One inevitable step Christians face in their journey is repentance: the act of acknowledging mistakes, confessing sins and casting them at Jesus’ feet.  

Repentance is a powerful balm we can access when we need to turn away from sin and come back to the light. 

Heavenly Father, in His profound love, offers repentance as a path to relief and renewal. Through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, we can acknowledge our mistakes and be freed from their burden. This act of grace allows us to embrace forgiveness and find peace, guiding us back to divine love and happiness.

“But, repentance is hard. I want to feel God’s love again, but how can I do that when I have sinned so much, and I’m terrified I can’t be forgiven anymore?” 

Have you ever felt this way about repentance? 

Even though repentance is a beautiful gift from a loving Heavenly Father, the thought of going through the repentance process can be challenging and overwhelming for some. 

Apart from the commitment and the effort we need to put into asking God for forgiveness, we also have to deal with the fears that come with repentance. 

How do we overcome these fears? And how do we find the strength to continue even if repentance is hard? 

repentance is hard

The Road to Repentance is Hard Because It Requires Effort

Repentance is like going back up after slipping downhill during a hike. 

The slip brings you down fast, but the hike back up – where you get to see stunning views and the majestic skies – requires double the effort. 

Just like sliding down the hill, falling into sin is easy. 

Getting back up through repentance takes great courage, strength, humility, tears, and perseverance.  

Because true repentance will cause us a “mighty change of heart,” it will ask us to make mighty efforts. Repentance will change us, but before we experience this change, we must work. 

Repentance is Hard Because Satan Works to Make It Harder

Our Heavenly Father absolutely understands that repentance is not easy, but He also knows that forgiveness for our sins is possible. 

Satan, however, wants to flip the truth. 

Another reason why repentance is hard is because Satan – the great adversary – wants us to believe it is so much more complicated. 

He whispers lies telling us “Why do you need to repent? You’ve sinned so much.” 

“You’re a lost case.” 

“You aren’t even a good person.” 

Satan wants us to doubt the Lord’s capacity to hear us, forgive us, and see us for who we are beyond the mistakes we have committed. 

And he is committed to doing that because he “for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself” 

Without repentance, we fall into misery. 

And one of the most potent ways that Satan stops us from really repenting is by instilling fear in our minds. These fears are – in reality – built on lies. 

8 Fears That Makes Repentance Hard

Fear #1: God Won’t Listen to Me Anymore

Finding hope for forgiveness becomes difficult when we feel that Heavenly Father has turned His back on us because of our mistakes. 

Unintentionally, we begin to see Him as this boss we need to please rather than a loving Father in Heaven who has been waiting for us to come back to Him. 

I find it hard to repent

Just like the Father in the Story of the Prodigal Son, Heavenly Father is eagerly waiting, and looking forward to our return! All we need to do is take the first step. 

Fear #2: God Sees My Sin, So I Don’t Think He’ll Find Hope in Me

When discussing second chances, it’s best to remember the story of Saul, who later became Paul. As a stalwart persecutor of Christ’s believers, Saul had done seemingly unforgivable things. 

But the Lord sees differently. When talking to Ananias in a vision, He reminded the man that Saul – despite His mistakes – was still a chosen vessel to Him. 

He saw beyond Saul’s mistakes. He can see beyond ours. 

Fear #3: Repentance is Hard Because God Has Ran Out of Patience for Me

God’s forgiveness is infinite. But He does expect us to forsake our sins. Some of us can do it immediately, while others might take a while to reach their goal. 

The blessing of repentance is that it’s available for those who choose to repent, even through small, simple steps. 

God knows that in our journey toward becoming better, there will still be moments when we will fall short. The principle of repentance is a constant reminder that no failure ever needs to be final because the chance to start again is always there. 

Fear #4: I’ve Traveled So Far From God’s Light

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, worded this comforting process beautifully: 

“But however late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.” 

hope for repentance

Satan works twice as hard to make us believe that we have become so bad, so unworthy, and so undeserving of God’s forgiveness. However, if we only listen again to our Father in Heaven, we will know that even before we step back into the light, God already has His hands outstretched.

Fear #5: I’m Going to Do It Again

The fear of repeating sins can be daunting. Yet, remember, repentance is a journey, not a one-time act. God’s mercy is boundless; He welcomes our sincere efforts to change, no matter how often we falter. His grace empowers us, turning our fears into stepping stones for growth. Embrace this continuous path with hope, knowing that each step towards repentance is a step closer to divine love and transformation.

Fear #6: People Will Know and They Will Talk

One common fear is the worry about others discovering our transgressions and the subsequent judgment that may follow. 

This fear can be paralyzing, causing us to shy away from seeking forgiveness. 

However, it’s essential to remember that repentance is a personal journey between you and God. 

The opinions of others, while they may seem daunting, hold no power over God’s infinite mercy and love.

Fear #7: I’m Scared of Facing My Mistakes

Confronting our past actions can be incredibly painful. 

The guilt and shame associated with acknowledging our wrongdoings often deter us from repentance. 

Yet, facing our mistakes is a crucial step towards healing and growth. It’s about understanding the impact of our actions and developing a genuine desire to change. 

Remember, this fear is a sign of your conscience at work, indicating that you can choose better and, therefore, the potential for real, profound change.

Fear #8: Fear of the Next Steps

The uncertainty of what lies ahead can make the journey of repentance seem overwhelming. 

Questions like “What if I can’t change?” or “What if I fail again?” may cloud your mind. 

But the beauty of repentance lies in the process itself – it’s a step-by-step journey, not a sudden leap to perfection. 

Embrace each step with faith, knowing that with the Atonement, you are never alone. Each effort, no matter how small, is significant in the eyes of God.

3 Ways to Find Strength to Repent When You Have a Hard Time Repenting

#1: Trust in the Knowledge That God Wants You to Repent

Why did God send Noah, Moses, and even Jesus Christ to the world? One of their biggest callings was to call people to repentance. 

Because in truth, no matter how dark our choices have been, God wants us to repent, to change, to come back to Him and feel the happiness of choosing Him once again. 

#2: Know That The Atonement Makes Repentance Absolutely Possible

One of the most beautiful verses in the Bible can be found in Isaiah 1:18. It talks about the promise that even though our “sins be as scarlet, it shall be as white as snow.” 

How is this even possible? It is all because of the Atonement. 

Christ died for us, so we can always, always go back to our Heavenly Father. His Atonement makes repentance a gift, not a punishment. 

#3: Ask for Guidance from Heavenly Father

Humbly ask for help from our Heavenly Father. He will lead you to the right people, give you the strength to face your mistakes and persevere no matter how hard repentance gets, and help you feel His love as you go through repentance. 

Receiving help from the heavens can sustain us when people talk, when the steps become difficult, and when we stumble along the way. 

You Can Repent No Matter How Hard It Is

Contrary to the lies of Satan, repentance is the better choice. Although it is hard, it is – ultimately – the only sure way to happiness in this life and in the life to come. 

If you have questions about repentance, we’re here to help. You can talk to us by sending us a message on our social media channels or by contacting us here.