Psalm 103:11-12, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to talk with a man who had made many wrong decisions in his life. His alcoholism had destroyed his marriage; he had no relationship with his children; his gambling addiction had cost him his business and home. And ten years after he had straightened his life out, he still uttered these words to me, “I can never forgive myself for the things I have done and the people I have hurt.”
My heart ached for him. Here was a man who devoted countless hours to helping men overcome addictions. He studied God’s word, prayed diligently, loved others and yet, he didn’t get it.
Do you know how high the heavens are above the earth? Neither do I. Do you know how far the east is from the west? Neither do I. But that is the depth of God’s love for us and that is the width for which He removes our transgressions.
God is not sitting on His throne with pen in hand reminiscing about my friend’s errors. He isn’t saying, “Oh yes. I remember those days. That man can’t do enough to make up for what he’s done.” Instead, the Bible tells us in Hebrews 10: 17-18, “Then He adds: Their sins and lawless acts, I will remember no more. And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.” Not only is He not keeping a tally, He doesn’t even remember! Understand, God could remember, but He chooses NOT to remember.
Past failures can prevent us from having future successes if we do not realize the depth of God’s love for us. When God forgives our sins, He forgets it and removes the guilt. It is our own inability to control our emotions or accept His forgiveness that leaves us feeling as this man does.
Today, recognize the goodness and love of our Heavenly Father. Set aside your past failures. Get control of the emotional turmoil associated with guilt. Choose to accept His redemption and grace.