For those of you (all of us) who have ever sinned (all of us) and daily live with the pain of decisions and choices (all of us) . . . there is hope.
First of all, you are not alone, (see above).
Secondly, you are or can be forgiven.
I came across an amazing link that I will for sure save to read when I am feeling a bit beaten down. It gives different translations for Psalms 51:17 but even more than that, it also gives cross references and commentaries; many of which I needed to read, re-read and then read out loud today. Here is a segment of one of my favorites by Matthew Henry:
"The good work wrought in every true penitent, is a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, and sorrow for sin. It is a heart that is tender, and pliable to God's word. Oh that there were such a heart in every one of us! God is graciously pleased to accept this; it is instead of all burnt-offering and sacrifice. The broken heart is acceptable to God only through Jesus Christ; there is no true repentance without faith in him. Men despise that which is broken, but God will not. He will not overlook it, he will not refuse or reject it; though it makes God no satisfaction for the wrong done to him by sin. Those who have been in spiritual troubles, know how to pity and pray for others afflicted in like manner."
While God is not pleased that we have sinned against Him, He does not reject us. He, as a loving parent, can and will redeem His children's mistakes. BUT, we have to stop flogging ourselves, pick ourselves up and despite our pain go out and minister to others . . . even if it may be uncomfortable at times. Yes, some days it is easier than others.
I wish that the forgiveness of sins meant no more pain, but as Ernest Hengstenberg noted, "The joy on account of forgiveness and restoration to favour does not exclude continued pain on account of past sin." The consequences of our sin will follow us; it's up to us however to choose. Will we walk around in despair and defeat, buried beneath the guilt? Or acknowledge our desperate need for a Saviour and dance in joyful victory with the applied truth from Luke 7:47-48:
"Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
That verse explains why I love my Lord . . . A LOT!
But, what about those of us who are convinced that we are just too marred or stained to be of any use to the Kingdom?
I just want to love on you and let you know that we are usable . . . maybe even more so! First however, we need to come to Him with a true repentant heart (one that hurts beyond what you think you can bare) . . . there and only there are forgiveness and peace found.
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." Psalm 51:17 ESV
Lord, thank you for not despising my broken heart. Please bind it up, forgive me and let me see myself through your eyes of grace . . . and then by your power and love that so blows away all of my understanding, help me to dust myself off and reach out to others.
Because you are a God of Wonders . . . and you are not done with any of us yet!