I don’t know where you are as you read this today, but I will tell you where I am—I’ve fled to God for refuge. I am well aware that in my past, my present, and my future, I’m incapable of meeting God’s standards on my own. Every day, I fall short. I am in full agreement—I don’t deserve refuge or mercy or pardon.
But as our Psalm prayer this week says, I am counting on the Lord. I’m counting on Him keeping His promise. My bridge of hope leads to the refuge of His mercy and kindness.
So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary (Hebrews 6:18-19).
This hope gives us great confidence. It is the anchor that holds us steady through both the storms of life and the peaceful times of rest. It is the refuge when we’re reminded of our past and we face our failings today and tomorrow. It leads us into a sanctuary of God’s presence where there is peace.
As we listen to God’s promises concerning our guilt, we find stability for our lives; we can leave yesterday behind and live today and tomorrow with boldness and strength, held on course because we believe what God says about our standing with Him. We may have many regrets about our past, and we may be living out the consequences of bad choices we made, but we can let the past lie in peace because we have trusted God’s declaration that, regardless of what we’ve done, we are now in good standing with Him. Our guilt is gone.
And what about today and tomorrow? Even though we have this new relationship with God, we daily fall short of His perfect plan for us. He has declared us righteous, but we admit that our thoughts and actions are all too often not blameless. We admit that we still have those times when we are willful and disobedient.
God forgives. The price for our offenses has been paid once, for all time. The wise King Solomon wrote: “People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). In the New Testament, John writes:
…if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
(1 John 1:9)
Confession brings cleansing. He can wipe out the stains. There is forgiveness and mercy every day—because the penalty has already been paid.
This is how we live in peace and confidence, imperfect though we are. God has brought us back to Himself, our guilt has been taken away, and we are declared blameless in His sight.
Jude says it best. God holds us securely, and He brings us, with great joy, into His glorious presence without a single fault (Jude 24). (Did you see the “great joy” in that verse?)
This hope frees us from the prison of guilt — to live a new life, at peace with God, looking forward with great expectation.
LORD, if you kept a record of our sins,
who, O LORD, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness,
that we might learn to fear you.
I am counting on [you] LORD;
yes, I am counting on [you].
I have put my hope in [your] word (Psalm 130:3-5).
Soak up more of this hope (Some amazing words here):
Psalm 103:10-12; Psalm 107:10,14-15; Psalm 130:7; Isaiah 43:25; Isaiah 53:5-6, 10-11; Luke 24:47; John 3:17-19; Acts 13:38-39; Romans 3:23-26; Romans 4:4-6, 16-25; Romans 5:6, 8, 9, 14-19; Romans 8:1; Romans 8:33-34; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 2:1-5, 8; Ephesians 5:26; Colossians 1:13-14; Colossians 1:19-22; 1 Thessalonians 1:10b; 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Titus 3:3-7; Hebrews 2:16-18; Hebrews 7:22-25; Hebrews 9:11-15, 28; Hebrews 10:10-18; Hebrews 12:24; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 Peter 2:24; Jude 1:24.
© Elaine Starner 2015