Let me start this by saying, I’m writing this because I need it and I am sure that at least one of you reading this need it also. Living life knowing you have been forgiven is challenging. Whether you are holding onto guilt of past sins, struggling to believe that you are loved, or if you just have a hard time believing that you can be forgiven, I hope that these words heal you in some way and that the Spirit of the Lord brings you peace.
In Psalm 103:12, the Bible tells us “as far as the east is from the west, so He has removed our transgressions from us”. This simply means that God loves us so much, that when we come to Him with our guilt, shame, regret, fears, etc. and lay them at the foot of the cross, that He will take them so far away from us that we never have to worry about them again.
God sent His only Son to die on the cross for our sins so that you and I can live a life that is peaceful, free from sin, blessed, and wonderful. He paid the price for all of our mistakes before we even made them. All He asks is that we come to Him, believe in Him, trust Him, and He will take care of the rest.
“Oh come to the altar, the Father’s arms are open wide. Forgiveness was bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ” Elevation Worship, Oh Come to the Altar
I love picturing Jesus waiting for us with open arms. There is nothing more loving than the Father who welcomes us back every single time we mess up. He knows exactly what we are going to do before we even do it, and He still loves us just the same. Wow.
For me, the hard part is realizing that I have been forgiven. I, like so many other people, am extremely hard on myself. I struggle with anxiety to some degree and worry way more than I should. Because of this, I tend to hold onto things and allow certain things to steal my joy. I have made some mistakes that I will regret for the rest of my life, but because of God’s generous mercy and love, I don’t have to let them rule over my life. I can choose to cling onto to my guilt and shame or I can choose to lay them at the foot of the cross, give them to Jesus, and live victoriously in Him. When we confess our sins and ask God to forgive us, we can’t hang on to the hurt because that is letting the Devil win.
If I choose to let my past define who I am, I am not doing what the Lord wants. If I continue to beat myself up for things that I can’t change, I am only hurting myself. God doesn’t want His children living in regret. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t consequences for my actions, because there are. But, I can decide to put God first over everything, spend time with Him, grow my relationship with Him, learn from my mistakes, and live in His freedom.
“We will not be free until we adopt the mind of Christ in any matter that has enslaved us. If a believer has allowed Satan to build a stronghold and she finally repents and desires to be free, her mind will not be released until she has torn down the lies and reprogrammed with the truth” Beth Moore, Breaking Free Day by Day
We must fill our minds with the truth of scripture and know that God has forgiven us and loves us enough to help us through our circumstances and has forgotten about our mistakes even though we haven’t. I hope that you and I both can live a life that is pleasing to the Lord and that doesn’t dwell on the past. When we make it to the other side of our strongholds and are no longer captives, people see that God is real and our lives become a testimony.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9
Lord, forgive me for the times that I fail you. Forgive me for all of the mistakes that I have made. I’m sorry for the people I have hurt and I’m sorry for hurting you. Thank you that I can bring my guilt and shame to you and leave them here. Thank you for your never-ending blessings and mercy. I don’t deserve your love. Please remove my burdens from me and help me to know that I have been forgiven and that You have removed my sins as far as the east is from the west. I pray that you help everyone who reads this to see how much you love them and that you are waiting for them with open arms. I love you, Amen.