Freedom Through Confession
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. – Psalm 32:5
Most of us have the bad habit of rationalizing our sin and our errors. We all struggle with our consciences, with our goal to make peace within our own hearts. In order to gain peace, you may deny what you’ve done, find excuses, or try to squirm out from under the responsibility and consequences of your wrongdoing. You may work hard to be “good” in order to compensate for your mistakes. Are you doing everything you can to even the score? Until you confess your faults, you’ll get nowhere.
God holds everyone accountable. We’re like people who’ve committed crimes but who refuse to accept the charges brought against them. You may have spent years constructing alibis, coming up with excuses, and trying to plea-bargain. But if you’re sincerely seeking spiritual renewal, now is the time to come clean. It’s time to admit what you know deep down inside to be true: “I’m guilty as charged.”
By speaking this truth, you stop fighting and admit that you’re wrong. Without confession, there’s no real freedom. And what a relief it is to finally release the burden of your lies and excuses by admitting them to God. This is the very reason Jesus came. Remember He died not because we were good people, but because we’d gone our own way. Come back to Him. When you do confess, you’ll regain internal peace, and your broken spirit will be renewed.
Confession is an act of honesty and courage – an act of entrusting ourselves, beyond sin, to the mercy of a loving and forgiving God. – Pope John Paul II
A soul does not benefit from the sacrament of confession if it is not humble. Pride keeps it in darkness. The soul neither knows how, nor is it willing, to probe with precision the depths of its own misery. It puts on a mask and avoids everything that might bring it recovery. – Saint Faustina
We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry it out. There are times when we’re caught off guard by life. We are suddenly faced with problems that can wipe out our joy in an instant. Our hearts are disquieted and our minds begin to race. When we are grappling with unsettling problems that come our way and cause us to worry, it’s time to run to God in prayer.
Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.
PROVERBS 21:5 MSG
Has the hectic pace of life robbed you of the peace that might otherwise be yours through Jesus Christ? Are you one of those people who is simply too busy for your own good? If so, you’re doing everybody a disservice by heaping needless stresses upon yourself and your loved ones.
God offers you a peace that passes human understanding, but He won’t force His peace upon you; in order to experience it, you must slow down long enough to sense His presence and His love.
Today, as a gift to yourself, to your family, and to your world, invite Christ to preside over every aspect of your life. It’s the best way to live and the surest path to peace . . . today and forever.
Often our lives are strangled by things that don’t ultimately matter. ~Grady Nutt
This is a day when we are so busy doing everything that we have no time to be anything. Even religiously we are so occupied with activities that we have no time to know God. ~Vance Havner
Being busy, in and of itself, is not a sin. But being busy in an endless pursuit of things that leave us empty and hollow and broken inside—that cannot be pleasing to God. ~Max Lucado
We often become mentally and spiritually barren because we’re so busy. ~Franklin Graham
Dear Lord, when the quickening pace of life leaves me with little time for worship or for praise, help me to reorder my priorities, and let me turn to Jesus for the peace that only He can give. Amen
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
JOHN 16:33 NKJV
Oftentimes, our outer struggles are simply manifestations of the inner conflict that we feel when we stray from God’s path. Jesus offers us peace, not as the world gives, but as He alone gives. Our challenge is to accept Christ’s peace into our hearts and then, as best we can, to share His peace with our neighbors. When we accept Jesus as our personal Savior, we are transformed by His grace. We are then free to accept the spiritual abundance and peace that can be ours through the power of the risen Christ.
Have you found the genuine peace that can be yours through Jesus Christ? Or are you still rushing after the illusion of “peace and happiness” that the world promises but cannot deliver? Today, as a gift to yourself, to your family, and to your friends, claim the inner peace that is your spiritual birthright: the peace of Jesus Christ. It is offered freely; it has been paid for in full; it is yours for the asking. So ask. And then share.
Prayer guards hearts and minds and causes God to bring peace out of chaos. ~Beth Moore
Before God changes our circumstances, He wants to change our hearts. ~Warren Wiersbe
When we do what is right, we have contentment, peace, and happiness. ~Beverly Lahaye
Peace with God is where all peace begins. ~Jim Gallery
To know God as He really is—in His essential nature and character—is to arrive at a citadel of peace that circumstances may storm, but can never capture. ~Catherine Marshall
Dear Lord, let me accept the peace and abundance that You offer through Your Son Jesus. You are the Giver of all things good, Father, and You give me peace when I draw close to You.
Help me to trust Your will, to follow Your commands, and to accept Your peace, today and forever. Amen
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
JOHN 14:27 KJV
Some of life’s greatest roadblocks are not the ones we see through the windshield; they are, instead, the roadblocks that seem to fill the rearview mirror. Because we are imperfect human beings who lack perfect control over our thoughts, we may allow ourselves to become “stuck” in the past—even though we know better. Instead of focusing our thoughts and energies on the opportunities of today, we may allow painful memories to fill our minds and sap our strength. We simply can’t seem to let go of our pain, so we relive it again and again . . . with predictably unfortunate consequences. Thankfully, God has other plans.
Philippians 3:13-14 instructs us to focus on the future, not the past: “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (NKJV). Yet for many of us, focusing on the future is difficult indeed. Why? Part of the problem has to do with forgiveness. When we find ourselves focusing too intently on the past, it’s a sure sign that we need to focus, instead, on a more urgent need: the need to forgive. No amount of anger or bitterness can change what happened yesterday. Tears can’t change the past; regrets can’t change it. Our worries won’t change the past, and neither will our complaints. Simply put, the past is, and always will be, the past. Forever.
Can you summon both the courage and the wisdom to accept your past and move on with your life? Can you accept the reality that yesterday—and all the yesterdays before it—are gone? And, can you entrust all those yesterdays to God? By God’s grace, you can.
So if you’ve endured a difficult past, learn from it, but don’t live in it. Instead, build your future on a firm foundation of trust and forgiveness: trust in your Heavenly Father, and forgiveness for all His children, including yourself.
If you are God’s child, you are no longer bound to your past or to what you were. You are a brand new creature in Christ Jesus. ~Kay Arthur
Heavenly Father, free me from anger, resentment, and envy. When I am bitter, I cannot feel the peace that You intend for my life. Keep me mindful that forgiveness is Your commandment, and help me accept the past, treasure the present, and trust the future . . . to You. Amen
Nebuchadnezzar was one of the greatest conquerors in the history of our world. He came to dominate the people of many nations. He possessed power, fame, and wealth. At one point, he even considered himself to be a god. But, like so many others, he lacked the one thing he needed the most: peace. His insecurities wouldn’t allow him to be at peace with himself. So how could he be at peace with others? He was a man who was unhappy with himself and hostile toward the people around him. Can you relate?
Nubuchadnezzar never truly discovered the peace that could’ve been found had he surrendered his life to God. He did everything he could to maintain his power over others. Remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? When they walked out of the fiery furnace unscathed, Nebuchadnezzar realized that he’d been thwarted by God. He also saw that the three who surrendered their lives to God had far greater power at their disposal than even he had. Despite his recognition of God’s power, however, the king’s pride continued to get the best of him.
Nebuchadnezzar continued to brag about his greatness and claimed that he alone was responsible for the great city of Babylon. He refused to recognize that all power’even his power’was granted by God. Subsequently he never understood the blessing of peace that comes with surrendering to God. Do you know this blessing of peace?
Here’s a great principle of prayer: You can do a great deal for people after you pray for them but little of lasting value until you pray for them.
I don’t think I need to argue about the value of praying for your spouse, kids, and friends. But sometimes in our busy culture it’s tough to clear your mind and get started. So let’s look to a man who knew the value of prayer. The apostle Paul begins many of his letters with a helpful pattern.
If you look at his letter to the Philippians, for instance, you’ll see it begins with a blessing of grace and peace. Grace is the reason for our salvation and peace is the result. Paul then gives thanks for the Philippian believers. Cherish the work that God’s doing in and through others. Next Paul makes requests to aid the spiritual growth of his friends. He wants them to grow in their love, knowledge, and understanding of Christ. Last, Paul prays that they’d behave in a manner that honors God in light of coming judgment. This isn’t a fear tactic but a reminder to live for the ultimate goal of heaven, not the short-term rewards of comfort and pleasure.
God loves it when we come to him in prayer. Will you select one person that God has placed on your heart, and write a prayer for them? For help, look to Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
Most of us have the bad habit of rationalizing our sin and our errors. We all struggle with our consciences-with our goal to make peace within our own hearts.
In order to gain peace, you may deny what you’ve done, find excuses, or try to squirm out from under the responsibility and consequences of your wrongdoing. You may work hard to be ‘good’ in order to compensate for your mistakes. Are you doing everything you can to even the score? Until you confess your faults, you’ll get nowhere.
God holds everyone accountable. We’re like people who’ve committed crimes but who refuse to accept the charges brought against them. You may have spent years constructing alibis, coming up with excuses, and trying to plea-bargain. But if you’re sincerely seeking spiritual renewal, now is the time to come clean. It’s time to admit what you know deep down inside to be true: ‘I’m guilty as charged.’
By speaking this truth, you stop fighting and admit that you’re wrong. Without confession, there’s no real freedom. And what a relief it is to finally release the burden of your lies and excuses by admitting them to God. This is the very reason Jesus came’remember he died not because we were good people, but because we’d gone our own way. Come back to him. When you do confess, you’ll regain internal peace, and your broken spirit will be renewed.
Forgiving those who’ve committed wrongs against you doesn’t necessarily guarantee and easier life. You may still have to deal with a difficult boss, wife, in-laws, or kids. You still have to deal with the every day stresses of life. There are pressures beyond your control that will wear you down if you aren’t careful to release them to God. So what can you do?
Our brother in Christ, the apostle Paul, gave us a strategy to help us deal with the troubles of daily life. He wrote: ‘Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:6-7).
This verse gives you the image of a guard patrolling your heart and mind. When the guard of prayer is in place it will keep out the pressing anxieties of life. If this guard isn’t in place, pain and worry will result.
What pressures are weighing on you? Are you talking to God about them or are you numbing yourself through things like video games, porn, alcohol, overeating, or overspending? Just as you must continually forgive, you also have to continually release your worries and specific needs to God. He will, in turn, protect you and give you the peace that passes all understanding.