“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
When life gets tough, it is too easy to fall into pitying ourselves. We question the injustice of the universe which has befallen us with calamity. We sulk, we sigh. The burden seems so heavy, and everything seems so hard.
Although outside circumstances might be difficult, the biggest struggle is the inward one. Inside, we acknowledge that our response to our situation has not been correct. We are at fault. Our motivations are sinful, our self-pity is sinful, our attitude is sinful. Yet, to change our mind and inside self is near impossible. We can put a face on the outside and look collected. However, we cannot calm the raging tempest within our soul. Our heart whirs with stress, anxiety, fear, and a heavy feeling of failure.
We think I’m a Christian. I shouldn’t respond like this. My heart shouldn’t be like this. Yet, the more we try to make ourselves better, the worse it becomes. What do we do in these situations when we feel like a hopeless failure?
The Bible calls us to take on faith. Ephesians 6:16 says, “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith”.
Faith is not a mere hope in something we do not know about. Faith is trusting in the reality of the future. Faith is holding firm to the promises of our God, who does not lie and does not change. The ESV Study Bible says, “Faith is a settled confidence that something in the future - something that is not yet seen but has been promised by God - will actually come to pass because God will bring it about.”
To have faith means to trust in God, who is all-powerful, unchanging, sovereign and infinitely wise. It is to have confidence that God will bring about what He says He will do. God is eternally trustworthy. To have faith is to wait with the sure hope that what He says will happen.
Whenever we are entangled by our sins and hindered in our race, turn to God in faith. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Because of Christ’s perfect sacrifice, we can approach God’s throne in repentance. If we humble ourselves before God and confess our sins, God is faithful to His promises towards the humble and will forgive our sins. James 4:10 says, “humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you”.
If we confess our sins, God promises to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In our minds, we probably cannot imagine a changed self. We think we are broken and beyond repair. However, God has promised in Ezekiel 36:26, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” God is the faithful one, and He will surely change us and make us new. He is working, no matter how slow we might think the progress is. Trust in God.
Lord, please forgive me for my sins that have displeased You. Forgive me for my selfish heart that forgets Your ways. I confess my sins to You, and now I wait in faith that You are faithful to forgive me in Christ and that You will cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Have mercy on me because I am unworthy to receive such grace. Work in me, Lord. Change me that Your name and Your grace may be glorified. In Jesus’ name, amen.