January 24, 2013

Our God Forgives

Psalm 32:1-5

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will for-give us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
—1 John 1:9


Several years ago a young woman came to my office. She was expecting a child, and she was afraid. At age 16 she had had an abortion, and now, in her twenties, she thought God might punish her by letting something happen to this new unborn child.

In the time since the abortion she had never talked about her past. She had never confessed it to the Lord to ask for his forgiveness. But now her guilt was overwhelming her, and she needed to confess.

She experienced what Psalm 32 expresses. The writer says, “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away.” Until the psalmist confessed his sin, he could not go on. But finally he said to God, “I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity… And you forgave the guilt of my sin.”

Unconfessed sin brings guilt. And guilt robs us of our peace and takes away our joy. It affects our health and our well-being.

Confession brings forgiveness—for each one of us. Whatever your sin may be, confess it to the Lord, and receive his forgiveness because of the Lord Jesus. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins.”

If you are living with guilt, find someone to lead you into God’s presence, to pray with you, and you will receive his forgiveness.

Lord, our God, thank you for your forgiveness through our Lord Jesus. Bring us to confess so that we too can be forgiven. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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