Forgiveness-fuelled praise

What does God want to do with our past mistakes? We naturally want to forget them. But David believes God’s purposes don’t stop with forgiving and changing us.

Psalm 51 vv 12 to 15

Restore to me the joy of your salvation
            and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
            so that sinners will turn back to you.
Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
            you who are God my Saviour,
            and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
Open my lips, Lord,
            and my mouth shall declare your praise.

Up until now David has been confessing his sin and asking for God’s forgiveness and transformation, but now begins to look forward. He is turning back to God and he wants to help others do the same. Forgiveness is not for him alone.

God’s mercy is a spreading circle. It cannot stop with us.

Don’t mistake what David is doing. He isn’t cutting a deal with God, agreeing to do some PR for him in exchange for forgiveness.

No. This is his response, praise pouring from grateful lips.

Think of the family saved from drowning by the coast guard. When they are interviewed on the local news, they need no persuading to speak about their rescuers. They remember the surging seas. Still fresh in their minds is the relief they felt as that helicopter appeared overhead. Without prompting they sing the praises of the men and women who saved them.

And when God delivers David, he will quite naturally sing His praises. His experience of grace will compel him to speak to others.

We instinctively want to cover up our past mistakes, but God uses even for our stories of failure. With His forgiveness and remaking power, they are transformed. They become testimonies to His grace and fuel to the fire of praise.

Putting into Practice:

1. Is there something in the past that you would rather forget? Remind yourself again of God’s cleansing. Pray to Him to turn that regret into a reminder of His mercy. As you speak to Him begin to praise Him for His forgiveness.

2. Use the words of this hymn to entrust your whole life, to God:

Here I place without reserve
My soul in faith and meekness,
Trusting in Christ’s power and love
To flourish in my weakness.
Cause my days on earth to be
Through time and through eternity
A trophy of His victory,
A monument to mercy.

Stuart Townend Copyright © 2006 Thankyou Music

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