Lent Day 13: repentance
1 Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 2 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. 3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. – Psalm 32
Lent is a season of repentance. We don’t like to think about repentance because that means we must look at our sinfulness. And yet, that is exactly what we are called to do. Repent.
Today’s psalm highlights the blessings in this way of life that searches for those deeds, words, thoughts, even motives, displeasing to God—and owns them mournfully before him.
The first blessing is forgiveness. The repentant are the forgiven (vv. 1–5). In the psalm, this forgiveness is confirmed by David’s deliverance (vv. 6–7). Let’s be honest, David struggled in life. Troubles had surrounded him like mighty waters. It seems then that David doesn’t just look for his circumstances to change; he offers himself to be changed through his repentance. And the deliverance he receives confirms the forgiveness of the guilt of his sin. Would that we all approach our troubles with such priorities! The repentant are the forgiven—and in that forgiveness is our deliverance.
Another blessing in repentance is who David is becoming through it. This is alluded to in verse 8 of our psalm. He is becoming someone intimate with the teaching and counsel of the Lord, growing in his will.. Our repentance now has everything to do with who we are becoming for tomorrow. The seeds of your future self are in your repentance today.
This tomorrow that we repent toward includes the age to come, the new earth. The season of Lent comes to its end on Easter Sunday. In the resurrection of Jesus, we are promised our own future resurrection! Who will we be on that day? We learn from Jesus’s resurrection that there is an organic unity between our present and future selves. Just like the crucifixion marks of his resurrected body (John 20:20), the wisdom Jesus gained in learning obedience became part of his future self, a wisdom by which he leads us into salvation (Hebrews 5:8–9), enthroned on high.
Therefore, learning obedience through repentance today, we are being shaped for our future life. Who you are today affects who you will become in the day of Christ’s tomorrow. Every confession of deceit today promises a truer you tomorrow, or certainly a deeper enjoyment of your true you!
So let us journey on in the blessed life of repentance. It brings us the assurance of forgiveness and the promise of who we become through it!
Today’s devotional was written by Rev. Heino Blaauw.