The Joy of Repentance

The Root of Repentance

What is repentance? Remorse: Feeling any kind of sorrow because of consequences of your actions. Repentance: changing your mindset (and therefore actions) because of an awareness of one’s separation from God.

We can be turning many different directions in response to sorrow of our current condition. Sorrow and remorse alone are not the signs of repentance; they are the red flags that we are in need of it. We can be sorrowing for the wrong reasons.

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death. – 2 Corinthians 7:10 (NRSV)

When we sorrow for our behavior, the question to clarify our hearts is: What are we feeling bad for losing? Sorrow for bad behavior ranges from wounded pride to pouting. Non-believers can feel sorrow for bad behavior. Regret and feeling bad about something is not the same as repentance.

True repentant sorrow allows us to see the darkness of sin that harms our relationship with God and brings us the knowledge of His kindness and goodness. Like Mormon said, “my heart did begin to rejoice within me, knowing the mercies and the long suffering of the Lord.” Our heart rejoices in the Lord because of who He is.

The Privilege of Being Able to Repent

Repentance is a Gift

We are called into repentance by God’s kindness (Romans 2:4). We have been given a true gift to be able to approach the throne of mercy through the blood of Jesus Christ. Hebrews says that we can be confident in approaching the throne because we know that we have a High Priest who understands us. Approaching the throne of grace when you know there will be no condemnation, only understanding, makes that approach a much sweeter path.

Do works worthy of repentance (Matthew 3:8, Acts 26:20)

Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance – Matthew 3:8 (NASB95)

This is not a statement intending us to do more sin so that we can repent more. It is a statement that truly understands the roots of repentance and the importance of Godly sorrow. It hinges on understanding the relationship aspect of God’s desire for us. When we know the restoration power of repentance and we know the real sorrow that it takes to repent, we understand the connection with God and the desire to be with Him will always bear good fruit.

The Response of Repentance

Regret-Free Joy

A godly response to the sorrow of sin produces a lasting change in us.

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death. – 2 Corinthians 7:10 (NRSV)

We can be regret free, not because we pretend like it didn’t happen, but because we understand what true repentance is. We know that we were called closer to God and that we have chosen to move into a closer relationship with him.

Shame of our past can sometimes indicate the wrong kind of sorrow. It says that we haven’t turned over our sin to the Lord to let Him redeem. He didn’t just shove it in the back closet. He washed us and made us white as snow and threw the sin into the deepest part of the ocean. We are not to celebrate sin, but we are to celebrate the life we have in Christ knowing that sin no longer has the power of death over us.

Heaven’s celebration

God doesn’t intend to spend the rest of eternity reminding us of how bad we are. When He says He doesn’t remember it any more, He means it. He wants to celebrate the return of His precious children.

I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. – Luke 15:7 (NASB95)

In the parable of the prodigal son, the father runs to meet the son. He doesn’t stand back and wait for Him to get near enough to yell at. The father didn’t even expect the son to run to him. When the father saw the repentant son, he threw aside His dignity and went out to meet him. This parable is the example we have of how God will run to us, not worrying about what others think, but wholeheartedly running toward the child He loves.

Sign up for daily refreshment

* indicates required

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *