Last week, I quoted Dr. Gary Collins (a Christian counselor), who wrote that guilt is the critical factor in many of our emotional problems and struggles. Our tendency is to assume that, given enough time, guilt will simply fade away, but it doesn’t; it festers and grows, unless dealt with appropriately.
Confession is the first step toward freedom from guilt and I shared with you the 7 “A’s” of a good confession.
The second step toward freedom from guilt is to receive God’s forgiveness. Of course, to receive it, we must understand it.
In the Bible, the word “forgive” literally means “to lift off and carry away.”
What a great picture for us because this is exactly what God does for those who trust in His Son: He lifts the guilt and shame off our shoulders and carries it away to the Cross.
About 18 years ago, I had a somewhat mystical experience. I was kneeling at my bed confessing a pattern of sin in my life. I was so broken over this sin that I was sobbing. But then, in the midst of that, I felt the weight of this sin being lifted off me – and then strangely, the door to my bedroom opened (it had been closed tight), only to close again (tightly) a few seconds later.
It was weird, but I’ll never forget that moment. It forever solidified in my mind God’s amazing forgiveness.
God’s forgiveness is amazing, but as mentioned above, we must be willing to receive it. That means we must accept or “take delivery” of it. This can be difficult because Satan loves to accuse us and plant doubts in our mind. He’ll say things like “God will never forgive you for THAT!”
Whenever accused like that, we must respond with the truth of God’s Word. A good verse to have memorized is Isaiah 55:6-7:
Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
Somebody once observed that “the single greatest gift that God could possibly give to mankind is the forgiveness of sin.” Thank You, Lord, for this wonderful gift!