Journal: August 18, 2014

God’s been teaching me, recently, about His unconditional love, grace and blessing, and also the sheer joy of repentance.

Recently, I was in a repentance crisis. In my life, I’ve struggled with repenting when I need to and coming to terms with my sin. Such situations were occurring, as I said, recently in my life.

I’d read Scripture, and feel convicted, and feel God calling me to repent, but I’d harden my heart, harden myself, and refuse, work out arguments in my head as to why I have nothing to repent of. And church services would continue to be uncomfortable, sermons would continue to speak out to me, and I’d harden my heart. I’d set myself on the road to Hell.

But through it all, when I cried to God, He’d still answer. When I ran to God, He’d still be there. When I beseeched God, He’d still listen. And finally, through the beautiful grace of God, I came to repentance for sins I was wrestling with.

Here are the points I’ll make. God’s love and mercy and grace is vast, vaster than anything we could possibly imagine. Truly His steadfast love endures forever. Now, let me tackle one thought or response to this before it even rears its ugly head: the thought “So does this mean it’s okay to sin because God’ll still bless us?” No. That is the wrong lesson to take from this. The point I’m making is that God is gracious and loving enough to bless us even when, by all rights, we should be cut off from Him completely. That’s astounding and amazing love. But here’s the thing: it is so important that we not take this for granted. There will come a day when God’s mercy will end, and we’ll be forever stuck with the choices we’ve made. Make sure, today and now (because you don’t know when you’ll stand before God face to face), that you’ll be on the right side of things when you stand before the Lord.

Also, another main point: repentance is a joy. It’s beautiful. It’s a love song from God to us. God’s conviction of sin is Him telling us “I love you too much to let you destroy yourself with this sin.” And sometimes excising the sin hurts. Sometimes it’s like a scalpel cutting into our flesh, into our bodies, with no anesthetic. But it’s worth it. In this life and infinitely in the next, it’s worth it. And repentance brings joy, oh such joy! When I repented, it was like a weight was lifted off my heart. I felt God’s conviction disappear, I felt at peace with God. And I could finally read through Scripture without feeling the weight of my sin, without wrestling with God when I should have been submitting to God.

So understand two things from this: God loves you infinitely and deeply, and He very will may continue to lavish blessing and love on you even when you’re in sin. On that note, it’s important that you don’t take God’s blessing as a sign that you’re not in sin, because as Scripture says, God’s kindness is meant to lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4). And also, if you are feeling called by God to repent of something, just repent. It’s good for your soul, and you will feel joy and closeness with God when you do. Trust God, even when it’s hard.

That’s it for now. Grace and peace to you all.

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