True repentance leads to everlasting Joy.
“Surely he has done great things! Do not be afraid, land of Judah; be glad and rejoice. Surely the Lord has done great things.” (21)
The Prophet Joel’s book is a small book in the Old Testament, but it highlights some important principles of our faith. In this passage the prophet is focusing on the importance of repentance in the spiritual journey. One of the main functions of the Holy spirit is to convict every believer about sin. Conviction about one’s present condition and about sin lead to have a heart to repent.
Repent and return
In V: 12” God is saying to nation of Israel to repent and return to me.”We cannot come to the presence of God without repentance and brokenness. No matter who we are, we need to come to this realization that we should repent from our old ways. This is the same theme God is presenting throughout the Bible.
Nature of repentance
In V13: is talking about the nature of our repentance. It should be from the bottom of our hearts. The word used here is ‘rend your heart’. We cannot come to the God who is the creator of our inmost being, with an outward repentance. We should be broken, we should be mourning, weeping and fasting. In V15-17: He is clearly saying, when we repent, it should manifest in our day today life. He is asking for our undivided attention. God is asking the Israelites to leave their comfort zones and come to him wholeheartedly, irrespective of the age group.
Joy of repentance
From verse 18 onwards we can see how God is answering to their repentance and return. He is giving all promises and joy. There is no other picture depicted in the bible than the picture of the Return of the prodigal son to affirm this truth. Here we can clearly see how much he repented, how much he returned and how much he is rejoicing with his father in his own house. What a personal God we have! In the New Testament period we know more clearly the depth of his love and promises in Christ. As in v21 we can clearly say that the Lord has been done great things to us/me, so be glad and rejoice.
Prayer: Master, we thank you because you are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Amen
Thought for the Day: Repentance leads to renewal
Live in Truth, Leave the Sin and Love the Spirit
Jereesh John, St. Thomas MTC, N Y.