We often overlook confession. Perhaps we live unaware of our sins. Maybe we think if we don’t talk about them, God will not notice. We probably don’t realize how absolutely bad sin is. But the consequences of sin are dire. If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened (Psalm 66:18 NLT). The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
He had every reason to be angry and bitter. His brothers expected revenge.
But Joseph said, “Am I in the place of God? You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good (Genesis 50:19-20).”
Forgiveness follows faith.
Turn to me
Be gracious to me
I am lonely
Bring me out of my distresses.
Consider my affliction
And my trouble,
Forgive all my sins.
Consider how many are my foes.
Guard my soul,
I take refuge in you.
I wait for you.
From Psalm 25:16-21 ESV
They carried their paralyzed friend to Jesus, who forgave his sins, then healed his body (from Matthew 9:2-7).
When we bring people to Jesus, though prayer, he sees their biggest problem. Sin. He’s willing to forgive. He knows our needs better than we do.
I began the day praying, “Show me my sin, today, Lord, and make me determined to resist it.”
That very day I heard myself speak with impatient, harsh or unkind tones at least three times.
I ended the day thankful for forgiveness.
I prayed, “Father, forgive me for speaking carelessly and unnecessarily.”
Then I read: The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He does not deal with me according to my sins. He removes my transgressions from me. The Lord shows compassion. He remembers that I am dust. (from Psalm 103: 8-14).
God responded to my prayer through His Word.
God is love and love covers a multitude of sins (1 John 4:16; 1 Peter 4:8).
We pray, knowing God forgives sin.
God is love and love keeps no record of wrongs (1 John 4:14: 1 Corinthians 13:5).
Because God is love, we confess and He forgives.
In prayer, there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others (Matthew 6, The Message).
As Jesus died for our sins, He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do (Luke 23:34).
Jesus modeled forgiving prayer.
Pray for faith to forgive. Here’s why:
In the final analysis, forgiveness is an act of faith. By forgiving another, I am trusting that God is a better justice-maker than I am. By forgiving, I release my own right to get even and leave all issues of fairness for God to work out.*
Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “it is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord (Romans 12:19).
*Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace?