Illustration of man kneeling in prayer - repentance

Joy in Repentance

· 3 min read

As we walk through this season of repentance, our path is often misunderstood and people miss the meaning of Lent. This may be hard to believe given how our culture looks at it, but repentance is not about guilt and punishment - it's a freeing realignment based in renewal and grace. Lent is a time of repentance, a time when we as Christians can reset and realign ourselves, bringing us closer to God which opens our hearts to the joy of His forgiveness.

Repentance is a joyful thing, for it brings us closer to God and makes us partakers of His divine nature. - St. John Chrysostom

I know a lot of us carry the burden of our sins, mistakes, or short comings and that weighs heavily on our hearts. We may feel trapped and hopeless. But the path of repentance offers us a way out, a path of transformation and a chance to lay down our burdens and take up Christ's yoke as we embrace the forgiveness and love of our God. In our repentance, we ask God as David once did, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me" - Psalm 51:10

But how can something like repentance bring joy? The joy in repentance comes from realizing that God does not want us to live in guilt or shame. God desires that we repent and, as the prophet Ezekiel says, live reconciliation with Christ. When we repent, we are not just saying sorry for our sins but making a commitment to change. We are choosing to move closer to God, to live a life more aligned with His will. This choice, this change, brings a deep sense of peace and joy.

Repentance brings a deep sense of joy that surpasses all understanding. - St. Gregory the Great

The joy in repentance also comes from the understanding that God's love for us is constant and unconditional. No matter where we are or what we've done, God is ready and waiting to forgive us and welcome us back as like the father in Christ's parable did with the Prodigal Son.

Our repentance is a response to this Christ's incredible love and mercy. We can tell God we're sorry and want to turn from our ways, rejecting the proverbial fruit, and make a conscious choice that leads to a deep, lasting, and transformative joy.

The grace of repentance imparts a new creation to our souls, making us partakers Of eternal life and filling us with spiritual joys. - St. John of Damascus

This Lent, let us find joy in our forgiveness. Let's open our hearts to God's forgiveness, be made whole in Him through his loving grace. This is the joy of repentance.

Thom Crowe

About Thom Crowe

Thom was ordained a deacon in the Orthodox Church before joining the Anglican tradition, works in tech marketing marketing, is dad to a sweet little girl, and husband to a great wife who runs the Made Shop. He's an avid reader, beer aficionado, lover of theology and history, and insufferable coffee snob. Thom says he has a pretty happy life in Tulsa, OK.

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