different. Without a focal point of moral judgement and an Absolute moral standard, all is relative, it is Relativism. The concept is a simple one. A relative moral standard is diluted by the very body that claims it’s truth.

“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men” 1 Cor 1:25

Man alone in a self-centered wisdom cannot even approach God’s wisdom. Therefore, a claim that has been diluted holds even less merit. Man is foolish in his claims of goodness.

So let is be said, we are saved into righteousness through Jesus Christ and our hearts soar to His elevated throne. Righteousness is for we who are just. We who are just are righteous because we have faith. We have faith because we know that faith was first heard then seen on the cross. I plead you hear these words. Seek Jesus unashamed. Follow Him unashamed. Speak His name to the world so man will hear. It is Good News that all sin is appeased and placed on the cross and death is defeated. Life is born for we who seek it. We have eternity. We are the just and faithful.

Rick Stassi