Godly sorrow is the gift of the Holy Spirit. Spurgeon preached,
“It is always a creation of the Holy Spirit. . . . There never was any real godly sorrow, such as worketh repentance acceptable unto God, except that which was the result of the Holy Spirit’s own work within the soul.”. . . Genuine mourning for sin comes as a gift of divine grace. . . Grace comes into the heart, and enlightens the understanding, so that the man understands what his criminallty is in the sight of God. Then the grace of God operates upon the conscience so that the man sees the evil and the bitterness of the sin which he has committed against the thrice-holy Jehovah Then the same grace affects the heart, so that the man beholds the infiinte graciousness and eternal love of Christ, and then begins to loathe himself to think that he should ever have treated Christ so ill. So, by a work of grace upon the soul, and not by any other process, does the Spirit of God make men weep for sin so that they hate it, and turn away from it.”
So, we aren’t talking about Joe or Sally-generated sorrow over sin. We are talking about a godly sorrow that is generated and gifted to one by the Holy Spirit. So, repentance begins by saying, “Oh, God, your Spirit has pierced my heart with great conviction over my sin as I realize my sin pierced the body of Your Son.” God graciously pours out this Spirit on those who seek Him. Oh, that God would grant us repentance that leads to salvation.