1 The one whose wrongdoing is forgiven,
whose sin is covered over, is truly happy!
2 The one the Lord doesn’t consider guilty—
in whose spirit there is no dishonesty—
that one is truly happy!
3 When I kept quiet, my bones wore out;
I was groaning all day long—
every day, every night!—
4 because your hand was heavy upon me.
My energy was sapped as if in a summer drought.
5 So I admitted my sin to you;
I didn’t conceal my guilt.
“I’ll confess my sins to the Lord, ” is what I said.
Then you removed the guilt of my sin.
This particular Psalm of David doesn’t say just which sin David wants to atone for, but does that matter? We all have known the sting of feeling that we are in need of forgiveness for something. We all have known the longing for “forgiveness.” In another version, this psalm reads, “Happy are those whose sin is forgiven.” For believers, there is no greater happiness than to know, truly know, that one’s sins are forgiven.
I find verses 3-4 the most fascinating because of the human nature to doubt. Do we accept grace or live in guilt? Is it not that disconnect from God that makes us feel hurt, even parched, or groaning in physical pain? I am not saying that pain is a manifestation of sin, only that the disconnect we feel can make us hurt in all kinds of ways.
I think of the times when we know we need to change and we just don’t see ourselves taking that godly direction! Then there are all the lies that we believe that make us somehow doubt our worthiness of God’s love and grace. When the psalmist says, “My energy was sapped,” I can just feel that tension of not really knowing of one’s forgiveness. From deep within our souls, do we not groan? When we ask for forgiveness, do we give up the guilt and live into God’s grace? Or do we continue to hurt because we doubt our worthiness?
It is not God who creates such doubt! While it is human nature to question our claim on God’s grace, it is the Adversary that plays right along with our doubts and fears. It is the Adversary that leaves us questioning our own guilt even after God has forgiven us. It is God’s nature to forgive and forget. Let Psalm 32 be the simple reminder that we need not doubt God’s grace. When you have asked for forgiveness, stop there and accept it. Chuck the guilt and give into grace.
“I’ll confess my sins to the Lord,” is what I said.
Then you removed the guilt of my sin.”
By Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
How do you hurt when you are uncertain of God’s love and grace? Any doubt that you have of God’s forgiveness is not of God. The Adversary is very good at helping you doubt God’s love for you. What holds you back in accepting God’s love and forgiveness? When have you found it hard to forgive yourself?
Prayer: Gracious God, I confess that I struggle with ________________ . Help me to accept your forgiveness and to let go of any guilt. Let me accept your grace and move on. Amen.