Lifting the Weight of Guilt

Cathy Hurtado

"When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.  For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.  Then I  acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin."  Psalm 32:3-5

When it comes to sexual sin, understanding, receiving and extending God’s forgiveness is critical.

Sometimes we look back on our past at the things we’ve done, and we don’t think that God can forgive us.  We can even look around and believe that God can forgive others, but somehow we think that what we’ve done is unforgivable.

Think about King David, not only did he break God’s commandment about adultery, he violated an innocent woman, tried to cover it up, had her husband killed, and then remained silent about his sin.  What a weight he must have been carrying!  He describes it in the verses above.  Day and night God’s hand was heavy on him.  His strength was sapped.  God sent the prophet Nathan to help David see what he’d done and help to draw him back.  The entire story is found in 2 Samuel 12, but in verses 13-14 it says, “ Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”  Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin.”  Having received God’s forgiveness, Dave pleaded with God for the life of his child.  Even after facing the consequence for his sin, he was able to enter into God’s presence and worship, having been forgiven.

Our sin grieves God, but He is not surprised by it.  The entire reason God sent His Son was so that we would not need to live under the weight of our sin in this life, nor bear the consequences of it for eternity.   He desires for us to come clean, to return to Him, and walk closely with Him.  We need to let our sin humble us so that it changes us.

Are you struggling with receiving God’s forgiveness?  Start by acknowledging your sin before God.  Claim His promise in 1 John 1:9 that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  Receive God’s forgiveness and whatever consequences follow. 

You have recycled that thought for years that your sin in unforgiveable, so now you need to break a habit.  Every time your thoughts try to condemn you, you need to draw near to God and answer the lie with God’s truth, “God forgave the guilt of my sin.  I am clean.”  If you do this, over time, you will come to not only believe you are forgiven, you will feel forgiven and live forgiven.

Then, having receiving God’s forgiveness, you can extend that forgiveness to those who have wronged you.  Forgiveness does not release people from their moral and legal consequences, it enables you to let go of the anger and bitterness so that your heart can heal and so that you can tangibly show a lost world the love of Christ.  “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  Ephesians 4:31-32

 

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