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3 The Hard Way: The Struggle with Recieving God’s Forgiveness

I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8 NIV

I had no idea that my words would evoke such strong emotions in my son.  It was one of those mornings where despite the fast pace, I was able to keep my cool.  My son has started his day off by responding with a dishonest answer to a quick question.  My “mother instinct” kicked in and I went to verify his answer and found out that he was not truthful with me.  I went to him and sat down so that his five year old eyes would be level with mine.  I told him that I was disappointed that he had been dishonest with me.  I shared with Him God’s heart on the matter of honesty.  “You can be honest with me, even if you have made a mistake. If I know what you are having a hard time with then I can help you.  Do you understand?”

He held his lips together and nodded his head, but his eyes searched mine as if he was waiting for a consequence to be administered.  I placed both of my hands firmly on his shoulders and pulled him as close to me as I could.  Sensing the Holy Spirit’s urging I spoke softly to him and said, “I forgive you.”  These words broke something within him and tears flooded his face.  He apologized to me and asked me to pray with him. 

That morning, I saw a broken spirit and a contrite heart, and the Father did something inside of me.  Here are a few questions that I reflected on after this incident:

1.When I make mistakes, do I go to the Father and confess, or wait until I’m caught up to come clean?

Childlike in our clean up efforts, we wait until our sin or the consequences of our sin bring us to a road block or to rock bottom.  We pretend we have it all together, when we know that our sin is eating away at us on the inside.  Proverbs 28:13 says, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”  There is mercy when we confess!  Don’t delay.  No matter how big or small – come clean.  

2.Do I trust the Father’s ability to help me, or do I only trust in my flawed ability to hide it for as long as possible? 

Sometimes we think that covering it up means it doesn’t exist anymore.  I’m reminded of an old hymn that speaks the truth to that situation, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!”  1 John 1:19 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  He is able!  We are not!  

3. Do I truly believe that forgiveness exists for me?

Sometimes doubt stands in the way of confession and/or forgiveness.  Do you really believe that God can forgive you?  Psalm 32:2-5 says “Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah”  He has offered us forgiveness through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ.  Read more about a relationship with Christ here.

My son needed my reassurance that I truly did forgive him.  I reminded him and encouraged him to do his very best and that we would move forward and try to do better.  He deserved punishment, I extended grace.  God does the same for each of us.  Even when we have a hard time believing that His forgiveness is available – and real.  He forgives! 

God reminds me lovingly that in His grace, He forgives me.  He lovingly restores me.  He models the grace that He wants me to extend to others.  So when my own tears are streaming down my face, and my mistakes are uncovered by the Lord, may my response be like David in Psalm 51:

 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Confess today.  Ask for forgiveness today.  We have to learn to take our mistakes to the Lord without delay and humbly allow Him to work in our hearts and in your lives.

Pray with me: Lord help me to see that You can help me.  Lord, convict my heart when I stray away from Your path, so that I may return to You.  Let my heart know that Your arms stand ready to embrace me, no matter how long or how deep my sins are.  You are my Savior!  Help me to trust in Your ways and Your forgiveness.  Help me to appreciate Your grace every day of my life.  

In Jesus name we pray.  Amen.

Leave a comment below about your journey to forgiveness.  Let us pray with you


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