Daily Devotionals

Stages of the Cross: Week 3 - Wednesday

Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. Psalm 103:2-3

If you have ever been trapped in a dark place, you know that it can be terrifying! When I was a kid, my parents took me to the Carlsbad Caverns. We took a hike with a tour guide, and at one point, they shut out all the lights. It was a picture of darkness that I will never forget. Somehow, darkness feels oppressive and crushing when you are down in a cave that deep. In the same way, when we refuse to ask for forgiveness from another person, or when we live feeling bitter or hurt over something someone else has done to us, the effect of that unforgiveness or refusal to seek forgiveness can be just as oppressive.

David knew this well after he sinned by committing adultery and did not ask for forgiveness from the Lord. He felt the pain of not being right with God and said in Psalm 32:3, "When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long." It was painful for David to live a life that wasn't right both before God and other people. Refusing to ask for forgiveness can destroy you from the inside.

Not only is refusing to ask for forgiveness destructive to us, refusing to forgive other people can be just as detrimental. Those who hold a grudge or nurse a deep hurt may find themselves to be imprisoned in a dark cavern of isolation. It has been said that "Unforgiveness is like taking poison, but expecting someone else to die." We also may give the evil one an opportunity to outsmart and divide us when we refuse to forgive (2 Corinthians 2:10-11).

It is interesting to note that when David finally experiences forgiveness, he thanks God in this verse of Scripture. He shares how God brings life and healing to him. That is the power that God has to release us from the pain of carrying our own sins and bitterness towards others. Is there something that is still holding you in darkness? We hope you will come into the light by embracing the forgiveness modeled in Jesus!

Andrew Poe
Riverside Campus Pastor

Moving Toward Action

As you consider the fact that Jesus offers forgiveness, do you remember that He offers forgiveness to you, or do you consider yourself unworthy of forgiveness? My encouragement for you today is that no one is "too far gone" to receive the forgiveness Jesus offers, including you. Spend time today recognizing that Jesus' death purchased your forgiveness. Take a few minutes to pray to God, thanking Him for the forgiveness offered to those who place their faith in Him.

Going Deeper

Read Psalm 103:1-22 (NLT)

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
    and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
    My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

The Lord gives righteousness
    and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

He revealed his character to Moses
    and his deeds to the people of Israel.
The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
    slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse us,
    nor remain angry forever.
He does not punish us for all our sins;
    he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
    is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed our sins as far from us
    as the east is from the west.
The Lord is like a father to his children,
    tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
For he knows how weak we are;
    he remembers we are only dust.
Our days on earth are like grass;
    like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
The wind blows, and we are gone—
    as though we had never been here.
But the love of the Lord remains forever
    with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
    of those who are faithful to his covenant,
    of those who obey his commandments!

The Lord has made the heavens his throne;
    from there he rules over everything.

Praise the Lord, you angels,
    you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
    listening for each of his commands.
Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels
    who serve him and do his will!
Praise the Lord, everything he has created,
    everything in all his kingdom.

Let all that I am praise the Lord.