"I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." Isaiah 43:25
Forgiveness is an issue for many believers. Far too many of us find it hard to forgive others and even harder to forgive ourselves. It's difficult to forgive when the hurt is deep. Pain is an emotion that begs for a source, and when the source is another person, it's tough to release it ... even to God. But an unwillingness to forgive is like holding a ball of fire; you will end up burning yourself.
Forgiving others may not be your biggest issue. You may struggle with forgiving yourself. All of us have disappointed and hurt those we love. Maybe it was a reckless word that pierced a friend like a sword. Maybe you abandoned your marriage. Maybe you failed your children. Maybe a rash decision led you to financial ruin. All of us wish we would have done things differently. But again, unforgiveness is that ball of fire that just keeps the pain coming.
Look at today's passage. These are the words of the eternal God. When we come to Him with a repentant heart and ask for forgiveness, notice what He does with our sins. First, He blots out our transgressions. Think of your greatest sin written in big, bold letters and highlighted on a piece of paper. God dips a brush in a jar of ink and applies it to the sin. The indictment is covered over; it can no longer be read. Second, God chooses to remember our sin no more. This has nothing to do with the capacity of His memory; it has everything to do with the depth of His grace. Through Christ, God forgives us completely. Let's follow His example by forgiving others and ourselves.
Father, thank You for full and complete forgiveness. Thank You for blotting out my sin and choosing to remember it no more. Please help me forgive others--regardless of the pain they have caused--and help me forgive myself so I can live in the freedom of Your great grace. In Jesus' name. Amen.