“Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.”
and your joy to gloom
James does not condemn legitimate joy but flippant joy in a time when we should seriously come under conviction for our sin. It is evident from 1:2 and 5:13 that God desires that we experience joy.” True joy comes from fellowship with the Lord.
Jas 1:2, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.”
The word “gloom” means dejection, shame, downcast. The presence of sin should cause displeasure and dejection in a spiritual believer.
The source of our joy betrays our true heart.
The believer’s joy is the result of the work of Christ on his behalf. We must weep over our sin. This weeping is not to gain God’s favor; we have that. The weeping is a sorrow that we violated the One who did so much for us.
We need to regain our sense of sorrow over our sin. What we joy over and what we sorrow over reveal our true heart. No spiritual Christian takes joy in a two-souled heart because it divides his allegiances. We cannot sustain a sense of joy by following the Lord and the devil at the same time. Spiritual health brings dejection at personal sin.
Lam. 5:15-16, “The joy of our heart has ceased;
Our dance has turned into mourning.
16 The crown has fallen from our head.
Woe to us, for we have sinned!”