1. What images, feelings, or reactions come to your mind when you think of "repentance"?
Read the story below of one woman's experience of repentance, and answer the questions that follow.
After twenty-three years of being active in church life, I was bruned out. I was tired of trying to live the Christian life, and in my heart I knew I was only giving lip service to the lordship of Christ. My heart had grown cold and calloused. I sought escape through sleep (having been addicted to over-the-counter sleeping pills for years), hobbies, novels, television-anything to fill the void and to avoid facing the barrenness of my life.
Knowing that l was convinced that he didn't care (satan helped in perpetuating that lie!). l blamed him for my misery and the shallowness of my life. I thought that if he were different. I started living in a dream world, imagining what it would be like to be out of my marriage. I seriously entertained thoughts of divorce.
Finally, I became so desperate that I just cried out for God to do a work in my life. And He heard! He answered my cries by showing me the truth about my heart and my life. He revealed my pride, which made me think that I deserved someone better. He showed me that my anger and bitterness toward my husband was really saying, "God, You made a mistake in the person You gave me for a husband."
As God's Spirit worked in my heart, I slowly agreed with Him about my sins of pride and bitterness. God enabled me to stop blaming my husband and others for my condition. I literally came to life again. I began to turn away from the things I depended on instead of God. I laid my sleeping pills " on the altar," and God graciously delivered me from that bondage I had experienced for years. He delivered me from years of resentment toward my husband and gave me a new love for him God truly revived my heart!
2. What "keys" do you see in this woman's story that opened the door for her to experience personal revival?
3. Why do we often blame our circumstances or other people for our actions and our spiritual condition?
4. Read Psalm 51:1-6. Notice the complete absence of blame on David's part, once God convicted him of his wrongdoing. Why is it so important to accept full responsibility for our own sins?
5. Psalm 119:59 offers a good definition of repentance: "When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies." How does this woman's story illustrate genuine repentance?