“Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer.19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. 21 Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22 For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.’[a]” Acts 3.17-23
How difficult was it for those Jews who persecuted Jesus to now believe that he was Messiah? How must they have felt, those who shouted against him, to now know he’s been raised from the dead? Were they still in disbelief? Were they now convinced that he really was the Messiah?
Peter pleads with the Israelites – “Repent and turn to God.” But why does he do this? So that their ”sins may be wiped out” and ”times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Consider these ideas for a moment. When we repent, turn from sin and turn to God, we experience forgiveness of those sins. We no longer bare the weight of them any longer. And as a result, the emotional, spiritual and mental release is huge. I recall times in my life when I gave up unhealthy habits. When I rejected sin and the darkness of the devil. And the weight of the sin was lifted. This is the feeling of refreshment.
Trusting the Lord means God restores humanity to a right relationship with him. He, who is in heaven ”until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.” And God will restore us, when we believe, repent from sin, and allow Jesus to renew our relationship with the Father.
Is there anything as more refreshing than jumping into a pool of water in the middle of a hot Texas summer? When the heat has been in the hundreds for weeks? Feeling the coolness of the water is truly satisfying. Now relate this to your spiritual life — the moment you jump into the pool of God’s forgiveness, you will find relief. Trust Jesus. Give him a chance. Allow Christ as Messiah to release the weight and bring refreshment to your weary soul.
“O Lord God, you are good. Even in my darkest times, you shine a light of love. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power. Help me know the truth of who you are and capture my soul again. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen