A week from today I leave to preach a series of messages about The Religious Affections of Jonathan Edwards for the students of Foothill Bible Church, pastored by my friend Micah Lugg. A week after that, I’ll be preaching a series of messages about Repentance and seeing sin for what it is for the students of Faith Bible Church, pastored by my friend Mike Brown (whose wife is due with their second child the week before camp begins). I listened to this message while running earlier today and the following quote hit my preparation sweet spot.
Though [repentance] be a deep sorrow for sin that God requires as necessary to salvation, yet the very nature of it necessarily implies delight. Repentance of sin is a sorrow arising from the sight of God’s excellency and mercy, but the apprehension of excellency or mercy must necessarily and unavoidably beget pleasure in the mind of the beholder. ’Tis impossible that anyone should see anything that appears to him excellent and not behold it with pleasure, and it’s impossible to be affected with the mercy and love of God, and his willingness to be merciful to us and love us, and not be affected with pleasure at the thoughts of [it]; but this is the very affection that begets true repentance. How much soever of a paradox it may seem, it is true that repentance is a sweet sorrow, so that the more of this sorrow, the more pleasure.
—Jonathan Edwards, “The Pleasantness of Religion,” quoted in A God Entranced Vision of All Things, 30.