Pastor’s Corner: “Relief Factor

Psalm 32:1-2 (NIV) – Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. 

Do you remember when you were a kid and you’d done something wrong? You knew when you got home you’d have to face your parents—and take the consequences, so you took the longest route home, dragging your feet all the way. You were miserable. Well, this doesn’t happen only when you’re a kid. When we’ve done something that we know displeases God, we’re also miserable—until we come home and settle it with Him. 

David experienced all of that. We can read about it in Psalm 32. He knew that he had done wrong, and for days he avoided dealing with it. It’s almost as though if he didn’t talk about it, the problem would go away. He describes his misery in these poetic words: “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer: (Psalm 32:3-4). Yes, we know that feeling. It’s a guilty conscience, and it’s misery! 

But, thank God, that’s not the end of the story. David decided to deal with his wrongdoing. He tells us, “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.” RELIEF AT LAST! 

If you think about it, RELIEF is one of the most powerful and enjoyable emotions that we can experience. What those little Visine drops do for our eyes, relief does for our spiritual eyes and heart . . . “it gets the red out.” Few feelings bring a greater sense of satisfaction than relief, which Webster defines as “the removal or lightening of something oppressive, painful, or distressing.” 

When we are relieved of physical pain, we breathe easier. Hope returns as pain departs. When a relationship is strained and we finally work things out, that sense of relief is better than anything money can buy. When we finally crawl out from under the load of a heavy financial debt, nothing can compare to that sweet relief. 

David’s song about forgiveness begins with a celebration and song of RELIEF, which he found in God’s forgiveness of his transgression.Psalm 32:1-2 (NIV) Expression of Joy How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit! Psalm 32:1-2 (NLT) –Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! 

In these two verses David expresses overjoyed, unrestrained, exuberant gratitude for the Lord’s mercy. The two sentences begin just like Psalm 1 (in Hebrew, that is): “Oh, the happiness many times over!” The idea is that of multiplied, numberless blessings. He is rejoicing over the removal of sins that once pinned him to the mat of guilt and shame. 

Like David, the woman caught in adultery experienced Mercy and RELIEF. “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:7-11) Can you imagine her shock? It was totally unexpected and certainly undeserved. And then the flood of RELIEF and JOY – There is nothing like it! 

Maybe right now you are as miserable as David was.  You’re not on speaking terms with God because there’s an issue you and He need to settle—some sin that puts a barrier between you and Him. What are you waiting for? Quit dragging your feet. Right now, come home to the Father, confess your sin and find His forgiveness and restoration, His comfort, and closeness – WHAT A RELIEF! 

In His Grace, 

Pastor Hamilton