February 13, 2021

God Promises to Forget Your Sins

Suggested Reading: Psalm 130:1-8

“For I will be merciful towards their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.—Hebrews 8:12

What a humbling and amazing gift to have your sins and trespasses forgiven by God and others. The graver the offense the more humbling when forgiveness is extended. But even when someone has extended forgiveness, the heart, mental, and soul work is ongoing. Stating forgiveness is only the beginning we must keep at it until the forgiveness is thoroughly settled and accepted in our mind, in our heart, in our attitude, in our soul and in our behavior towards that person for human nature is always looking  for some way to remind them they have hurt or betrayed us, always looking for a way to work it into a conversation. Although we may extend forgiveness the work of living it may take some time and even after that the memories may linger and surface periodically and we find ourselves needing to forgive over and over. Unbeknownst to us may be the ugly reality that our enemy the devil is busy working behind the scene to make sure we never forget so he keeps that tape of the offense running, replaying it over and over, making sure it is embedded in our memory, upon our heart, and part of our thoughts at all times. How many times have we even said, “I may forgive what you have done, but I’ll never forget it!” the devil rubs his hands together in glee at this and determines he will help us never forget as well.      

Here is where human nature and tendency and the nature, character, and promise of God part ways. While we nurse our painful memory, lick our wounds like an all-day sucker, replay our painful encounter over and over in our mind’s eye and thoughts, once God has extended forgiveness; as quickly as we have confessed our sin to God with a contrite heart and broken spirit, God extends  absolution; he not only forgives our sin but forgets. Even when we bring it up in prayer, God asks “what sin!” Our sins before God, against God, are thrown into the sea and are remembered no more. This is the great promise that binds peace to a sinful people; that makes grace come alive to the sinner’s countenance. The promise that our sins are not only forgiven but forgotten opens the door for continued relationship without hidden bitterness or resentment, that allows us to sleep at night, live our live free from guilt and shame, read God’s Word, pray to him with a clear conscience, approach the table to receive our Lord’s Body and Blood with assurance, and close our eyes at death with the peace of knowing there is no sin that stands between us and God, all has been forgiven and forgotten.   

We can be encouraged to know God will enable us through the transforming power of his Holy Spirit to couple forgetfulness with forgiveness, to help us move on and past, to free us from the pain and destroy the video the devil insists on keeping alive and to make the act of forgiveness complete. The promise of God to forget our sins nullifies the saying “I may forgive but I’ll never forget” and can be the same promise we extend to others that moves us out of the devil’s reach, sets us free emotionally, mentally, physically and liberates us to live a victorious, unencumbered, blessed life now and eternally.

Heavenly Father you example not only forgiveness for sinners but forgetfulness. All thanks and praise that you have forgiven our sin but also forgotten our offenses. May we do likewise! Help us to do likewise! Not only forgiving the sins of others, but forgetting them as you forget our sins. In the name of Jesus our risen Lord and Savior, we pray. Amen               

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