Sin. We can’t escape it. It’s been present since the beginning, and it isn’t just something we do. It is our life-long broken condition. The moment Eve and Adam ate of the forbidden fruit we were separated from God. Now we are in a constant battle against ourselves and our desires, because holiness does not come easy for us. But we find hope and rest in God, for He gave us the strength to overcome all sin through Jesus Christ. For this reason, we can say, “God, You are good.”
It is this goodness of God on which we must focus when we find ourselves powerless against sin, hopeless that we will ever overcome it. Hebrews 12:1 tells us, “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” There is a lot of truth in this verse (as there is in all of the Bible). We are easily entangled by sin. This is why daily repentance is necessary. Whether or not you’re aware of what sins you have committed, the truth of the matter is that in the passing hours of the day you most certainly sinned one way or another.
I have felt hopeless against my sin. How many times God? How many times will I fall? How many times will I ask for your forgiveness? How many times will you forgive me? I have felt such condemnation because of my sin that my thoughts began to accuse me, “What is wrong with me? Why can’t I overcome this? I will never overcome this. I don’t deserve God’s grace and love. Hasn’t He had enough with me?” My sin was consuming me. I was allowing it to define who I was.
I don’t mean to say that we should be okay with our sin and just relax because God’s grace will cover us. Paul says, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1-2).
I am referring to condemnation, the very thing Jesus proclaimed He had not come to do, rather, He had come to save. When your sin leads you to doubt God, and His love, sufficiency and power, you have allowed that sin to mask your knowledge of who God is. This is condemnation, and it is not God’s work, it is Satan with his deceitful ways.
I began to realize that this sin was corrupting my knowledge of God’s character. I began to doubt He had the resources to give me that strength the Bible talks so much about. So, since God didn’t seem to be able to help, I had to figure this out on my own. My sin was slowly becoming something I needed to have a victory against rather than a desire to be obedient to God. It became about my own ability to overcome and gain control over what I couldn’t control. As said by Jerry Bridges in The Pursuit of Holiness, to overcome our sin even our motives must be holy. We should want to overcome our sin simply because it is God’s will and delight.
As I began to realize that my motives were not in the right place and that doubt of God’s character had polluted my mind, I decided to shift my focus. I realized that my thoughts were consumed with this sin and my feelings of failure. Instead, I thought, why not focus on the goodness of God that provides grace to a sinner such as myself. So, in the midst of my struggle I looked to God. I remembered His goodness towards me. I remembered He clothed Adam and Eve to cover their shame in their nakedness. I remembered His compassion. I remembered that He is fighting this battle with me. And more than that, the victory has already been won by Jesus Christ.
Yes, my sin is present. And it will be present until the day I rest. But He is good. And He will be good for all my days, and for all eternity.
“But my eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge—do not give me over to death.” Psalm 141:8
Prayer: God, at times I feel defeated. I feel hopeless. I don’t feel like fighting anymore. But I ask that You would remind me to fix my eyes on You. Give me the strength I lack today. Remind me that the truth of who You are and who You called me to be isn’t swayed by what I do. Remind me that You are sufficient, that in You I find all the resources I need to overcome the battle, that while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me. Let this be my hope as I fight to be obedient, for in obedience I find your goodness. Surely Your goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, for You are good, Father. You are good.
May your day be graciously adventurous,