This is the way to times of refreshing

My attitude was as cold as a winter morning in Northern Alaska. 

The conversation with my husband did not go as I planned. I was feeling ignored and hurt, and the more I focused on those feelings, the more my frustrations took hold of my heart. 

How quickly I had forgotten the peace of my quiet time. Earlier that day I had read a few verses from Acts 3, and they came back to me as I was sitting by myself and stewing on the flood of my frustrations. Peter, talking to the early church about their attitudes in Acts 3:19 (NIV) says “Repent then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”

Oh, how I needed some time of refreshing. I needed His comfort and peace for my hurting heart and subsequent cold attitude. And if I read that verse correctly, I needed to repent.

Have you ever had that conviction then immediately fought against yourself? 

It was like my flesh and my spirit were arguing and at first, it sounded like this: “Repent of what? What sins have I committed? I love God. I read His Word just this morning. I’m the one hurting here.” 

Then it switched to this: “Perhaps I took my frustration out on the wrong person. Perhaps my response was harsh, and maybe even laced with selfishness.”

Ouch, I guess I did need to repent.

I quieted myself and listened to my spirit. I confessed my sin of selfishness and asked the Lord to forgive me. Pride had also taken hold of my hurting heart. I needed to let that go, too.

How often, as Christians, do we truly think about and act on repentance? 

Early in the faith, we hear about our initial need to repent from sins, but what about the everyday minor offenses that require us to repent again and again?

Small tweaks, like an attitude adjustment, or course correction when we’ve spent too much time on social media and neglected time with the Father, are still cause for repentance. God has called us to meditate on His Word (Joshua 1:8) and to guard our hearts above all else. (Proverbs 4:23)

If you, like me, are desperate for times of refreshing and desire the peace that comes from the presence of the Lord, perhaps we need to follow the instructions Peter is giving the early church in Acts 3. 

Repentance is the way forward. Repentance is the way to take hold of the freedom and peace that Jesus secured for us and freely offers. When we lay down our selfish ways and realize the things we need to repent of, then we receive the promised “times of refreshing”.

The more I confess my sins to the Lord, the more I feel His Spirit refreshing my soul.

I am the one who stands in the way of my own freedom. My own stubborn heart and cold attitude keep me from having the peace I so deeply desire. Yet, I am so thankful, that God in His mercy gives us His timeless Word, and that His Word has transformative power. His truth sets us free and time in His presence brings such sweet times of refreshing.

Friend, can I encourage you today?

Sit with the Lord. Ask Him to show you the places in your life where you may need to repent. Then, receive from Him the blessings He wants to give you. That kind of deep, soul-refreshing goodness, can only be found in His presence. Don’t miss out.

This article first appeared in Kingdom Edge Magazine

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