Wednesday, March 19, 2014

THE LORD IS GOOD AND READY TO FORGIVE

Many believers become so overwhelmed by their failures that over time they feel trapped beyond any help. Isaiah wrote of such believers, “O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted” (Isaiah 54:11).

Some eventually get mad at God. They grow tired of waiting for Him to move and they cry accusingly, “Lord, where were You when I needed You? I cried out for deliverance, but You never answered. I’ve done everything I know how to do, yet I’m still not free. I’m tired of repenting and crying, without ever seeing any change.” Many such believers simply give up trying and give themselves over to their lust.

Others fall into a fog of spiritual apathy. They are convinced that God does not care about them anymore. They tell themselves, “My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God” (Isaiah 40:27). “The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me” (Isaiah 49:14).

Still others end up focusing all their attention on their sin, trying to keep themselves in a constant state of conviction. This only causes them to be bewildered, crying, “If . . . our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?” (Ezekiel 33:10). The fact is, feeling conviction is not an end in itself. When we are humbled by guilt and sorrow over our sin, we are not supposed to rest in those feelings. They are meant to drive us to the end of ourselves—and to the victory of the cross.

After all his weeping and crying out to the Lord, David ended up testifying, “But there is forgiveness with thee” (Psalm 130:4). The Holy Spirit began to flood his soul with memories of God’s mercies and he recalled all he had learned of the Father’s forgiving, pardoning nature. “Thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness” (Nehemiah 9:17).

Soon David was rejoicing, reminding himself, “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee” (Psalm 86:5).