Someone recently said to me, “God isn’t surprised by our sin.”
Throughout the day that phrase just stuck with me for some reason. He isn’t surprised when I chose sleep over time in His Word? He isn’t surprised when I gossip with a friend and don’t even feel convicted until days later? He isn’t surprised when I long for more earthly treasures instead of putting my hope in heavenly treasures? You see – I continue to surprise myself with my sin. I think I get a grip on my gossip; I even feel thankful because when someone else is gossiping, I bite my tongue and change the subject (by God’s grace). Yet then the next day I am babbling on about someone else for ten or fifteen minutes and don’t even realize what I am doing until it’s too late. My sin surprises me. I think to myself, “I have been a follower of Christ long enough; shouldn’t I have that under control?” Or I think, “What is wrong with me that I would sin in the same way I sinned five years ago?” Guilt and shame creep in and I feel inadequate and unlovable.
And yet the Lord isn’t surprised by my sin. God knows where I will fall short and He still loves me unconditionally in Christ.
Have you ever felt like your sin is overwhelming? Have you ever felt shame or guilt for repeating the same sin struggle time and time again? You repent of it – and I mean truly crying out to the Lord in repentance – but then you fall into that same sin again. It is hard. It is hard for me to see how ugly, how nasty, my sin can be.
My husband and I were recently reading about the Israelites and laughing about how many times they turned from God. I mean really? God literally provided manna from the sky for them to eat – how could they not trust Him? As we talked about it more, I couldn’t help but laugh. I know I do the exact same thing to the Lord that the Israelites did. I worry, yet He provides a job. I gossip, yet He forgives me again. I cringe before tithing more to church, and yet He convicts me and gives me grace upon grace upon grace.
God wasn’t surprised by the Israelites and I don’t surprise Him either. God’s love surpasses all understanding (Eph. 3:19). God loves me enough to continue to reveal my sin to me so that I may draw near to Him and know Him more. I will never be free from sin in this life, but because of Jesus dying on the cross I am able to be forgiven so that the Lord may see me as white as snow (Isa. 1:18).
Standing on the Word