We will put this year to bed in a few days, and many of us will be glad it is over. The relief will not be just because it has been another terrible year, but because we believe we have an opportunity to put our mistakes and foolishness behind us and have a fresh start.
That’s wonderful. Unfortunately, the next opportunity we get to do this is after 365 days! Fortunately, however, we don’t need to wait that long because Scripture tells us that “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning!” (Lamentations 3:22-23). We can renew ourselves every single day!
Guilt is a terrible burden to carry. Like a sack of potatoes, the longer we carry it, the heavier—and smellier—it gets. We would be wise to heed Jesus’ call to us. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,” he invites, “and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). The rest comes from the forgiveness he offers without question, as well as in the reassurance he gives us that his grace will see us through.
“But,” you ask, “how many times can I keep repeating the same sin and go to him?” As often as you make it! Let us not believe that God runs out of patience or has a sealing on the limit of times he will forgive us. When Peter once asked Jesus: “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Which, translated, means as often as necessary!
I know that we can be very condemning of sinners, especially those who have sinned against us and hold their sins against them for the rest of our lives. We should be very glad that our fate doesn’t rest in the hands of men but in Christ, who is quick to forgive. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The moment we confess our sins to God, we are brought back into total righteousness.
So, my dear friend, it doesn’t matter what you did yesterday. And it doesn’t matter how many fingers point at you in accusation for what you did. Know that” there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Come into the open arms of God, who longs for the restoration of intimacy with you and says to you: “Your sins are forgiven. Go in peace!” (Luke 7:48,50).