True Forgiveness by Becca Mabry
The forgiveness of sins. What an overwhelmingly humbling thought. The forgiveness of sins is something that is truly unfathomable.
The end of February marked two full months of sweet, wonderful marriage for me. Within marriage I have already truly began to understand with more depth what the forgiveness that Jesus offers looks like. I love my husband more than any other human being on earth. When my sin hurts him and I see how deeply hurt he is, it rips apart my insides. How could I have hurt him like this? Why did I say that? Why did I do that? And my heart aches for reconciliation. My earthly husband is a picture of a better and eternal Husband, Jesus. When we sin, we hurt Him. Thankfully, we have the Cross. On the Cross, Jesus paid it all. He paid the full price for all of our sins.
One thing I have learned about forgiveness is that we do not have to earn it. My husband reflects The Lord in how he reacts in giving forgiveness. When I ask for forgiveness, my husband grants it immediately and without stipulations. I do not have to work harder first. I do not have to be perfect first. He forgives me and proceeds to healing and reconciliation.
In Psalm 32:5 David writes, “I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.” David did not get everything perfect first. He simply repented, turned to The Lord, turned from His sin, and received the gift of forgiveness. Likewise, we are to give forgiveness quickly and without stipulations. Ephesians 4:32 tells us, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Lord, help us to be a people to repent quickly, to quickly seek forgiveness, and to quickly give forgiveness.
The second thing I have learned about forgiveness is that when The Lord forgives us, he does not keep throwing our past sins in our face. Psalm 103:12 affirms, “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” When we repent, The Lord blots out our sins. He does not keep them in His back pocket to taunt us. He chooses to forget them. Hebrews 8:12 says, “For I will forgive their iniquities, and remember their sins no more.” He affirms this again as Isaiah 43:25 points forward to Jesus, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”
How loving is our God who seeks to forgive us as we stray away from Him. In reflecting upon The Lord and His forgiveness, I have learned many things about His character.
First, He is faithful. First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” We can have unshakable confidence that the blood of Jesus covers all of our iniquities. As my pastor likes to say, “Nothing that we have done or could ever do can outrun the blood of Christ.” Because of His faithfulness and love, we can feel comforted taking the uncomfortable step in repenting. The cross proves His faithfulness as Jesus left His throne to live among sinners and die a death in our stead. We never have to question if He will forgive us or if His forgiveness stretches to cover our sin. It does. Romans 5:20 says, “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”
Second, He is merciful. Daniel 9:9 says, “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.” God has every right to punish us for our sins, but because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross, He chooses to give us compassion instead of wrath. He chooses to give us life instead of death.
Third, He is the Creator, and He is still creating new things. Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” We are never too far gone to experience the deep forgiveness of Jesus. In repentance we gain the freedom that He alone offers from our sin. In forgiveness, we experience new life. We become new creations. We become spotless. We become pure. He sees us as lovely.
In closing, what are some areas of your life that you need to repent of? Do you believe God’s promise to forgive you? Are you dwelling on past sins? What snares do you need freedom from? How quickly are you to repent? Does thinking about forgiveness stir your affections for Jesus?
Confidently seek Him. He is faithful to forgive and restore.