For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)

Perhaps you have the notion that repentance is a thing that happens at the commencement of the spiritual life and has to be gone through as one undergoes a certain operation, and there is an end of it.

If so, you are greatly mistaken; repentance lives as long as faith. Toward faith I might almost call it a Siamese twin. We shall need to believe and to repent as long as ever we live.

Perhaps you have the idea that repentance is a bitter thing. It is sometimes a bitter: they “shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10 KJV).

But that is not the kind of repentance that I am talking of now. Surely that bitterness is past; it was all over long ago. But this is a sweet bitterness that attends faith so long as ever we live.

It becomes a source of tender joy. The most intense happiness I have ever felt has not been when I have been exhilarated and full of spirits, but when I have learned very low on the bosom of God and felt it so sweet to be so low that one could scarcely be lower, and yet did not wish to be any higher.

I want you to indulge yourselves in this rarest delight of sorrow at the feet of Jesus—not sorrow for unpardoned sin, but sorrow for pardoned sin, sorrow for that which is done with, sorrow for that which is forgiven, sorrow for that which will never condemn you, for it was hid on Christ long ago and is put away forever. ((Charles Spurgeon,At the Master’s Feet [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005], December 28.))

Charles Spurgeon

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