Read Psalm 32:1-11
Before and After
“Oh what joy for those whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.”
What would life be like for you without God’s forgiveness? I don’t know about you, but I’d be depressed, fearful, under so much guilt I doubt if I could function, and worst of all, hopeless. There would be no joy, no energy to face today and no courage to face tomorrow. I’d be a royal mess!
Oh, I could postpone all those sad realities of an unforgiven life by some sort of other coping mechanism. I could numb all my pains by drinking or doing drugs. I could temporarily avoid that reality by overworking or overspending or overachieving or overeating or oversleeping. I could get a momentary feel-good fix through Internet porn or an extra-marital affair or some other sort of sexually addictive behavior and forget about the fact that I am hopelessly lost. I could surround myself with all kinds of friends through non-stop partying, by being funny, by incessant sports or other social activities. There are all kinds of ways I could avoid the pain of the unforgiven life. Lots of people do that every day—that’s how much of the world copes.
But that doesn’t negate the awful truth that they are living an unforgiven life. They can only postpone their hopeless reality for so long, but at some point living a life apart from a forgiving God will come home to roost.
I realize I have painted a pretty bleak and depressing picture—not a great way to start a devotional—but it’s true.
On the other hand, what joy there is for those whose sins are forgiven! Not just forgiven, but covered…neutralized…vaporized and remembered no more. David, who wrote that psalm, had committed some pretty egregious sins against Almighty God (II Samuel 11), so he was talking from first-hand experience about the before and after picture of the forgiven life. He, more than most people, knew the indescribable joy in having his sin-slate wiped clean.
I know that joy, too, and I suspect you’ve experienced it as well. How privileged we are to belong to a God who forgives all of our sins—and does so with great joy. I can’t think of a greater benefit and blessing in this life than that.
I don’t know what you are facing this day, but I hope the simple fact that you have been completely forgiven by God will brighten your day and give you a profound joy that will sustain you for the rest of your life
“Forgiveness is the remission of sins. For it is by this that what
has been lost, and was found, is saved from being lost again.”