November 19, 2016

Turning Desperation Into Hope

Acts 3:11-23

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.

—  Acts 3:19

Nikolay listens to our gospel broadcasts in prison. We don’t know what crime he committed, but his sentence is for a long time. In one of his letters Nikolay shared with us how sorry he was about his former ungratefulness to God. He says he had many good opportunities in life but squandered most of them. He realizes that his own sin brought him to prison.

In our correspondence with Nikolay we shared the Acts 3 story and the call to repentance in verse 19. But you don’t have to be in prison to appreciate this verse. It applies to all of us, even those whom we might consider “good.”

Peter is speaking about the common human need for repentance and turning to God. Maybe you have heard his words before. But do you know what they mean? According to the great preacher Charles Spurgeon, repentance is “a dis­covery of the evil of sin, a mourning that we have committed it, a resolution to forsake it.” It is a change of will and mind that comes because we are truly sorry for what we have done. It involves turning away from sin.

But repentance isn’t complete unless we turn toward God by believing in Jesus Christ. First, you see yourself in relation to sin and become desperate. And then you see yourself in relation to Jesus and experience hope. Do you have this great hope?

Lord, from the darkness of our desperation in sin, lead us to hopeful trust in Jesus, in whom you wipe out our sins and refresh us spiritually. Amen.s

About the author — Sergei Sosedkin

Rev. Sergei Sosedkin is the Russian-language ministry leader for ReFrame Ministries. He is a native of Moscow, Russia. As he oversees the Russian-language ministry, Rev. Sosedkin works from our office in Grand Rapids and in various locations in Russia.

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