the Lord desires a repentant heart

Joel 2:12-13

BY Raechel Myers

Text: Joel 2:12-13

The Gospel is full of joy, promise and hope.

But sisters, it is just as much, if not more, filled with sorrow and heartache and bitter weeping.

Christ felt supreme anguish over our sins as he bled on the cross, a sinless God-man.

What anguish do we feel for our own sins? Does it wreck us the way it wrecked Him? When we see where we have fallen short, are we half as broken by our sins as He is?

Yes, there is love. And yes, sisters, there is grace. But that truth should cause us all the more to hate and forsake our sins.

God desires this – this true repentance.

And that may be an unfamiliar thing for some of us. Let’s look together at three instances of repentance in the Bible and how it “looked” to repent:

Fasting: When Ezra made confession on behalf of the people of Israel because of their disobedience, he “withdrew from before the house of God and went to the chamber… where he spent the night, neither eating bread nor drinking water, for he was mourning over the faithlessness of the exiles.” (Ezra 10:6)

Weeping: When Mordecai learned that Haman’s lies could doom the Jewish people, he “tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city and he cried out with a loud and bitter cry.” (Esther 4:1)

Mourning: And, the people of Nineveh. They heard Jonah’s message and repented. In fact, the king of Nineveh was so broken and so desparate for the Lord’s forgiveness, he decreed, “Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands.” (Jonah 3:7,8)

In each story, the repenters thought they were too far gone. Unforgiveable. They hated their sin and it grieved them deeply.

“‘Yet even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.’ Return to the Lord your God.”

Lord, make our hearts tender to you. Wreck us over our sin, then lift us up with your grace. Give us repentant spirits, knowing that you and only you can make untrue all the sins that are in us.

Post Comments (28)

28 thoughts on "the Lord desires a repentant heart"

  1. beckey says:

    Lord, make my heart tender to you. Wreck me over my sins, then lift me with your grace. Give me a repentant spirit, knowing that you and ONLY YOU can make untrue the sins that are in me. Amen.

    Such a beautiful prayer, felt with every fiber of my being. This one is going to be written in my journal for regulsr reflection.

  2. Janet says:

    What a prayer! Lord, make our hearts tender to you! True, tender love of that kind will surely make me hate my sin! So thankful for your forgiveness & grace, dear Lord!

  3. Jemma says:

    We do need to be truly remorseful for our sins by confessing them but we also need to remember that God remembers them NO MORE! Walk in the forgiveness that Jesus provided on the cross. We are not supposed to feel guilty and beat ourselves up. Lean into and rely on your Spirit to guide you. When you mess up, and we all will, talk to God and don’t keep doing the same thing over and over. He is gracious, compassionate and loves us more than we can comprehend.

  4. rocknitat55 says:

    Lord I learned not to long ago that there r no big sin or little sins. All sin is against you
    I thank u for that revelation. Lord show me my sin, the eror of my ways.
    I repent. All day long will I praise your being, Thank u as u reveal them to me that I learn from them and I humbly can walk in your grace. Amen

  5. Connie says:

    Oh, I am so distracted by a misplaced pronoun! Mordecai was not the liar, Haman was. (Esther 3) Mordecai fasted and wept over the evil plot against the Lords people. He refused to bow to evil and he took his stand humbly and openly against it.

    May I be so humble and open when evil wants to destroy gods people.

    1. Raechel says:

      Hi Connie! Thanks for the heads up, you're absolutely right! Fixing! :)

  6. Bethany says:

    What a wake up call! I tend to forget just how much Christ suffered on the cross for ME to have forgiveness! I look at my sins and ask for forgiveness, but does it BREAK MY HEART? Sadly no. In the busyness of life I tend to push my guilt aside and carry on.
    Lord I am sorry for allowing myself to be so blasè about the wondrous and difficult sacrifice that Christ gave on the cross. Help my heart to break every time I sin, and never allow me to overlook the hurt I have caused you ever again.

    1. Valerie says:

      perfectly said…

    2. provs31gal says:

      Ditto! I love the honesty in this group! I have to concur Bethany, I feel the same way. I really do not think of it when it's happening until later and that is so sad. Lord I ask for your forgiveness for my lack of care for the sins I have done. I am so not worthy!

  7. Sheshe says:

    I pray, constantly, in my heart to have a more broken and contrite spirit before God. It takes humility everyday to be able to accept the grace God gives each of us, lest we get on a moral high ground. And I love/long for the times when I lay before God and am so empty of myself, ready to be filled by His goodness and mercy.
    It’s only by living a life of submission and sorrow (for my sins) that I can be free in Him to have Life, forgiveness, love for my brother, and a burden for lost and hurting people. But just as we read in these two scriptures in Joel today, it takes a tremendous amount of selflessness and obedience to God to make us TRULY unbroken for Him.

    I LOVE this group of ladies. I pray the very best for you today!!
    God bless everyone :)

  8. claire says:

    I love knowing that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38). It is true and something that we should hold strong to but not forgetting that Gods heart breaks every time we sin. Even when we don’t mean to, even when we don’t realise we are! our hearts also need to break. My prayer for today is to become more like God- slow to anger and quick to forgive and give thanks that he is!

    1. Apryll says:

      I echo your prayer today, Claire.

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