Paid in Full
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."1
I have read how when the books of a certain Scottish doctor were examined after his death, it was found that a number of accounts were crossed through with a note: "Forgiven—too poor to pay." But the physician's wife later decided that these accounts must be paid in full and she proceeded to sue for money. When the case came to court, the judge asked but one question. Is this your husband's handwriting? When she replied that it was, he responded: "There is no court in the land that can obtain a debt once the word forgiven has been written."
One of the problems common to many—if not most—of us is that we find it very difficult to forgive someone who we feel has hurt us deeply.
The good news is that when we confess our sins to God and ask for His forgiveness, He forgives us totally and absolutely. He does this not because He ignores the just penalty for our sins, but because in His everlasting love for us He gave His Son, Jesus, to pay that penalty for us through His death on the cross. Because Jesus paid our penalty for us, God can now write across our debt, "Forgiven—too poor to pay." And He wipes out our debt forever!
If we have confessed our sins to God and asked for His forgiveness, we need to accept His forgiveness by faith—regardless of how we feel. However, if we still don't feel forgiven, we need to deal with the problem of false guilt and/or shame. God forgives all of our sins and wrongs, therefore, we need to forgive all who have wronged us as well. As we have said before, "Failing to forgive is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die."
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, how can I ever thank You enough for all You have done for me in giving Your Son Jesus to pay the penalty for all my sins. In confessing my sins to You, I thank You for Your gift of forgiveness and eternal life. Please help me to be as forgiving to others as You have been and are to me. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
Note: If you have never received God's forgiveness, for help be sure to read, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9
1. 1 John 1:9 (NIV).