A repentant life keeps us in touch with him. When I meet with the Lord and he coaxes me to continue growing in him, very often the feelings develop in me that the Bible talks about in the following verses:
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
The high and lofty one who lives in eternity,
the Holy One, says this:
I live in the high and holy place
with those whose spirits are contrite and humble.
I restore the crushed spirit of the humble
and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.
Repentance can be an agonizing experience, but a deep revelation of humility can be life-giving. When God so deeply ministers to us that we feel broken, contrite, and ashamed, then we can be sure that the Holy Spirit is transforming us. And afterwards, this transformation brings empowerment. Note in the verse above where it says, I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.
Restoration of our spirits and a revival of courage in our hearts builds within us as we are repentant. That’s a core confidence that no human being or circumstance can diminish.
Sometimes as I begin to pray, I approach God with confidence; yet as I enter more into his presence, I feel the focus transitions to illuminating me in ways I didn’t initially anticipate. In those situations, I identify with what Ezra 9:6 says:
O my God, I am utterly ashamed; I blush to lift up my face to you. For our sins are piled higher than our heads, and our guilt has reached to the heavens.
And in my repentant state, I feel the strength of humility.
In the past, I didn’t know hatred. Now I experience a hatred of sin and a renewed love for the cross. The Bible says in Psalms 97:10,
You who love the Lord, hate evil!
He protects the lives of his godly people
and rescues them from the power of the wicked.
Because of repentance, my feelings align with God’s Word, and I feel stronger because of my hope in God alone.