“I have wiped out your wrongdoings like a thick cloud
And your sins like a heavy mist.
Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”
We easily keep a record of wrongs. Not just the wrongs done to us, but also of our own failings and sins. Sometimes it is most difficult to extend forgiveness to ourselves. We look in the mirror and see our wrongs staring back at us. If we aren’t careful, this can become our identity. Yet, the truth of the gospel means that if we are in Christ, then every one of our wrongdoings has been wiped away by His blood.
Israel was God’s chosen people. He didn’t choose them because they were worthy. He chose them, and therefore they were made worthy. But Israel had a way of forgetting who they were. They acted out of the wrong identity far too often. They got stuck in the net of their present circumstances and were distracted by idols, comparison, and the things of this world. Isaiah reminded them that nothing kept them from the covenant faithfulness of God. Their sin didn’t make them beyond repair. God had wiped away all their wrongdoings and wanted them to come home to Him. They were not worthy, but God had redeemed them and made them worthy.
Sadly, even Christ-followers often feels that our sin hangs over us like a dark cloud. We start thinking that all God sees when He looks at us are the things we have done wrong. In response, we live and act out of the wrong identity. Like Israel, we are prone to wander away from God who keeps us by His covenant faithfulness. We doubt His goodness. We doubt His mercy. We doubt His plans for the future. But our past doesn’t have to determine our future when God is planning our days and our steps. As God’s redeemed, our lives have been bought back to be used for something better. In that light, we hope for a better future than we can see. Only God can make something significant out of the broken pieces of our lives.
- How have you let your past sins define your present? Your future?
- How might God want to use even the painful pieces of your life to redeem your future?
- Spend some time thanking God for the redemption you have in Him. Confess the ways you have not trusted Him and not lived in light of His redemption. Ask Him to weave together good out of the painful pieces of your story.