”He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve . . . He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:10, 12 NLT).
And if God has forgiven you, then you need to forgive yourself.
There’s this guy in the Bible, King David, who committed adultery and then, to cover it up, had the woman’s husband murdered. Those are pretty big sins—murder and adultery. Did David deserve to be forgiven? No. Did David deserve mercy? No. But David knew that God is a good God, and so he asked for mercy. He prayed: “Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin” (Psalm 51:1-2 NLT).
If you are struggling with a big sin right now, you need to go read all of Psalm 51. The entire psalm is based on who God is, not who you are.
Let me make this really clear: God forgives you not because you’re good but because he is good. He is a good God, and he has a good plan for you—even when you blow it big-time. Nothing can separate you from his love!
I AM GOD WITH YOU, for all time and throughout eternity. Don’t let the familiarity of that concept numb its impact on your consciousness. My perpetual Presence with you can be a continual source of Joy, springing up and flowing out in streams of abundant Life. Let your mind reverberate with
meanings of My Names: Jesus—the Lord saves, and Emmanuel—God with us. Strive to remain conscious of My Presence even in your busiest moments. Talk with Me about whatever delights you, whatever upsets you, whatever is on your mind. These tiny steps of daily discipline, taken one after
the other, will keep you close to Me on the path of Life.
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he willsave his people from their sins.” . . .
“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”
MATTHEW 1 : 21 , 23
“You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.”
ACTS 2 : 28
God’s Rescue Often Takes Time
When God allows a crisis into your life, He doesn’t solve it immediately. He lets it go on for a while because he wants to see if you’re really serious about seeking him. If God answered your prayers immediately, you’d begin to think God was a big vending machine: put in a prayer, pull out whatever you need.
I can’t tell you how many people say, “Rick, I am praying for a financial miracle in my life. I am so in debt and I’m praying for a financial miracle.” I want to say, “Did you get in debt supernaturally?” The truth is no. You worked hard at it. You didn’t use your money wisely.
Why should God just bail you out? If God just instantly bailed you out of your financial crisis, then tomorrow you’d go out and overspend again. You wouldn’t learn discipline, or money management, or wisdom, or persistence. God is not just going to bail you out of the debt you got yourself into. He will help you get out of debt, but he also wants to build your character.
If you’re in a crisis right now, hang in there! Don’t give up. The problems you have in your life didn’t get those overnight. You may have worked years getting yourself into this mess. You have a lot of ingrained patterns, bad responses, wrong habits, and wrong ways of responding that have built up over the years. So God won’t remove those all at once. It’s like peeling an onion. He takes off one layer at a time.