One of my favorite Gospel songs is What A Friend We Have in Jesus; throughout this year, God has been bringing it to my heart and mind in different ways.
For example, some months back, while engaging in a fierce portion of this battle I’m facing (it’s actually still pretty strenuous), I opened my YouTube app and found a new version of the song (titled by the artist: Take It to the Lord in Prayer) staring me in the face. I was awed. It turned out to be one of the best versions I’ve heard yet (click here to hear to it), and I knew that through it, God was serving up a reminder.
More recently, while listening to an older version during exercise, three words jumped out at me: sins and griefs (sins being key), and these are the words I want to speak to you on today.
Many of us know and understand that God is an awesome father and friend whom we can run to when we’re grieved by life’s trials and dealing with hardships, so, for the most part, we do. However, we have a tendency to, in spite of our knowing who He is, hide in fear of God when we’ve sinned.
Feeling as though we’re better off stashed in a bushel, or hiding deep in a hole under a rock, we run in the opposite direction of God instead of to Him, believing we’re safe over there. However, in doing that, we cause greater grief to ourselves (even if we don’t recognize it right away) than is already being dealt with due to our error. This truth is shown to us in the life of David, in Psalm 32. There, David says, in verses 3-4, “For when I kept silent [when he harbored/hid his sin] my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.”
Like with David, when we sin and refuse to confess it—either out of shame, fear, or pride—it has a negative effect on our lives and our standing with God. Although some tend to feel it’s okay to not confess because “God knows anyway,” that is a false feeling, planted by the enemy himself, which will serve only to do harm to our spiritual lives (and sometimes our physical lives as well).
But when we go boldly to the throne of grace and confess our sins, as we’ve been commanded to, our spirits are renewed, as God’s refreshing befalls us, and our standing with God is again intact. We see this truth displayed through David’s life as well. In verses 1-2 of our chapter, he says, “Blessed [happy!] is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed [happy!] is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.”
So you see, friends, when you know that you’ve slipped and fallen, when you know you haven’t acted in accordance with God’s will, you shouldn’t hesitate to go to Him in prayer, to ask Him for forgiveness. David was far happier, as we see, after his confession than he was harboring his transgression. Why? Because 1) Living in disobedience can never bring forth any good thing, and 2) God is a good Father, who stands ready to forgive and restore (1 John 1:9).
Therefore, sisters, make it a habit of confessing your faults. It won’t (always) be comfortable, as for the true Christian falling and sinning against God doesn’t feel good or good to admit. However, when we remember that Jesus has paid our sin debt in full, and that His blood covers all of our stains, we find that surely we can trust Him to forgive and cleanse us from all our unrighteousness, just as much as we trust Him to bear us up in grief.
“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” Proverbs 28:13