Merciful Father

Father, I am a sinner.

I just realized that in all the times when I would suddenly feel an insurmountable amount of guilt, I haven’t truly acknowledged that I am a sinner.

I’d have thought that I did good.

Prayers? Check. Reading the Bible? Check. Helping others? Check.

Then a deep sense of guilt would start creeping in, ruining the “good vibes” I had going. That morbid feeling whispers, “You’re a sinner.”

It is when the reality finally hits me, it feels like I have finally sobered up. It is when I am finally aware of my fallen nature, I start losing hope, leading up to the questioning of my faith – questioning God.

I’d then forget how I could claim that I am truly a Christian. That moment years ago, when it was the unlikeliest moment for me to confess my faith, I declared publicly, “I believe in Jesus Christ.”

What is wrong with me? I pray, I read the Bible, I help others, yet my heart is all hard and cold.

I forget how it feels to know Him personally. I forget His goodness. I forget who He truly is. Then doubting His existence will be the most logical choice. It feels so easy to give in, I can’t help it.

But He is truly merciful. Even in times like these, when my heart is so blurred that I can’t see Christ, He draws near.

He reminds me that He is the only reason why I believe. He is the reason why I could confess my faith. He is the reason why I could see how sin is just by the door, and I feel fear; a fear that I’d stray from Him.

So in all my weaknesses, I choose to forget Him completely – forgetting the Only One I should fear – silently wishing that hope and peace will start rushing in.

But in all my weaknesses, I also choose to forget that He is my hope, and He is my peace.

I’m trying to forget the Only Source of joy with the hope that I could find it in something else. I am exchanging God for mere vanities – praises, accomplishments – shouting, “I am the god of my own life”, hoping that I’d gain hope and peace knowing that I have it all.

Yet, in all my weaknesses, I am deeply unaware that although it might seem that I have much, I actually have nothing.

All these things just prove that I am truly a sinner. My heart condemns me, and it wins.

Or does it?

Apostle John writes, “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.” (1 John 3:20).

God recognizes our guilt. He knows.

Now it all comes down to one question, “Do we trust Him to bear our guilt? Do we trust Christ?”

Thankfully, in all our weaknessess, He remains faithful.

“When I fear my faith will fail
Christ will hold me fast
When the tempter would prevail
He will hold me fast”
(He Will Hold Me Fast, Matt Merker)

In all our helplessness, He keeps reminding us that it is Him who saves us. By witnessing such mercy, we see His true worth – how unworthy we are, and how grand He is.

“Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.” (Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Robert Robinson)

In all these things that we may see as evil, He uses it for good. Christ made sure of it through His sacrifice on the cross, so that we may come to the Father, and call Him, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15).

It is by His Spirit that we are enabled to confess that He is God (Matthew 16:15-17, 1 John 4:2).

It is by His grace that we are given the faith to repent (Ephesians 2:1-8).

It is by His goodness alone, to which we deserve not even a drop, He shows that He is God, and we can rejoice in Him (Romans 9:14-18).

Father, we are sinners, and Your Son came for this very reason, to save sinners. It is through the cross that we see the worst of punishments, that Christ endured Your holy wrath that should have been lavished upon us. It is a torture none of us can even start to imagine, Lord. Remind us of such torture when we’re drawn to sin, that these filthy acts are the reason why Christ came, and why You sent Your Only Son to die for us, the ones who can present nothing but filthy rags.

Father, I have never witnessed any miracle as Christ healed people – opened the eyes of the blind or made the lame walk. But may I never forget this miracle, that You changed my heart, opened my eyes to witness Your amazing grace, so that I may walk in the path of righteousness – a path covered with Christ’s blood – that I may live like Him, losing my life, that I may gain it in You, Lord.

“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 24-25)

Thank You, merciful Father.

 

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