The moment when you realize you locked your keys in the car, but then discover one of the windows was rolled down. The moment when you wake up from a terrible dream and realize it wasn’t real. The moment when the police officer who was tailing you finally turns.
There are some pretty stressful moments in this life, but thankfully there are moments of relief as well. There are moments that make us say, “Phew!” It’s likely you have been in some tense situations. Interestingly, the more difficult the situation, the greater the sense of relief can be.
For those who have experienced it, nothing is more stressful than coming to the realization that we are separated from God and lost in sin (Romans 3:23). It’s the moment when we realize that we are facing eternal consequences, not temporary ones (Matthew 25:41). It’s the moment when we realize we will spend this eternity in hell and not with God in heaven (Revelation 21:8). What an incredibly stressful, tense, and chilling moment this is.
Back in Acts 2, Peter was preaching a sermon to the very people who persecuted and killed Christ. In verse 37, the people came to this terrible realization and Scripture describes them as being “pierced to the heart.” They were experience the same terrible moment many of us have. They realized they had sinned and knew they were in big trouble with God. Naturally, they ask the question, “What shall we do?” Peter gives them the answer in verse 38, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” On this day, about 3,000 people received relief by obeying Peter’s words (Acts 2:41).
It’s incredibly stressful to know we are not right with God, but God offers us relief. If we are willing to follow God’s command to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21), we will experience a moment of pure elation and relief. It will be a moment when every single sin we have committed is washed away and we become pure and clean in God’s eyes (1 John 1:7). If we are willing, we can accept this relief from God.
The question we need to ask ourselves is: How are we feeling right now — stressed or relieved?