Repentance Better Than Rest

…That times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19, NASB1995).

Feeling refreshed… I want this, how about you?

Have you ever said, “I just need a vacation,” or “If I could just get a good night’s sleep,” or “I will be fine if I adjust my life to have more down time”?

Then you go on a vacation, get a good’s night sleep, relax your appointments on Outlook Calendar – and you still feel lousy. You have found that vacation, sleep, and more rest often don’t solve anxiety or discouragement.

Because lack of sleep, rest, or a vacation isn’t the problem.

Peter said in his second sermon in Acts: 

Repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19, NASB1995).

We want the presence of God and times of refreshing. But how about repentance? 

In the Greek language of the New Testament, “repentance” means changing your mind and “return” is the action taken because of changing your mind. Both are precursors to being refreshed.

No one can force feed themselves rest by paying for a lavish vacation, reading a book on positive thinking, or having more free time – especially when there is attitude and action in your life that ruins your peace.

In the context of “repentance and returning,” Peter told his listeners:

I know that you acted in ignorance (Acts 3:17, ESV).

The people of Israel had just crucified Jesus. God’s presence had been removed from their lives, and from the nation itself. A nice camping trip on Mount Carmel or visiting a spa on the Dead Sea was not going restore spiritual or physical health.

They needed a “change of mind” about Jesus, with all of their “actions” to follow Him.

I have found in my walk with Jesus, and with many that I counseled through the years, that during frustration – I/we had no idea where repentance was needed. Finding that area of ignorance and obeying with both repentance and returning…

Brings times of refreshing.

Peter’s sermon in Acts 3 is a masterpiece in finding peace. At the end of his message, Peter gives this challenge:

God raised up His Servant for you first and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways (Acts 3:26, NASB1995).

Blessing comes through repentance and turning to follow Jesus. It’s the only way to find times of refreshing – much better than an all-inclusive cruise.

After Peter finished his sermon, we read the result:  

Many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the of men came to be about five thousand (Acts 4:4, NASB1995).

In your life, how about an attitude? How about a compromise? If you are acting in ignorance, or even from a hardened heart, the solution is the same.

God, reveal my heart and my actions and I will Repent and Return!