Scripture Reference: Psalm 32
Once saved, our journey with the Lord is a progression (from one degree of glory to another). It may start with much pain as we become intensely aware of our sins, but it ends in joy and songs of praises to God. In Psalm 32 I see a picture of this progressive journey.
It all starts with the forgiveness of sins. What can we ever do to thank Him enough? God forgives our sins and no longer counts them against us. We are blessed beyond measure already for this reason alone. There is nothing we can do to earn this. It is through God’s grace.
Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.
Before we experience this forgiveness, we may have been burdened by our own determination to keep our sin hidden in our hearts. This produces inner turmoil and we will find no rest until we confess our sins to God. The moment we do that from the heart, we will experience the lightness of spirit that comes with God’s forgiveness.
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.
But, something precedes this. Only a person whose heart is touched by the Holy Spirit could feel a deep remorse for sin. Many people regret their sins, but many times they regret being found out, or embarrassed or the personal consequences they suffered. Their remorse is for their own loss. But a heart touched by God feels a deep remorse for sin because it has offended a God who has shown him much love and mercy. He has been nothing but kind to us and for that reason sin is abhorrent to a person who loves God.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.”And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
From that moment on we have an eternal Protector. He becomes our refuge and delivers us from evil. He is worthy of our trust and has proven Himself a faithful God.
Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them. You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
From that moment on, we are permanently instructed and taught in the way we should go. We never have to guess our way through the many pitfalls in life. We have a Wonderful Counselor.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
But…and there is a “but” here. “Don’t be like the horse or the mule who have no understanding and must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.”
God doesn’t want us to follow Him like a robot. He tells us what is best for us. He guides us with love, but then we have to follow His guidance freely. He tells us to love Him with all our minds as well. That means that we must engage our understanding in our relationship with Him. In Scripture we are told to test everything and to hold onto what is good.
Then follows another promise for those blessed ones who had their sins forgiven: God’s love surrounds those who trust in Him. When we place our trust in Him and not in our own understanding, His love covers us from every angle possible. Although we are to apply our minds in our following of God, there will be times when we don’t understand what God is doing in our lives. In these times, we trust Him implicitly. It is always challenging to trust what you don’t understand, but faith pleases God. Our faith in Him also means we have faith in the goodness of His intentions towards us. In these difficult times we also apply our minds. We apply it by making up our minds to trust Him above all else.
The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.
Now then, considering all this it is fitting to praise the Lord and David concludes this psalm with an invitation to do just that. Think about these things: We have been declared righteous in the sight of God through faith in Jesus Christ; He forgives our sins; He guides us; He counsels us; He watches over us and His love surrounds us completely.
Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!