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. Becky says:

    Repentance is a deep and personal process. I am so grateful for the atonement of my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that through Him all my sins, shortcomings and mistakes are forgiven.

    These steps in repentance come to mind, I learned them as a young girl and they have stayed within my heart:

    1 – Recognize wrong
    2 – Promise not to repeat
    3 – Recommit oneself
    4 – Restitution
    5 – Feel true sorrow
    6 – Allow time
    7 – Forgive self and others
    8 – Receive forgiveness from the Lord

    These steps helps me understand that repentance is truly a process and it takes much effort, prayer and thought.

    I know God is patient and wants us to draw near unto Him. He wants us to correct our sins, look inward and progress. He doesn't request a quick fix, or just outward displays of repentance and religion. It must be a change in our souls, we must feel mercy and the knowledge of God. (Hosea 6)

    When I allow myself to go through these steps I feel more determined to be obedient to God's teachings, and turn away from my sins and turn towards God.

    At times I feel overwhelmed that such a price was paid for my salvation, and that I contributed to Christ's suffering because of my selfish sins. But then I remember God's plan for His children to be with Him again, and I remember how much Christ loves us. Christ's love, his pure charity was made whole through his willingness to save mankind. For that I am eternally grateful.

    I know Christ knows me by name and cares for me. I believe in repentance and know it is real. I pray I can remember this continually. What a lovely devotional today, so uplifting.

  2. Vivian says:

    I feel the need for tears, and fasting for thoes the Lord has put on my heart.

  3. Laura says:

    To be honest, I loved the passage of Scripture today! Especially the part that says “Rend your heart and not your garment.” Rend literally means to tear. Our hearts should tear (or another phrase that is more common to us, our hearts should break) when we sin. But it shouldn’t stay that way! I read further into verse 14 and love what happens here. That instead of the curse of sin, there comes a blessing when we repent. And that blessing goes back to God when we honor and praise Him for His unending compassion! Isn’t that awesome?!

  4. Denise says:

    I remember I done something, I knew right away it was wrong. I prayed to the lord, but I continue to feel bad, then I read that the devil always tries to tell you “how bad we done messed up “it we go into prayer and asks for forgiveness, he will forgive us, we just have to forgive our self and don’t listen to the devil.

  5. Angela says:

    I got distracted from the message here by the reference to Mordecai. I can’t find anything that says he lied to Haman. Haman lied to the king and Mordecai grieved for the Jews. Thanks.

    1. Raechel says:

      Sorry about the mistype, Angela! Thanks for the heads up!

  6. Shandy says:

    This devotional is truly a blessing! It reminds me that sin hurts Jesus, and figuratively it’s like every time I sin Jesus is crucified again. He is crucified that I may have forgiveness of my sin! But then He was also risen from the dead, that I may have VICTORY over sin! I think it’s important to not tHink that this devotion is saying to be feel guilty because of sin. But it is saying that sin should break your heart so that you will less likely commit sin. When we sin it separates us from God; therefore it is heart breaking! I know that I have to start reflecting on the consequences of sin during repentance regardless of how “big” or “small” !

  7. truthinweakness says:

    so timely. the Lord has been challenging my heart in the area of repentance lately, convicting me that i'm not fully seeing my sin as the utter tragedy it is before God. and when i do that, i minimize the power of the gospel and the wonder of His grace.

    thanks so much for sharing.

  8. Rie says:

    Bethany’s confession is also my own! I love the line “wreck me over my sin.” This passage in Joel is as crucial today as yesterday. In an age of “do whatever makes you feel good” I’m grateful that Jesus didn’t. Luke 22:41-42 says it did NOT make Him feel good to think about what He would do for ME, nor did it feel GOOD. So like Bethany, I don’t ever want to reflect on my sin lightly, nor do I want to stay wrecked because Salvation and Forgiveness is part of God’s package too. Oh My Goodness, I AM IN LOVE WITH GOD.

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