“But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.”
One of the greatest statements you will read in the Scriptures is found in the verse above when it says, “But there is forgiveness with thee…” One thing you must always remember about the forgiveness of God is that God’s forgiveness is not a ticket to sin again; rather, its purpose is to make you fear God. Too many people take forgiveness as permission to go and sin again when its purpose is to create a scriptural fear of God in your heart so that you don’t sin again. However, you will find in this psalm that before there is forgiveness, there are several actions the believer must take. Let me share with you these actions.
First, the believer must realize their helplessness before forgiveness. Verse 1 says, “Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.” Sin often leaves the believer feeling helpless, but let me assure you that there is always hope with God. You will never come to God for true forgiveness until you get to the point in your life when you realize the position of helplessness in which your sins have placed you. The true forgiveness of God that leads to a fear of Him always starts when the believer realizes their helplessness.
Second, the believer must realize the depravity of their sin before forgiveness. Notice that the verse above says, “Out of the depths…” How do you see your sin? Do you see your sin as gross and deeply disgusting? It is hard to overcome sin and truly desire forgiveness when your sin is still palatable to you. You will never truly desire God’s forgiveness until you get to the point to where your sin is disgusting and filthy. As long as your sin is something you don’t see as revolting and repulsive, your petition for forgiveness is a mere act of spiritual ritualism. When you come to the point where you see your sin as God sees it is when you will realize the depravity of your sin which will move you to ask God for forgiveness.
Third, the believer must pray before forgiveness. Verse 2 says, “Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.” Please understand that there is always hope with God. Sin will leave you feeling helpless, but God is waiting for your cry for help to forgive you. My friend, Satan will whisper in your ear that you are not worthy of God’s forgiveness, and though this may be true, God still wants to forgive. Never allow the condition your sin has left you in cause you to feel that God would never forgive you. God desires to forgive you, but you must pray and ask for it.
Fourth, the believer must believe the promises of God’s Word before forgiveness. Verse 5 says, “I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.” My friend, God has never once broken His word, and His promise to forgive is a promise. By faith you must trust God’s Word that He will forgive you when you ask Him. It always comes down to faith and trust in God for the believer to get forgiveness. If you will have faith that God will forgive your sin and trust Him to follow through on His promise, He will forgive if you will ask.
Fifth, the believer must believe in God’s mercy before forgiveness. Verse 7 says, “Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.” God is a merciful God, and He will forgive as 1 John 1:9 promises. God’s mercy is waiting for you right now to ask for His forgiveness. Don’t waste another minute in sin and take this moment to ask God to forgive you.