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"

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  3. Rie says:

    Becky, as I reflected on the steps of repentance you provided as guidance I was reminded of how PROCESS-Oriented God is. He is God of CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, which is far more extensive than a simple “I’m sorry” but inclusive of a confession. I’ve never seen those steps you outlined but I’m certain that personally I will have opportunity to test them… thanks for the practical tool. Here’s to the Holy Spirit teaching us how to LIVE the Truth not just Read it!

  4. Melanie says:

    Even before I read this devotional this morning, the Lord convicted me of my sin. I have been unforgiving toward my husband. We are struggling greatly with our finances even though we are tithing. I am trying to remain faithful, but at times I fail. I also struggle with being OCD and when strife hits I am awful. I desire to control my environment to feel better. When my husband makes even minor messes, I am disrespectful and unloving. We talked about it just yesterday and how I know I am wrong and am working on changing.

    How great is our God and His perfect timing in revealing important truths to us about ourselves in the light of His Word!!

  5. Jessica I says:

    Oh Jasmine! I pray that the Spirit fills you with God’s love. With His love, you are free. Again, it is the evil one who wants you to feel guilt and regret. Let it go and let God’s love release you from your burdens.

  6. jasmine says:

    I totally relate to this feeling, my heart literally SHATTERS when I fall into sin. I hate it. I feel disgusting. I feel such a deep regret its ridiculous. But its weird that I continue to fall into that same sin. I hate it so much but someway, somehow my flesh gets weak and continues to give into it even though i hate it. help? what does true repentance look like? i always make up in my mind ill never do it again but i continue to do it. i know i cant do it in my own strength, i must rely on God to change my desires but does that just take a lot of time? im trying to find a balance between putting in the work to fight this sin and relying on God to change me from the inside out. Its hard and its confusing.

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