““Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.” (Joel 2:12–13, NKJV)

What does repentance look like? What does your repentance look like? What does the Lord think repentance should like?

Acknowledging your sin must be the first step, but what happens next? When you realize that your choices and actions have displeased the Lord your God, what do you do? The Lord describes a radical, wholehearted turn, with fasting, weeping and mourning. Instead of rending your garments (an ancient customary act of great distress), He wants you to return to Him with a torn heart.

When our sin-stained hearts are broken before God, He is gracious, merciful, gentle, kind and patient with us. He forgives. When we are arrogant, impenitent, careless, and casual about our sin, do we really expect God’s forgiveness? Have you experienced genuine broken-heartedness before God for your sin?

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My Lord and my God, I am broken. Instead of a broken heart, time and again I come before you with a broken life, seeking for you to make it whole. Help me to know genuine broken-heartedness for my sin, that You may heal me wholly and completely. In your son’s name, I beseech you.

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