Confessing my sins in prayer to the Lord has never been difficult for me. But trusting the Lord in his word about my sin has been another issue. Psalm 32:5 says the Lord "forgave all my sins" as my heart cried out in confession. Then it is done. Finished. They do not need to be confessed again. But here, Lord, my weakness is revealed, as I journal my feelings.
When I first made Jesus my Lord, I had a habit of dredging up old sins and stewing on them. I confessed the same past sins over and over. It was hard to let them go. However, as I continued to read God's word, I heard him over and over impress upon me that I was wrong to hold onto them.
There are many scripture verses to tell me how the Lord deals with my sin.
"As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:12)
“Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!” (Psalm 25:7)
“For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:12)
“I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” (Isaiah 43:25-26)
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
In my humanness, it was difficult to understand how God could remember my sins no more – indeed, blot them out! I felt incapable of doing this. But this thought process revealed more about my faith and ability to forgive sin than my Lord’s. Did I harbor bitterness or hold a grudge in my forgiveness to others? What does this say about me? Did I really trust the Lord in his word?
In His infinite capacity for grace and mercy, his word tells me the truth of all I need to know -- my confessed sins are not remembered by my Lord! I needed to trust his word completely. It has been a journey in my growing relationship with the Lord to trust and love his word. To internalize his word is far different from acknowledging it. It has been a process for me. But the Lord is long suffering and I have grown to depend on his word in all aspects of my life.
When I confess my sins, I know there are consequences, but I feel his grace and mercy, compassion, steadfast love, complete forgiveness. A burden lifted! I can model his forgiveness of me as I deal with others. No bitterness, no grudges. And yet, still every once in a while, something from my past rears its head. At those moments, I stand ready to submit my heart and mind to recall those verses of love and forgiveness. He is always faithful to forgive.
-- Lorraine Pruitt © March 2019