1 & 2 Corinthians: Day 32

Joy and Repentance

by

Today's Text: 2 Corinthians 7:2-16, Lamentations 3:19-24, Acts 3:19-20

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 7:2-16, Lamentations 3:19-24, Acts 3:19-20

Have you ever been confronted by somebody when you knew you were in the wrong? As a counselor, there have been many times when I’ve witnessed a spouse calling out their partner for some glaring, painful sin. When this happens, I’ve consistently seen one of two reactions take place: ownership or defensiveness. It’s hard to hear the truth about ourselves. To not only stare our failure in the face, but also have somebody else observe it too, can feel shameful.

Whether we respond with ownership or defensiveness is a matter of the heart. Of course, all of this is presuming the confrontation takes place in a godly manner. I’m not talking about unhealthy conflict or persecution that is neither godly nor loving. But when our flaws are confronted or even rebuked in love, as Paul did with the Corinthians, how we respond shows what we believe about the gospel. Are we going to allow the Spirit to convict our hearts, or are we going to cover our ears and point the blame elsewhere?

While it’s scary to admit we don’t have it all together, when we do acknowledge our sin we can turn toward Jesus in repentance and know we are forgiven. When our sin saddens us, we experience “godly grief,” which “produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, but worldly grief produces death” (2 Corinthian 7:10).

This is a heart pain we will never regret. If we’re not torn up by our brokenness, we won’t understand how badly we need to be saved from ourselves. As Jesus said, “It is not those who are well who need a doctor, but those who are sick. I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17).

If we’re honest, it’s exhausting, trying to “manage” our sin and remain pure in our own strength. Luckily, it’s okay to admit we’re a mess! If we didn’t have a forgiving God, that would be a different story. But Scripture tells us that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Because Jesus’ sacrificial blood covers us so completely, the Father will never again look on us with anything but steadfast, unwavering love.

We can take responsibility for our wrongdoing because our God is outlandishly gracious. Of course, we shouldn’t abuse the Lord’s grace by purposely sinning (Romans 6:1–4). But when we do fail, we can remember the story of the prodigal son returning home and his forgiving father running toward him, arms opened wide to welcome him (Luke 15:20).

In the same way, our Father in heaven runs to embrace His returning daughters. When the Spirit convicts our hearts, we ought to lean in to that godly grief with nothing to fear in Christ. Our sins are already forgiven in the finished work of Jesus. When we turn to God in repentance, we are returning our gaze back to the One who longs to be gracious to us and show us compassion, over and over again (Isaiah 30:18).

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Kaitie Stoddard is a professional counselor who recently relocated from Chicago to Colorado with her husband. She has her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is passionate about helping couples and families find healing in their relationships. On any given weekend you’re likely to find Kaitie snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains, checking out new restaurants with friends, or catching up on her favorite Netflix and podcast series.

  • Alicia DuBois

    This was really powerful for me on many levels. Thank you.

  • Renae Pearson

    I read a lot of this to my two year old daughter. This is my prayer for her – that she will be really, really sad about her sin and see how much she needs Jesus. This is a lesson for me too. I need to embrace the pain of repentance in order to experience grace more!

  • This is just so very timely for me. I love how the Word of God is living, it doesn’t matter what piece of it you get it can penetrate into your heart and do some good work in you. Hallelujah, I just feel so refreshed – God has constantly been showing me that my works could never measure up to the sacrifice He made, and how that frees me for trying to deserve this thing. I am well aware of this, but then I see it trickle into bits of my life. I have not been studying as much as I have in other seasons of life and I’ve really been beating myself up – but God’s mercy and grace is so good it just keeps inviting me back, taking the lies out and giving me truth and comfort. And because of that, it has led to grieving and repentance. Because of His goodness to me no matter what, His faithfulness to the faithless! He’s so good and this just really touched my soul today!

  • Kelly Hock

    I am one who finds it very easy to own up to my wrongdoings and in fact I always do it even when it is not my wrongdoing. I think this is a different issue all together. I have not figured out why I do this yet but one day I will. God give me confidence today!

  • Monica Davis

    Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand

  • God has given us the power over our emotions and the choice of how to act since Genesis. Cain felt Gods rejection like we cant even imagine. but it was still no excuse to kill his brother. as the verse says “worldy greif produces death” Cain felt rejected and alone when God told him his sacrifice wasnt good enough, and he let that greif consume him instead of listening to reason which was God’s simple words “thou mayest” God wasn’t going to force Cain to give Him the proper sacrifice, He simply extended the second chance branch and allowed Cain to decide what to do with it. We have our choices in this world, and this is what makes us great.

  • Katelyn Kenney

    Shared the reading from Lamentations with my best friend who is going through a rough spot!

  • Brianna Foshie

    I’m not going to lie. This week has been tough and I’ve found myself letting the Devil play tricks on my mind and heart and bring my anxiety to an all new level. And not even an hour ago I sat thinking that I couldn’t handle it anymore and that I needed something. I read this and was reminded that I already have everything I need in Jesus.

    • Brenna Riethmiller

      Lord I pray for Brianna and that you would free her from the chains of her anxiety. Bring her peace abs strength this week.

  • I have experienced such blessing in repentance. Some voiced aloud, many to God alone. Satan likes to remind us of our sin in a way that makes us feel shame and slink away from Gods mercies. By repenting, we cut him out of the equation. True conviction leads to a reconciling- either with God or someone we’ve wronged. So hard but so worth it!

  • How Great Thou Art indeed!

  • Kelly Chataine

    Pray for me, sisters. There is a conflict brewing among some of the younger women in our church. God is tugging at my heart to bring the two women together for love and gentle reflection. This is scary and is difficult. I love these two women with all of my heart and yearn for our church family to be healed, forgiveness shared, and for love to rain down on us all!

    • Carol

      Just prayed, Kelly… So hard to watch, so difficult to accept when there is no resolution…BUT God…He’s not limited to what we can see… I’m very aware of a similar situation between family members, and it tears at my heart… I’m also speaking to myself…

  • WhitneyMcDaniel

    Cory Asbury needs to jump on that “outlandishly gracious” line!!

  • Gretchen Friel

    What could be more reassuring? His mercies are new every morning, and despite our failures and shortcomings, He welcomes us with open arms. I am so grateful.

  • Carrie Rogers

    Wonderful news and wonderfully written ❤️

  • Churchmouse

    I don’t want to skip over Titus in today’s Scripture. Titus is Paul’s friend who was comforted by the Corinthians. He apparently was so comforted by them that he mentioned this to Paul. Paul is comforted by the arrival of Titus and by this report he brings. Comfort upon comfort! What a blessing to Paul who has just experienced trouble, conflicts and fears. In fact he said they had “no rest” when they came into Macedonia. Paul could sure use some comforting. God provided through the arrival of Titus who carried his own comfort from the Corinthians. What encouragement that led to refreshment for all! What a reminder that words of encouragement and comfort can have a ripple effect, reaching far beyond the person in front of us. We are all comfort-able. Let us stand before someone today and say “I have great pride in you” (2Cor7:4) and “I rejoice that I have complete confidence in you.” (2Cor7:16). Watch the ripples go forth!

  • Wow! How great is our God that He waits and wants to show compassion. We mess up, and He’s waiting for us to repent. He forgives and casts our sins as far as the east is from the west. I praise You for Your kindness, compassion, mercy, and grace! Great is Your faithfulness! Thank You for Your Holy Spirit that convicts us to lead us to repentance. You are good and Your mercy endured forever!

    • Nikki Baab

      Amen!

    • Gretchen Friel

      How many times will He show me such mercy and grace? Will He ever just be exhausted with my brokenness and turn me away? The truth is: our loving God really is that Father waiting with open arms, and it wrecks me. My brother died of chronic alcoholism about 18 months ago. We were striving with him to recover and live, yes, but more important Jesus kept us in that place striving with him so that these very truths could reach him. His Bible shows the most wear and tear on these verses in Luke about the prodigal son. Amen. Thank You, Jesus #glorytogod #rescuedpoeticmemoir

    • Jennifer Martin

      Amen!

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