Many people settle for merely surviving when God offers to empower them to thrive. One of the steps God calls us to take on the journey to thriving in Him is repentance that leads to restoration. This is a remarkable and rewarding journey offering salvation and freedom in Christ.
I acknowledge that this is a difficult topic for many people. Shame has kept far too many from approaching the Lord in repentance to find restoration. To overcome shame, it is essential to realize that when we come to God with a proper attitude of reverence toward Him, He lovingly receives us. We mustn’t let shame keep us from receiving God’s blessing for us. Repentance and restoration are used by God to help us thrive.
David’s 51st Psalm teaches us much about repentance and restoration. David shares how he repented after being confronted by the prophet Nathan (2 Sam 12) for his adultery with Bathsheba and her husband’s murder. The psalm is powerful because of David’s honesty by revealing the depth of his anguish and repentance before God.
David reveals in Psalm 51 that at its root, all sin is a disregard for the holiness of God (v. 4). Ultimately, all sin is against Him. He also reveals that we are not sinners because we sin, but sin because we were born into sin (v. 5). Since we are born into sin, we have a sinful nature, no kind of inner resolve or self-help plan can deliver us. Restoration is found in God alone. Only God can cleanse us, making us white as snow (v. 7). Only God can create in us a clean heart (v.10). Only God can draw us into His presence and empower us with the Holy Spirit (v. 11).
The simple truth is that repentance and restoration are only possible by God’s grace. God makes it possible for us to respond to Him. However, we must take steps to come before Him to confess our sins and repent, allowing God to restore us (vv. 12-16). David responded through an act of repentance, and God restored Him. Our Lord will do the same for you and me.
We must repent of our sins in order for the Lord to make us new and restore us. One of the first verses I memorized was 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” We confess our sins, initially to receive salvation and then to maintain a healthy fellowship with God and with one another. Unrepented sin is not the mark of a Christ follower. Those who genuinely know God come to him and find mercy and grace in our time of need (see: Heb 4:16).
Repent and receive God’s forgiveness. Allow Him to cleanse you. We need to come to God with humility. Pride is a root sin that, among other things, keeps us from God’s forgiveness and cleansing. We need to seek His face and receive grace. To seek God does not mean to look hard. It means to place nothing before Him and His will for you.
God invites us and makes it possible to repent and ask for forgiveness. Because Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected for our salvation, we can be restored in Him. Repentance and restoration are used by God to help us thrive.
I pray that each of us will shed our shame. I ask God to help us remove our pride and, in humility, come to Him, repent, and be restored. God uses such obedience to empower us to thrive. Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone).