Accepting Forgiveness

Accepting Forgiveness

October 30, 2013

“Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.” Psalm 32:2 (NIV 1984)

Many years were spent regretting sins from my past. These sins had hurt others and me. Day after day I would replay my decisions. Two decades later, the sting of past sin still had a hold on me.

God had forgiven me; I’d told Him about my sin and asked Him to pardon me. So why couldn’t I accept the freedom of His forgiveness?

I wanted so badly to believe I was the person David mentions in Psalm 32:2, “Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.” Yet I struggled with accepting that God’s grace could erase my sin, wiping it away as if it never happened.

This can be a hard thing to accept for many of us. It sounds all well and good, but in reality, the weight of sin makes it difficult to believe a perfect God can forgive us.

Yet, His Word assures us that God does not count our sin against us. So how can we live in this truth?

The first step is to acknowledge our sin: to ourselves and to God. This opens up the door for honest conversations with the Lord and helps us stop hiding from the fear of being found out.

The next step is to fill our hearts and minds with truth. Throughout the Bible, God teaches how an unaccepting heart can be changed and softened to accept His forgiveness. The following verses are truth from a loving God who longs to transform our lives through the grace of His forgiveness.

My God doesn’t condemn. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 (NIV)

My master is grace, not sin. “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14 (NIV 1984)

My Savior Jesus has set me free, therefore I am free. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36 (NIV)

My old is gone; because of Jesus Christ I am new. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV 1984)

Are you lugging a load of sin that God has already forgiven? Are you ready to stop living in shame, shackled by regret? Life is too short to exchange the freedom of grace for the bondage of unbelief.

Today, allow God to wash the hurt and regret from past sins away with the transforming power of His truth. And let’s pray for an accepting heart that lives in the freedom of God’s grace and forgiveness.

Dear Lord, by faith I accept Your forgiveness and refuse to be a slave to sin You’ve already forgiven. Today, I confess and move on! I commit to believe Your transforming truths to live fully and freely in Your grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Visit Wendy Pope’s blog to watch a video message about living out the transforming truths shared in today’s devotion. Is it easy? No. Is it possible? Yes. Talk about it with Wendy today!

Is your life shaped by the shame from your past? Wendy has encouragement for you to accept and live in the freedom of God’s forgiveness on Living Free in Christ (CD).

Reflect and Respond:
“Do you struggle accepting God’s forgiveness? Spend time talking with God and ask for help to accept His forgiveness.

Use index cards to make several copies of the transforming truths above. Place a copy in your purse, car, Bible, desk, and other places you often go. Read them as long as it takes to experience the blessed life David speaks of in Psalm 32:2.

Power Verses:
Isaiah 1:18. “‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.’” (NIV 1984)

Isaiah 43:25, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” (NIV 1984)

Matthew 19:26, “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” (NIV)

© 2013 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. I read the devotional on accepting forgiveness . I have carried a sin in my life for years I have ask. God forgiveness and know he does. But I still felt shame and disappoint in myself. As I read this God spoke to me and I realized it was my weakness and God has set me free. I will not be a slave to my sin! I have been a Christain for 42 years and God never stops amazing me he can speak to you and bless you no matter your age. Thank you Jesus!

  2. Debra Wynn says:

    AMEN, Sister! Very well said, Thank you so much!!!

  3. Love this! So powerful and beneficial!

  4. I love this Proverbs 31. It is the most important email that comes during the still hours of the night. Because I live in CA, others have 3 hours on me. I awaken often at night thinking and praying about our sons’ marriages. This is a warm place to go while drinking my warm milk. I was unfaithful to my husband 35 years ago and through God’s Grace and my awesome husband, I am forgiven. After 48 years of marriage, I grow more and more in love with him….but I needed to forgive myself. It was only after I repented and I knew that God forgave me that I could move forward. This Truth of forgiveness has helped me to forgive others as well.

    • Linda, after years of living with an unfaithful husband, I was finally unfaithful to him. I tried to hide in the fact that I had stayed strong through all of his “failings”, but I knew better. We did not stay married, and I’m now remarried, but I have a hard time feeling “married” to the man I’m now with, because I feel like I have never forgiven myself for what I did. I know I will spend the rest of my life feeling shame, like I should walk around with my head down, unless something changes. I have asked God to forgive me, but I can’t forgive myself. I’m glad to know, through your testimony, that it can be done. I’ll keep trying.

      • Dear Julie….Being forgiven is something you do not need to DO. God has done it for you. Feel my arms as well as His in a circle of love. Wouldn’t life be so much better if we always lived life according to God’s Way? He created us to be perfect but darn old Eve ruined it for us, didn’t she? Moment by moment we can move forward, recognizing our sinful nature and shooing Satan out of the way. You have a man who loves you now. Relish in that protection and love he has for you. Just as Christ does that for us, so do our husbands. They love to be that for us. God designed them for cherishing us and us for respecting that position in them. Hug your hubby extra hard and don’t give that evil one to wiggle between you.

      • Julie- I too was unfaithful to my husband and our marriage ended. I also ruined another families marriage in the process. I’m heavy with guilt and realize that God says he forgives but that has not really sunk into my own heart- how could He forgive my selfish, hurtful, childish act. It just doesn’t sit right in my head. I also have the women I hurt regularly remind me that my character is flawed, i’m a liar, cheater, home wrecker etc. I think getting her forgiveness would help me and probably her. But I try to remember that the only True forgiveness is through Christ. Lots of evils in my head. i’m working hard to forgive myself too. its an awful feeling. So I understand where your head is.

        • Laura, human nature causes us to point fingers, hurl accusations and unforgiveness in the faces of those who have hurt us. But praise God for the grace and mercy of God that doesn’t do any of those things. People will remember what we did to them but God does not. Just as He stretched his arms out wide on the cross is how far our sins have been flung away from us, as far as the east is from the west ( a sweet and consoling reminder in Psalm 103). I continue to go to the cross and see ALL of my sins, past, present and future nailed to it on the body of my savior. And then I visit the empty tomb which causes a HALLELUJAH to pour from my mouth because I can live AGAIN in WHOLENESS, PURITY and his RIGHTEOUSNESS. You are LOVED, HEALED and FORGIVEN, beloved! That’s God’s part. Now our part is to receive and walk in it! Blessings!

      • I recently went through a study called Surrendering the Secret. There was a section on forgiveness. I really put all the blame on myself and not others for what I had done, so I really didn’t think I had anyone to forgive. Except, I needed to forgive myself. During the study, it was brought to light, that the bible does not teach that we must forgive ourselves, we must only accept God’s forgiveness. When we continue to carry around our shame and guilt it’s as if we are saying, “God’s forgiveness is enough for everyone else’s sin, but not for mine”. Forgiveness had never been explained to me in that way and since, I understand God’s forgiveness and accept it.

  5. Definitely needed this today! Thank you!

  6. I’m currently in the Confident Heart Bible Study and it’s dealing with the same issue. It amazes me how God will find a way to communicate with me, I just love it. I’m 46 years old and i’ve only been a christian since 1998. I am finally, finally learning how to apply this truth to my life, slow but sure. Forgiving myself has probably been the hardest thing for me to do. I was addicted to pain pills for several years while trying to raise my children. I’ve caused an enormous amount of pain in the lives of the people i love the most. That is a hard truth to admit. I can’t go back and undo the damage, but by God’s grace I can be a good mother today and trust that God’s redeeming love for me will never change. Blessings.

    • I love your testimony of how God has used your pain. Asking forgiveness of those you love is powerful. Hang on to the Hope of Jesus’
      Healing power. Romans 8:28

  7. Thanks you for this right now! I too struggle with that rewind tape in my head of my sins. Usually while driving in the car, I find myself right back in the middle of the sin. Thank you again for the scripture references that I can go to as a reminder. I love Proverbs 31 time each morning before my day gets rolling.

  8. Thank you for this devotional. I, too, have had a hard time letting go of past sins. I have a hard time believing that when God looks at me, He sees me clean. It’s always a struggle to die to ourselves and our sinful nature, but His Word does say He will forgive when we have confessed and we have a repentant heart. I have written all these verses on 3×5 cards so I can stick them on my walls or cabinets to remember. I have struggled a long time with trusting and standing in confidence of who I am in Christ.

    • Don’t you love that song…White as Snow…. I just listened to some of the versions on You Tube….though our sins were as scarlet, He has washed us White as Snow.

  9. I struggle with my past sin every day. When I pray, having a conversation wtih God, I sometimes say “I don’t knwo why you don’t just throw me aside. I don’t know how you can even look at me.” I know that God doesn’t feel that way, I’m actually speaking to myself I guess. I have asked Him to forgive me, but I can’t forgive myself. I grew up trying to be the perfect girl and then woman, wife, mother… and so I’m forever trying to redeem myself in others’ eyes and convinced that I never will. I’m thankful for this devotional, I’m going to try to learn to forgive myself.

    • Wendy Pope says:

      Julie
      Copy the center portion of the devotion and read the scriptures over and over. It is the truth that will set you free.

  10. Like many others I have struggled to let go of past sins. However as I have looked back it has been a two fold process at times. Not just being able to let go as Christ has forgiven us, we forgive ourselves, but perhaps I truly has not made amends/ reconciliation for those past sins. It was only when I went back and made earthly reparations for my wrong doings that I truly felt as though I could be forgiven. Too often we feel as though if we just ask our Lord for forgiveness that it is all forgotten. We forget to make our amends to be able to move on with ourselves and brothers and sisters.

  11. I, too, struggle with forgiveness of myself for choices I’ve made in the past. Deep down, I know that Christ forgives me and remembers the sin no more. But in my humanness and brokenness, I keep my mind on “instant replay” and the hurt and the pain stays fresh and the regret lingers. I know that Christ desires complete healing for us and I pray for that daily. I feel convicted that by not forgiving myself I am not accepting the forgiveness Christ has already given me.

    Lord, You are so gracious and loving. Your forgiveness came with the price of Christ’s perfect life, but it is offered freely to all. Help me and my sisters in faith to feel and accept your forgiveness from our pasts. Your love covers a multitude of sins and we are forgiven! I praise you for this promise and I thank you for the gift of salvation. Meet each of us where we are and surround us with your Spirit that we may recognize your presence today. Amen.

  12. forgiving ourselves is such a weak point for so many, men and women alike.Remember forgiving yourself doesn’t mean we do not feel remorse for our past mistakes only that we can move on in the certain saving grace knowledge that Jesus has given us and the Holy Spirit has been a witness to us so we can move forward in God’s continuing plan for our lives.Amen

    • Yes, the gift of the Holy Spirit…..imagine how Satan tries to annoy us but we have God’s Power in us…to comfort and to convict us.

  13. Perhaps I shouldn’t feel this way but for me there is a measure of comfort to hear that so many others struggle with this same issue. I too replay the sins of my past and find it hard to forgive myself let alone believe that God has forgiven me. I sometimes feel like I’m the only one who has messed up and that everyone else has their life so “together” while I just trudge along living with my poor choices of the past. Thank you all for the encouragement.

    • We have today… I am 70 and look at all I have is from today on with my husband and children , grandchildren, and friends.

    • Wendy Pope says:

      Laura
      We are too comfort one another. I love knowing that other sisters struggle with the same issues I struggle with. I am in good company!

  14. Holding on to shame and guilt also robbed me of years of joy…it also robbed my child of the mommy I should have been…after struggling with the deep sorrow and depression for 17 years I have finally been able to let go and believe in the TRUTH of Gods love and his word…it doesn’t always come easy because we do reap what we sow and we have to live with that BUT… we no longer live with regrets but with the joy and hope of living the life GOD has perfectly planned for us each one…I encourage anyone carrying the burdens of shame, guilt and regret to stop today and pour it all at Jesus feet…he is the only one who can lift you out of this despair…he will hold tight and never let you go…find a Christian counselor who will offer Godly counsel and guide you through letting go…it is not always easy but the joy found in forgiveness is amazing…God bless and thank you for sharing this with your readers. I find comfort in Isaiah 43:2, Gods word to Israel.

  15. Dear sisters in Christ…this has been such a moving morning. Thank you, Wendy, for opening up this forum. I imagine a circle with us all holding hands and singing White As Snow, which always brings tears …of remembrance and forgiveness to me in church. Then when we finish singing we all go around and hug each one and say Jesus loves YOU and forgives YOU. Would we need lots of Kleenex?
    My love goes out to you all… Eva, Debra, Deb, Michele, ge, Debbie, Angela, Julie, Michelle, Karla, Denise, Laura…that’s a big circle of love.

  16. Tiffany I. says:

    Thank you Wendy for this devotional today. I really needed to hear this. I struggle from time to time with not feeling worthly of God’s forgiveness. But today I am accepting God’s grace and mercy for my past sins and moving forward. Even though I had two kids out of wedlock, God blessed me with healthy children whom I love very much. God loves me! And he had been taken care of us and continues to do so.

  17. Thanks Wendy for transparency, compassion and truth! It is a testimony to the world that we do and can have love one for another and that the strong can and do bear the infirmities of the weak. We are never alone…because we have each other!

  18. Hello all, I too have struggled with forgiving my self and without that free forgiveness from Jesus I have downward spiraled in many different directions that have made my life worse. It is hard to forgive yourself when you believe all is your fault because of so much abuse. You just get programmed that you are “bad” and not deserving of anything good at all – even Jesus forgiveness. Which is sad because he deserves my acceptance – I feel bad for that too. I am a Christian – Jesus is my lord my everything – I just have not healed from the abuse and I am on my way to believing I am worthy of anything good. Thank you all and may God bless and protect,love,heal,and answer all your prayers and your loved ones too – according to his will, L.

  19. This morning’s devo is right where I’m at. Thank you so much for sharing, my heart is blessed. After 15 years of a radical life change with Jesus – so grateful and serving and giving back and loving my new life, I’ve fallen back into my sin which is addiction. I’m full of shame and disappointment with where I’m at and as much as I long so desperately to be where I once was, I cannot overcome this. I know the Word, I know His love and grace but I’m so far away. Thank you for the reminder that His love and covering is stronger than my sin and shame. I want to be that woman again. If you read this, please say a prayer for me. Thank you again.

    • Rose , addiction comes in many forms, doesn’t it? Healing is a Choice is a good book to read. I think Steve Arterburn wrote it. God wants you to be healed. Lord, take this addiction away from this willing Sister in Christ.

      • Thank you, Linda. Thank you so much. I just ordered the book. Spent my morning with the Lord, crying out, reading and praying – feels so good. Words of life to these dry bones. Thank you for your kindness and prayer. It means so very much. <3

        • Hi .Rose. You might also like to go online to http://www.newlife.com. There is a “NewLife Live ” link to their radio show. You can listen online. Usually three therapist give advice to callers. I listen every day online. May it be a blessing to you as well. That is where I heard of the book. Steve Arterburn is the talk show host. He wrote the book. You can even call up. Call 800-NewLife For more information Blessings on this day.

        • Also there is a Healing is a Choice workshop in Denver in late February You can find info on that NewLife website,p too

  20. All day I had been thinking about the mistakes I have made in every single relationship I’ve ever been in. I felt I would never change, I would always be a cheater, and I would never forgive myself. I gave up in a way because I stopped caring about everything. For some reason, I logged on the computer and the first thing I did was come to this site, and I read this and it has made me completely change my way of thinking. God forgave me long ago, now it’s up to me to accept that forgiveness and make a change I should’ve done long ago. Thank you so much for this devotion. It has truly spoken to me.

  21. I accept that Jesus has forgiven me because it says so in His Word and I’m so grateful for His forgiveness. What I can’t change or no one can change are the repercussions of what I have done. I’ll never have the love of my life back, nor the “desires of my heart” to have an in tact family where me and my husband will grow old together and our children and grandchildren can come over to grandma and grandpa’s house for holidays, birthdays and special occasions. My husband is remarried and prospering and our children go over to their home for all of those occasions and I’m left out of the family functions, etc. My children and grandchildren accept this other woman into their lives and treat her as mother and grandmother and I am left in the background and treated more like an outsider than the true mom and grandma. One huge mistake destroyed my whole life and my future with my husband, my four children and 9 grandchildren whom I always put first and love more than life. I want my family back, but it will never be because of my sin. We were married for 27 years and I was a homemaker and stay at home mom until I made the biggest mistake of my life and now I’ve lost everything that ever meant anything to me. My life is empty and I have nothing to look forward to and someone else is now reaping everything good I ever did because of that one stupid mistake (sin). Does anybody have any answers to how I’m supposed to live the rest of my life when everything I’ve lived for and all my dreams for my future are gone? I am truly thankful for God’s forgiveness, and I can even forgive myself, but no one else can and I can’t forgive what I’ve done that has destroyed all my dreams and my life. I want my life back. God help me!

    • Wendy Pope says:

      Bertie
      I am sorry for your pain. I feel it in your words. I wish I had a magic formula.
      Live for Jesus will all your mind body soul and strength. The Lord does restore what the locust have eaten (Joel 2) but we do have to wait on His timing. (The hard part.) Continue to ask God to give you a countenance of love, joy, and grace even if your insides don’t feel love, joy, and grace. Eventually, I don’t know when, your insides will catch up with your outside face of love, joy, and grace.
      Live for Jesus! Soak yourself in His Word, His truth. It will fill the empty places and nourish your crushed spirit.
      Blessings sister. I hope something I said ministers to you today.

    • My goodness Bertie, I am so sorry. I am going to add you to my prayer list. There is nothing you can do to change the past or go back. Try very hard not to compare what you have to what your ex-husband has. You will have to find a way to focus on going forward. One of the best ways is to focus on other people. Pray for them, help them, get involved in volunteer opportunities, especially at your church. When you are feeling whole, forgiven, and embraced by God, then you will project peace and happiness and I believe your children will respond and will want to be near you more. Even if your children came to your house, you would always be grieving about what was lost, but you can’t change that, so instead think about what you can do going forward. You can also have an honest conversation with your children about what happened, that you are human, that you sinned (we all do, they do too) and that you’ve repented and been forgiven. Let them know that you miss them and you’d like to spend time with them, and then when they are with you, be happy and peaceful. God bless you!!!!

    • Georgette says:

      Bertie – I pray for God’s peace and comfort to fill you and sustain you. May you trust that the same God who has forgiven you, can and will restore you as well. He has a plan for your life, a plan to prosper you and not to harm you; He knows you and loves you fully. The Lord never wastes anything in our lives; He uses it all for good. I pray you can surrender your pain and sadness and sense of loss to His great power, to let Him transform and rebuild your life so you can bring Him honor and glory!

  22. phantas!a says:

    i i thnk av gt ishs wit my christ…am strugln to keep a steady rlship wit God,evn though i realy want to,bt i find myself strayn always.i jst broke my vow neva to av sex till marriage wit sum one i knw av gt no future wit,n i fell bad.i dnt wan remain dis way,i want to b a beta person.*sos*

  23. phantas!a says:

    i thnk av gt ishs wit my self…am
    strugln to keep a steady rlship wit
    God,evn though i realy want to,bt i find
    myself strayn always.i jst broke my vow
    neva to av sex till marriage wit sum one
    i knw av gt no future wit,n i feel bad.i
    dnt wan remain dis way,i want to b a
    beta person.*sos*

  24. Georgette says:

    This used to be me!! Former perfectionist / people-pleaser . . . until the truth fully set me free! The lies and condemnation of the adversary can no longer steal from me the freedom Jesus died to give me . . . believing those lies was like cheapening the sacrifice of Christ and saying it was somehow “not enough”. No more!
    I’m so grateful for the truth and grace of Jesus!

  25. Debra Norton says:

    My sisters remember the enemy of our souls will bring things back to our memory -and you have asked God to forgive you ….just speak out loud ‘I’ve given that to God and then thank God for His liberty, grace and love. Once Satan relies he
    can’t use that tactic against you.

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