“17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Psalm 51:17 (ESV)
What an overwhelming feeling it is to be hopeless in sin, to struggle through daily obstacles of distress and be frustrated by what you have done. You become depressed and you are ready to give up. Sometimes it may even feel as though God has abandoned you, or as if God is punishing you for your evil deeds that you so much deserve. Sin makes us feel entirely unlovable; it makes us feel ashamed.
Psalm 51 beautifully illustrates David’s cry of repentance after he committed adultery with Bathsheba. What makes this message of repentance so beautiful is that David confesses his true sin: “Against you, you only, have I sinned” (Psalm 51:4). Our sin is “sin” because it defies God. It is an act against what God stands for, eternal goodness. David’s prayer is for God to give him a “pure heart” and to “renew” his faithfulness. As Christians, we need to cry to God to “sustain” us, and “restore” us to the “joy of [His] salvation”. By praying for forgiveness from God alone and for Him to help us repent, only then can we change our old ways of sin.
To end, David makes a claim so bold and so faithful, in which Jesus is glorified: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; / a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Jesus has come to call sinners to repentance, and with great passion and mercy (Matthew 14:14). He has not come to condemn us believers. In the New Testament, Paul reminds us that there is “now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1-2).
By trusting in Jesus and who He is, we have freedom (Galatians 5:1; John 8:36; 2 Corinthians 3:17). Stand steadfast in His faith and let Him do the work. Only Jesus can overcome your sin and heartaches. And He has already proclaimed that He has come to heal you (Mark 2:17).