Updated: Jul 6
Forgiven! God is a God who loves to forgive and who has forgiven sin through the cross of His righteous and precious Son.
Our relationship with God can be complex. At times we want to be angry, and God gets in the way of our anger. At other times we may truly desire God, but struggle with feeling worthy to turn to Him. We may conclude that because of our sinful behavior we deserve a time of isolation from Him, so we avoid Him. We feel good about ourselves and our good behavior so we feel we are deserving of His grace. The list can go on. This complexity has nothing to do with God's inconsistencies or even something that He has kept from us or caused. It is the struggle in our own heart to comprehend fully our relationship with God. We struggle to understand His forgiveness, grace, mercy, and steadfast love.
The Lord surprises us with His response. Rather than pushing us away in our mess, He invites us into deeper relationship with Him and experiential knowledge of Him. Consider Exodus 34:6-7. This is God's response to Israel just after they were found worshiping a golden calf they made with the things God gave to them when He rescued them from Egypt. He uses words like mercy, grace, abounding steadfast love, faithfulness, and forgiveness. This is not how we would respond to sin against us, but it is exactly how God responds to our sin.
When God sent His Son to die in our place, God was assuring His children that He has forgiven all their sin, including anger, once and for all. He invites us to know and experience the depth and breadth of His love daily (Eph. 3:14-19). This is the demonstration of His forgiveness. We rightly respond to our sin with confession (it is sin, it is against God, it is paid for by Christ), repentance (turn from sinful ways and turn to God and the way He has called us to), dependence (resting in the power demonstrated at the cross to defeat sin, even the sin of anger), and repeat as often as necessary. But know that while we are in our sin, confessing, repenting, depending, and repeating, God has not turned from us, pushed us away, isolated us, or rejected us due to our sin. He sees the righteousness of His Son and invites us to experience His forgiveness in real-time. He is pursuing us so that we can truly know Him and enjoy His forgiveness.