Torchbearers for Christ
Monday, December 10, 2018
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Several times in the book of Psalms we read the expression “blessed is the man….”. This is followed by a description of the “blessed man”. The word “blessed” in the Psalms is often translated “happy”, “fortunate” or “to be envied”. The possibility of enjoying these pleasant emotions should surely attract us all; but, as with all of God’s favours, there are conditions that apply.
Let us then look at God’s happy man in Psalm 32 and discover the reason for his happiness. Verses 1 and 2 of this Psalm give us the reason for his joyous state of mind. It is because God had forgiven his sins and regarded him as an innocent man. The Psalm proceeds with a description of how this man, thought to be David, was able to arrive at this state of gladness, peace and serenity. We notice from verses 3 and 4 that before David experienced God’s forgiveness, he passed through a time of deep anguish, pain and distress as he wrestled with a guilty conscience. This is described in detail in Psalm 51:3, where David referred to his misery by saying, “my sin is ever before me”. Day and night the memory of his guilt followed him. In Psalm 32:4 he likened his experience to a plant in the heat of summer, dried up and withered. His strength and vigour had wasted away; he felt crushed with a burden of guilt. 
But then came the blessed day when gloom was turned to gladness and the wretched man became a rejoicing man. He acknowledged his sin, found God’s complete forgiveness and his conscience was at rest. This experience is described in Psalm 32:5 and 6. He made a humble confession to God and found incredible relief. He then tells how he purposed to live a life of total commitment to the God who had forgiven him, concluding the Psalm with an appeal to all who have experienced God’s forgiveness to “be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous and shout for joy all you that are upright in heart”. 
How thankful we can be for the experiences described in Psalms 51 and 32. No doubt there are multitudes of people who wrestle with a guilty conscience, but find no relief. Many of these people are no doubt sincere in some form of religious activity and good deeds, but still there is a lack of assurance as to whether God has really forgiven them. To all such our Lord Jesus promises that through simple faith in His work on the cross, sinners may be forgiven and pass from death unto life” (John 5:24). The good news of the Gospel is described by Paul in 1 Timothy 1:15 where he tells us, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst”. If God can save the “worst of sinners” then there is hope for all of us in Christ.  
This article was written by Pastor Geoffrey Davies. He is a frequent contributor to this column. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he pastored a church for over twenty-five years.  Since 1983 he has travelled widely, continuing his ministry of encouragement and Bible teaching.