The Passion Translation (TPT) Forgiven
32 A poem of insight and instruction, by King David[a] 1 How happy and fulfilled are those whose rebellion has been forgiven,[b] those whose sins are covered by blood. 2 How blessed and relieved are those who have confessed their corruption[c] to God! For he wipes their slates clean and removes hypocrisy from their hearts. 3 Before I confessed my sins, I kept it all inside; my dishonesty devastated my inner life, causing my life to be filled with frustration, irrepressible anguish, and misery. 4 The pain never let up, for your hand of conviction was heavy on my heart. My strength was sapped, my inner life dried up like a spiritual drought within my soul. Pause in his presence 5 Then I finally admitted to you all my sins, refusing to hide them any longer. I said, “My life-giving God, I will openly acknowledge my evil actions.” And you forgave me! All at once the guilt of my sin washed away and all my pain disappeared! Pause in his presence 6 This is what I’ve learned through it all: All believers should confess their sins to God; do it every time God has uncovered you in the time of exposing. For if you do this, when sudden storms of life overwhelm, you’ll be kept safe.[d] 7 Lord, you are my secret hiding place, protecting me from these troubles, surrounding me with songs of gladness! Your joyous shouts of rescue release my breakthrough. Pause in his presence 8–9 I hear the Lord saying, “I will stay close to you, instructing and guiding you along the pathway for your life. I will advise you along the way and lead you forth with my eyes as your guide. So don’t make it difficult; don’t be stubborn when I take you where you’ve not been before. Don’t make me tug you and pull you along. Just come with me!” 10 So my conclusion is this: Many are the sorrows and frustrations of those who don’t come clean with God. But when you trust in the Lord for forgiveness, his wrap-around love will surround you. 11 So celebrate the goodness of God! He shows this kindness to everyone who is his. Go ahead—shout for joy, all you upright ones who want to please him!
A Pastor I know and love shared this Psalm during bible study last night and I was struck. I don't recall reading this Psalm before, but isn't that how scripture can be for us at times. It hits us or comes alive just at the moment God intends it to.
I was so comforted and confronted by the candor of King David and God's gentleness to him. King David had committed adultery with Bathsheba and when he found out she was pregnant, decided to cover his sin. So he sent Uriah to the battle field, to die!
While my sins don't include killing the spouse of someone I committed adultery with, I assure you they are egregious and many. This Psalm causes me to reflect on when the Lord first saved me and today as I evaluate my own heart and selfishness. You see King David's sin here, was nothing more than selfishness born from lust, that resulted in terrible loss and his own torment. I no longer struggle with the blatant and highly destructive sins of my past; God has indeed been merciful to me a sinner, but I do struggle with other things.
These other things have become glaring during this COVID-19 crisis. I'm so very grateful and humbled by the reality that my heart is not hard and my conscience can be pricked! How awful it is to be so delusional that we blame everyone and everything for our woes. I know better! I didn't always.
Recently, I've found that my life has while speeding up has also come to a screeching halt. I'm not allowed to bounce about and engage in almost constant chatter and friendly encounters. These things are not bad and I believe are gifts from God, but anything out of balance thus not in alignment with Gods will is problematic.
I consider myself as being closely in tune to the suffering of the marginalized, forgotten and unseen. I spend my life trying to make people feel loved, know God is real and they are not alone. I tell stories all the time that communicate the faithfulness and sovereignty of God, a living altar, if you will. These are all good things right? Yes, of course they are. Yet, why do I still struggle with unbelief and have false idols in my own life? Does it matter what it is? I don't mind telling you, I have nothing to hide, except sometimes I can actually hide behind my honesty!
I am a cigarette smoker and I hate it. My first cigarette was somewhere between 9-10 years old. I've quit a couple of times, but like a dog returning to vomit, I keep returning to these killers. The mere thought of quitting again terrifies me. I know the torment before quitting is a million times worse than actually quitting, yet here I am. This Psalm speaks so eloquently of the torture sin can bring! It's real people! If you are tormented by your sin, be grateful, because it means your not dead!
We can argue all day long about whether smoking is a sin or not, but lets not waste time. I have been convicted that for me it is; my reliance on it and how I run to it is enough proof for me! If you smoke a cigarette or a cigar or a pipe once in awhile and can take it leave it knock yourself out. I cannot! I don't hide it, not really. Unless you consider the bottles of perfume, cough drops and gum that I keep in my Sequoia? Let's not split hairs! LOL!
In 2009, I saw my mother die of complications due to her prior life choices and largely due to COPD. It was AWFUL! The enemy of my soul tells me I'll die just like she did! The enemy is a liar right? Yes. BUT, we need to cooperate with God to prove it however!
Like the Apostle Paul, who spoke of the thorn in his side, it clearly caused him suffering, but he never told us what it was. He asked GOD to remove it 3 times. God replied by saying "My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in your weakness!" Yikes! Imagine if Paul told us it was a disease, a wayward spouse, a food/shopping/porn or gambling sin, a miserable job, a rebellious child or any form of addiction, we might not gain hope from this telling of the story. I'm almost 16 years old as a Christian, and I am now grateful he never told us what the thorn was. I wasn't always.
Psalm 32: 8–9 I hear the Lord saying, “I will stay close to you, instructing and guiding you along the pathway for your life. I will advise you along the way and lead you forth with my eyes as your guide. So don’t make it difficult; don’t be stubborn when I take you where you’ve not been before. Don’t make me tug you and pull you along. Just come with me!”
So what's my point? This time of forced staying at home to help slow the spread of COVID-19, has really brought some things about me to the surface that must be confronted. I have great hope when I consider all the Lord has done in these past 16 years, and I know God will lead me to freedom. What do you need to be free from? Are you willing? Now is the time to let the Potter due his work. He loves you. He is Faithful. He's Mighty to Save!
If you feel lead, please read Psalm 32 out loud. Let it do the work of laying bare, what needs to be exposed. You're in amazing hands, of the Father! Come out of Hiding!