My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
I grew up hearing the words to this song, It Is Well with My Soul, and so usually take the message in it for granted. God forgives sin??? Of course God forgives sin! Tell me something I don't know! Having "cut my teeth" on the song, "Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so..." I can't even tell you when I first realized that God forgives sin; it's just something I've always known.
But the older I get, the more I realize that there are a whole lot of people who don't know that and just in my everyday life, I see people all around me who are caught in cycles of destructive behavior, bowed down with sin and also guilt, trapped in an endless cycle of tying to "find peace" in all the wrong places.
And I wonder: how many more people are caught in a never-ending web of bad choices, serious health issues (that on the surface seem to have nothing to do with sin), destructive addictions - simply because they cannot forgive themselves for something they did somewhere along the way. Long before health care people linked emotional distress to physical illness, God made the connection through the Psalmist in Psalms 32:1-3:
"How blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit! When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away..."
And just a short verse further down, God gives the solution:
Ps. 32:5 (NASB). "I acknowledged my sin to Thee and my iniquity I did not hide. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord" and Thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin."
"And Thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin."
Psalms 103 goes on to say that God removes our sin from us, as far as the East is from the West. Hebrews 10:17 says that God will not even remember our sins anymore. I may struggle to forget the wrong someone has done to me, but He can (and does) choose to wipe away even the memory of our sin once we have dealt with it openly before Him.
And that's something to be thankful for on a beautiful Thursday morning.