Times Of Refreshing

  
Yay!!!! Spring is here! The cold bitter winter is over! The snow has melted and flowers are in bloom again. Let newness SPRING forth!!!

During spring, everything is rejeuvenated and refreshed as the earth tilts closer to the sun, causing warmer temperatures, longer days, frozen rivers to flow and new plants to grow. While we don’t have this season in the Caribbean, during this time of the year we also notice temperatures rising as we approach the warmer summer months.

So how is this blurb on spring connected to our devo today? Where are we heading with this?

Recently there was a headline which caught my attention. A well known worship minister’s confession of sin which ultimately led to a failed marriage..and there have been other similar occurences of sin in the lives of brothers and sisters near and far.

So I heard someone ask.. “If God has forgiven us for our sins and wiped the slate clean, why do we still have to deal with the negative consequences?” Yet, others may say..”that person got off way too easy!!”

There is always a consequence for sin. Though we forgive our children when they do wrong we still discipline them so that they would learn from it.

Hebrews 12:11 (NKJV) Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

King David had found himself in a similar season of sadness, grief and painful discipline of his own making. He had turned away from God and to his own sinful desires, taking the wife of Uriah, covering it up and then murdering him. 

Though God forgave David’s sin, it did not go unpunished as he experienced trouble in his household and the death of his son with Bathsheba.

However, what was David’s response? After God sent the prophet Nathan to reveal to David his wrong. David repented. He still pleaded with God to be merciful and spare his son, but ultimately he accepted his wrongdoing and God’s punishment, refusing to be angry and rebellious against God. David turned his heart to God in repentance and worshipped. Read his prayer of repentance in Psalm 51.

While this is a powerful lesson for us to avoid sin at all costs. It is also a lesson to us that in times when we do sin and have fallen, while we have to bear the consequences of our sin, we must turn fully towards God, repent (change our thinking) and throw ourselves on His mercy and grace. God is merciful and sometimes may even soften the punishment. Whatever the consequence, He is waiting with open arms to restore and completely redeem us, bringing us into a season of newness and freshness in Him. 

Psalm 30:5 (NKJV) For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.

Let us remember this in our lives and as we deal with fallen brothers or sisters. While they may still have to deal with the consequences of their actions, let us pray, encourage and guide them as we have opportunity towards God’s mercy, grace and restoration. 

Yes, God will punish sin but he still loves us and is unswervingly commited to our success, eternal salvation and destiny in Him and we must be the same. Let us not secretly snicker or despise them but let us pray for repentance, conversion and restoration.

Isn’t it wonderful that the same God who made winter also made spring? He will rejeuvenate and restore us again when we turn our hearts towards Him?

Let’s pray: Father, help us to quickly repent when your Holy Spirit reveals to us our sins. Help us not to harden our hearts but to turn towards you so that you would refresh and restore us in your presence. Help us Lord to pray continually for our brothers and sisters who are in struggles with sin and temptation or dealing with its consequences and guide them with the same mercy and love you continually show us. In Jesus’ name..Amen!

By Carol-angel Jackson

 

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