Sometimes we make resolutions, but our hearts are just not in them. There is benefit in recognizing a time of renewal as we perhaps saw with the dawning of a new year. It is beneficial to sinner and saint alike. In Acts 3, Peter and John heal a crippled man, and they take the opportunity to preach Christ to the amazed crowds, and Peter speaks of seasons of refreshing from the Lord in verse 19. He encourages these people to make a conscious change in their lives, made possible through the forgiveness of sins – refreshing our souls.
In David’s life, he needed seasons of refreshing as he was fleeing from Saul who sought his life. In Psalms 32 and 51, however, we can see that his greatest relief comes from forgiveness from those sins he confesses to God. He pleads to be washed and purified of his iniquities, asking for a clean heart and a renewed spirit. Like all of us, David is keenly aware of the sin he carries with him in these verses, and he finds renewal in God taking that burden from him.
Finally, in I Peter 5:10, Peter makes reference to the God of grace who will restore, establish, and strengthen His faithful. Perhaps some of us are glad to have one year behind us with a new one before us, a new start, a fresh slate. We can accomplish a new start in our own lives by cleansing our hearts in the grace of God, allowing Him to restore us and renew us in His love.
lesson by Tim Smelser