Forgiving Ourselves

The Lord will restore the splendor of Jacob like the splendor of Israel, though destroyers have laid them waste . . . - Nahum 2:2
For most of the wrongs you’ve done, you’re probably grateful and eager to accept God’s forgiveness. But sometimes we’re so shocked or ashamed or heartbroken over our sin that we find it hard to believe that God could really forgive us. Yet God does forgive and  he desires to restore you. He wants to redirect your course, and to redeem your life for his service. But this restoration can’t begin until you receive God’s forgiveness and forgive yourself.
Peter had once sworn his love for Jesus. He pledged even to die with Jesus if necessary. Yet that same night after Jesus was arrested, Peter sheepishly denied that he even knew Jesus. Jesus wasn’t sur¬prised; he had already told Peter that Peter would deny knowing him three times. Jesus was ready to forgive Peter before he even betrayed Jesus. But Peter had a hard time forgiving himself.  
After Jesus rose from the dead he asked Peter three times if Peter loved him. Peter had denied him three times, and so Jesus gave him the chance to reaffirm his love three times. Jesus reached out to Peter.  
When you’re disheartened by the things you’ve done, it can be difficult to receive God’s forgiveness. But God reaches out to us through his Son. Once you confess your sins, you need to let go of them. Find encouragement through your brother Peter. Once he accepted forgiveness, God was able to build him up and use him for His great purposes.


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Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.