The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
Psalm 103:8–12, ESV
One thing I know for certain is my sin. I may not know all of any other person's sin, but I know the punishment that I deserve from God because of where I have fallen short. If it weren’t for my Lord, Jesus Christ, I know there is no good within me. This is true for all. Of that, I am certain. The gift we receive from God is the assurance of His grace and mercy. I have known what it is like when I have done wrong against another and to have that wrong recited back to me over and over again. The reality is that most in the world do not forgive like God. Once He has forgiven us, our sin is gone. We will never have to ask for forgiveness from it again. He won’t approach us in a dream and say, “Do you remember when you did this?” Unlike the way of the world, we won’t hear our shortcomings retold in a story around our friends for people to laugh about. We won’t have to hide our embarrassment with a smile and a chuckle. For God, our sin is gone, and God will deal with us as if it had never happened. That is the forgiveness of God, and it is this forgiveness He wants us to be certain of in our lives. Our struggle will be not to make the same mistakes again. Not because He won’t forgive us, but to avoid the embarrassment that our initial sin caused. He doesn’t ask us to do anything special but calls us to Him in His love and draws us to follow the paths He has set before us. He desires to keep us away from the thorns and the thistles that desire to pick and tear us apart. He wants us to know that once in His embrace, He forgives, and His desire is to protect us as our Good Shepherd. In Him is always peace, as the world speaks of war and chaos. In Him, we can find our security and together we can find comfort as we know His warm embrace.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.