Repentance: Accepting GOD's Forgiveness


By Philip Yuson

“The LORD is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.” (2 Chronicles 15:2)


LENT is a season for turning to the Lord. It is a season of repentance, of drawing near to GOD. It is a time for seeking GOD - for deepening our relationship with Him.

The Scripture passage above is taken from 2 Chronicles. It was the message from the prophet Azariah to King Asa of Judah. The book tells us that Asa was the fourth king after Solomon. During Solomon's time, he allowed the people to build altars and shrines to foreign idols. This led his people to idolatry. The author of Chronicles said that Asa did good and right in the sight of the Lord. He removed the foreign idols and altars and commanded his nation to seek the Lord and to observe the Law and the Commandment.

With this short description, the author talked about repentance. It is really turning away from things and turning back to GOD. It is really getting rid of things that are not of the Lord, things which clutter our mind and distract us from turning back to the Lord. This is what LENT is. Through our fasting, we aim to remove what hinders us in our relationship with GOD. In any stage of our lives, GOD calls us to draw closer to Him. By drawing closer to GOD, we get to know Him and by knowing Him, we get to love Him.

One thing to note about GOD is that He does not force Himself upon us. He allows us to choose between Him and other things. The above Scripture passage shows that our relationship with GOD depends on us. Everything is our decision - it is our choice. But in seeking Him, GOD is the one who allows us to find Him. We cannot find GOD through our strength. We find Him only if He lets us do so. We know GOD because He chooses to reveal Himself to us.

Our destiny - heaven or hell, depends on our own decision. If we choose Heaven, GOD will allow us to attain it. If we choose Hell, GOD respects our choice.

A study made years ago in Canada shows that a great majority believed in Heaven and a lot fewer believed in Hell. It seems that nobody wants to go to hell - not by their own choice. If one knows that there is a better place, why would one choose hell?

Pope John Paul II said in one of his teachings that Heaven and Hell are states rather than places. Heaven is a state where GOD is present and Hell is a state where GOD is absent. One may not consciously choose to live in hell, but by one's choice of rejecting GOD, one has chosen to live in hell.

Our lives may be one where GOD seems absent. One may be fully committed to GOD and still live a life where GOD does not seem present. Blessed Mother Teresa is one who lived without feeling the presence of GOD for 50 years!
Living without feeling the presence of GOD is different from living without the presence of GOD.

One is a sense, a perception while the later is a state. GOD allows us to not feel His presence - so that we can draw closer to Him. The purpose is to really teach us to cling to Him. The reason is simple - GOD is the only one that matters in the end. He is our Source and Destiny.

May the Lord give us eyes to see Him through the darkness. May this season of LENT teach us to cling to the Lord.