“Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!” (Psalm 25.6-7)
When confronted with our ever-present sins, we quickly realize that our only hope is God’s steadfast love. We know that the moment existed when God loved and forgave us of all our faults, but then in the wickedness of the flesh we go right out and commit the same atrocities against his grace that we were lost in before his appearance in our lives.
We sin against him, knowing fully that he has called us not to, and so our only refuge is in his memory of his love for us. Earthly fathers would turn us out or grow disgusted at our rebellion, but God, when he comes in mercy to redeem us, does so fully that we may never be turned out again, though surely we would deserve it.
“Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
bring me out of my distresses.
Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.” (vv.16-18)
I have heard it said that loneliness is God’s way of telling us that we have a relationship problem. If we are lonely though he is always there, it is because we are trusting in something other than him to satisfy. I recall the clarity of this in my own life, when stepping out of the darkness of insecurity God surprised me with his wondrous presence. Truly he did “bring me out of my distresses” and freed me to be alive in the comfort of his arms.
The most freeing of it all is the knowledge that God has forgiven my sins. That “on that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied” and this in my place did he stand, so that now I may be seen by God as sinless, righteous in standing, though I in no way have earned this myself (cf. 2 Corinthians 5.21). Forever I may be in the presence of my God because Christ gave himself for me and by “his stripes [I was] healed” (Isaiah 53.5)