By Brooke Holt
“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. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:11-14
Jesus died that you may be free – free from the penalty of sin, the fear of death, and bondage to the evil forces of this world. Satan cannot steal your freedom. However, he can steal your joy. Though your sins are forgiven through Jesus’ shed blood on the cross, many believers are held captive by the grips of shame. That shame is the ongoing message you hear of condemnation for your sins and mistakes, ongoing regret, a desire to pay the price, the need to be better, do better, etc. Sadly, shame is quite prevalent in the church today.
If Jesus paid such a high price for his followers to live in freedom, why does shame still hold so many professing believers captive? Think for a moment – does shame hold you or control you in any way? Are you truly living in the freedom that Jesus came to give you?
If you are struggling with shame, read the passage of Scripture for today again. The love of the Lord for you is steadfast meaning it is complete; it is so great that you cannot comprehend it. And though you sin and will continue to sin, the Lord does not hold those transgressions against you. Instead, he sees you as separate from those transgressions; they are removed “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12). Isn’t that just amazing? When the Lord looks at you, he does not see sin but righteousness, the righteousness of his Son. That is who you are to him —the righteousness of Jesus.
If that is how the Lord sees you, can you learn to see yourself through his eyes of grace, mercy, and forgiveness? The psalm goes on to explain that as your maker, the Lord fully understands your frame –"he remembers that you are dust” (Psalm 103:14). Those words are to be liberating to your soul. God understands why you can’t live perfectly, and he sent his Son to do that for you.
Are you ready to live free from shame? Are you ready to fully receive the abundant forgiveness of the Lord? Today is the day to confess your unbelief, to confess the ways you have remained in shame, and to then let those things go, and receive the freedom that Jesus has for you.
How can you use this Lenten season to let go of shame by receiving the forgiveness of the Lord? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Could you use some hope right now? Join Peter’s first audience—“elect exiles” undergoing persecution—and experience the apostle’s powerful call to follow Jesus in the midst of life’s challenges, knowing your Living Hope is not a distant one, but a daily, glorious, life-giving reality! This unique six-week small group Bible study, A Living Hope: A Study of 1 Peter, helps you uncover the priceless promises written specifically to the struggling and the hurting, with pastoral gentleness and bold confidence for the future. This study of 1 Peter will help you become utterly convinced that Jesus is the only sure, true, incorruptible, and permanent hope for you.
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