After we come to Christ, we slip back from time to time into our sinful ways, and the Lord is faithful once again to forgive us when we turn to Him. The Bible teaches that: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Furthermore, when the Lord forgives us His forgiveness is complete. He “casts our sins as far as the east is from the west.” He “buries our sin beneath the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19). He “blots out our sins” (Acts 3:19), and “remembers our sins no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). If our sins are cast “as far as the east is from the west,” they are out of sight. If they are “buried beneath the depths of the sea,” they are out of reach. If they are “remembered no more” they are out of mind, and if they are “blotted out” they are out of existence. Out of sight, out of reach, out of mind and out of existence; that’s complete forgiveness – and it’s a wonderful blessing from the Lord.
But sometimes we don’t ask the Lord for forgiveness. “Why, at times, do we refuse to ask the Lord for forgiveness when we know that we have disobeyed Him, rebelled against Him, wronged Him?” There are possibly many answers to that question. Regardless of our answers or excuses, however, the truth is – we will live miserable defeated lives until we repent and get things right with the Lord. King David wrote of the sinfulness of his life, and the repercussions for that sinfulness in Psalm 38. He wrote in Psalm 38:3-8: “Your arrows have struck deep and your blows are crushing me. Because of your anger, my whole body is sick; my health is broken because of my sins. My guilt overwhelms me – it is a burden too heavy to bear. My wounds fester and stink because of my foolish sins. I am bent over and wracked with pain. My days are filled with grief. A raging fever burns within me, and my health is broken. I am exhausted and completely crushed. My groans come from an anguished heart.” Those are the words of a man suffering from the consequences of his sins.
David went on to write in Psalm 32:3-5: “When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long. Day and night Your hand was heavy upon me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to You, and stopped trying to hide them. I said, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the Lord,’ and You forgave me! All my guilt is gone.”
Having read all that, we now know why David began the 32nd Psalm with the following words: “Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven” (Psalm 32:1). There is no greater joy than knowing that your sins are forgiven and you are right with your God.
As you pray today: 1) Ask the Lord to reveal any unconfessed sin that may be in your heart and life (Psalm 139:23-24); 2) Ask the Lord to forgive and cleanse you of each and every sin that is revealed to you; and 3) Claim God’s cleansing and forgiveness – and rejoice in the fact that He loves you and is always willing to forgive, cleanse, renew and restore. Proverbs 28:13 reads, “He who covers his sin shall not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes it shall have mercy.” Avail yourself today of the mercy and joy of the Lord by confessing your sin to Him and seeking His forgiveness. When you receive that forgiveness, you will know once again the blessing and joy of the Lord in your life.