We grieve God, yet He loves us

Man's sorry history of grieving the entire Trinity is long and sad.

In Genesis 6:6 we read,

Adam and Eve banished, Gustave Dore
"And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart."

During the incarnation of Jesus, Jesus was saddened to the point of tears over death, (His friend Lazarus), and over His city.

When Jesus was told Lazarus had died, he wept. (John 11:35). Matthew Henry said,

Christ's tender sympathy with these afflicted friends, appeared by the troubles of his spirit. In all the afflictions of believers he is afflicted. His concern for them was shown by his kind inquiry after the remains of his deceased friend. Being found in fashion as a man, he acts in the way and manner of the sons of men. It was shown by his tears. He was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." (Isaiah 53:3)

"As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it." (Luke 19:41)

Matthew Henry again,

"The Son of God did not weep vain and causeless tears, nor for a light matter, nor for himself. He knows the value of souls, the weight of guilt, and how low it will press and sink mankind."

The Holy Spirit grieves, too.

"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." (Ephesians 4:30)

Gill's Exposition says,

And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God,.... Not a believer's own spirit, sanctified by the Holy Ghost, which is grieved by sin; nor the spirit of a good man, that hears our words and sees our actions, and is displeased and troubled at them; but the third person in the Trinity: and this is said of him by an anthropopathy, and supposes something done that is offensive to him; and he may be grieved, not only by unconverted persons, by their stubborn resistance and opposition to the Gospel and means of grace, and by their contempt of his person, office, and grace, but by believers themselves, and who are here spoken to; and which may be done both by their words, lying, angry, and corrupt ones

S. Lewis Johnson said of the Ephesians verse,

Now the New Testament has a word for believers. In Ephesians chapter 4 in verse 30, the Apostle Paul says, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption. Grieve not.” Now grieve is a love word. Only those who love can be grieved. ... Now when we disobey God, whether it be by a sin of omission or a sin of commission, we have grieved the Holy Spirit. That’s the word that the New Testament uses of believers. They do not resist the Spirit. They grieve the Spirit according to the New Testament.

Charles Spurgeon said of grieving the Spirit, "but where is the heart so hard, that it is not moved when we know that we have caused others grief?—for grief is a sweet combination of anger and of love. It is anger, but all the gall is taken from it. Love sweetens the anger, and turns the edge of it, not against the person, but against the offense."

I feel so terrible having grieved my LORD and my God.

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
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.
(Psalm 51:1-4)

What an amazing and loving God we have, who came down to us!

A cross in a heart formed with candles taken in Camp Tejas,
Giddings, TX, USA By Wingchi Poon. Wimimedia COmmons

"Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4:8-10).

"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him." (1 John 4:9)

God our Trinitarian God, loves us so much, despite humankind's grief against Him, despite the fact that we personally sin against Him each day. Honor Him by loving Him, resisting sin, and repenting when we fail. By reading His word to get to know Him better, and by praying in communication to Him. He loves His little children. Let us cry out 'Abba! Father!' Now that the Spirit is in us, let us not quench Him, resist Him or grieve Him any longer. Let us love Him with all our heart, mind, strength, and soul! He delights in our love for Him!

It's so hard to fathom that despite the fact that we grieve each member of the Trinity at various times, He loves us so much!

The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love." (Psalm 147:11)


Further reading:

Why God Tells Us He Delights in His Children

Three Surprising Ways to Grieve the Spirit 

Why Does God Love Us?


  1. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17 This verse has brought comfort to my heart many times - how blessed we are that even in our sin and failure we can please the LORD when we repent!


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