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Jesus turns despair into hope

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When a person is despairing because of their sin, how can that despair be turned to confidence towards God? If a person feels far from God because they realise how sinful they are in his sight, how can that person have hope in God?
What truth about God do we need to know?
How does some one go from conviction of sin to confidence towards God?
Answer, by Knowing that God is a forgiving God and putting their trust in him.
As the hymn puts it so well
I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Come unto me and rest; lay down, O weary one, lay down your head upon my breast.” I came to Jesus as I was, so weary, worn, and sad; I found in him a resting place, and he has made me glad.
When you are in despair over your sin what truth should you rest in? God is a forgiving God.
This psalm demonstrates for us God’s forgiveness turns despair to hope.
The psalm begins in the depths of despair but finishes off in triumphant hope. The turning point in the psalm is v.4 that proclaims God is a forgiving God.

I. Despair v.1-3

a) in the depths of despair v.1

We don’t know the original context of the psalmist, but we can tell he starts off is a place of despair and distress.
Depths- distress
What is the distress he is feeling? We see from the verses that follow it must be God’s distance caused by the psalmists sin.
Ps 32:3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old, Through my groaning all the day long.

b) God seemed distant v.2

Sin separates from God-
But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear
This was the first result of sin in the garden.

c) aware of guilt before God v.3

If God should mark iniquities who could stand?
Mark- observe diligently
i) Guilt of the whole human race- Total depravity
ii) We can only be righteous by imputation

Application-

This is the experience of a person before their conversion
This is the experience when a Christian sins
This must be the experience of the unsaved if they are to be saved

II. God’s forgiveness v.4

a) God forgives v.4a

But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared.
How can there be forgiveness with God?
What about justice?
Covenant of redemption.
God became a man, Christ fulfilled all of the laws requirements, he then atoned for our sin. Rose again.
Justification by faith. Rom 5:1
What though the vile accuser roar. Of sins that I have done; I know them well, and thousands more; My God, He knoweth none
Application-
Christian how good it is to know your God is a forgiving God.
Unbeliever here is hope for you, this God calls you to come and receive this forgiveness.

b) forgiveness brings obedience v.4b

That you may be feared
That- gives the reason
Feared- honoured, revered, worshipped.
Forgiveness does not give license
Eph 2:8-10 - Not the other way around.
The new birth results in the desire to honour and serve God.

Application-

III. Hope v.5-8

a) confidence towards God

i) relying on the LORD
Looking to him for blessing- trusting in his providence and goodness
ii) Hoping in his word
Trusting in his promises
iii) With all his affections
This is a fervent dependence upon the LORD for good.

b) God’s people have hope

i) hope in the LORD
-there is mercy
-there is abundant redemption
ii) He will redeem his people from all Iniquities
All- gives great hope. Jesus Christ gives a full salvation.
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Application-

This is the confident hope we can have in God because he is a forgiving God.
We can hope in him- his Character and his providence
We can trust in his word- All his promises are yes and Amen in Jesus Christ
We can call others to this hope knowing that with God there is mercy and abundant redemption.

Conclusion

The Psalmist begins his song in despair, he ends it in triumphant hope. What truth is it that brings this change?
The truth that God is a forgiving God. In the context of the whole Bible we could say its the truth of the gospel. Here is comfort for the weary, here is a balm for the wounded, here is cleansing for the defiled. Here is hope for the despairing.
Look to Jesus and trust in who he is and what he has done. That in him is full forgiveness. This is how one goes from despair to hope.
Christian- when you fall into temptation and it feels like you are in the depths, sorrow for sin feels like it will overwhelm you then take hold of this truth- With God there is forgiveness of sins. 1 John 1:9
Unbeliever- Do you feel yourself to be lost? Do you feel the seriousness of your sin? The desperateness of your lost condition? The fearfulness of hell? Are you aware of your distance from God and the weight of your sin? Know this that in Jesus Christ God is a forgiving God, turn from sin and trust in Christ.
This is what the psalm did and his despair turned into hope.
This is what the Philippian jailer did.
This is what the prodigal son did.
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