7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.
10 Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him. 11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart! (NIV)
There are tangible results we enjoy when we know that God has forgiven us! The three above verses are indicators of happiness springing from reconciliation. These, in turn, are confirmations of union with God. They are things we can count on for deliverance in moments of doubt.
The Hiding Place – “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”
The first thing discovered in forgiveness is a hiding place. While living in transgression we hid things from God, with reconciliation we encounter God hiding us from the rising storms. You’ll notice that once you’ve confessed your sins you’ve been exposed and feel very vulnerable. Embarrassment, shame and other emotions seek to prevail upon the soul. God knows your sin, people know your sin, and worst, the devil knows your sin. And, as an adversary, Satan seeks to exploit you in times of defenselessness.
But God says, not so fast, I have a hiding place for the forgiven soul! He will protect you from trouble; He keeps you from danger. Forgiveness opens the door to His hiding place—lending time to heal.
The Unfailing Love – “but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him.”
The second thing resulting from forgiveness is the experience of God’s unfailing love! The tendency is to think that the Lord is like man, we can only hurt Him so many times and then He’s through with us. Not so, God’s love is much different and deeper than that. The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in Him! His love does not give up or vanish when scorned. Sure, He may hide His face from the transgressor, but the forgiven experience that He will never leave or forsake them.
The Message Bible reads, “10 God-defiers are always in trouble; God-affirmers find themselves loved every time they turn around.” The love of God gives up on no one! Husbands may give up on wives, wives may give up on husbands, friends may give up on friends, but the love of God never gives up on us! Knowing God’s unfailing love is an ingredient to finding happiness in forgiveness—this is always God’s goal for those who trust in Him!
The Singing Heart – “Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!”
The final result of forgiveness is the singing heart. People sing all the time. They sing in sorrow and pain, they sing in moments of emotional highs. But there is a special anthem, a song of praise for the forgiven. Let’s read verse 11 with contemporary twist using the Message Bible:
“Celebrate God. Sing together – everyone! All you honest hearts, raise the roof!”
The heart that experiences, enjoys, and realizes forgiveness celebrates in that liberation. Sadness and sorrows accompany those who hide and cover their sin—the only songs the transgressor sings are the blues of this world. The planet is full of folks who have too little or too much to celebrate in life. The forgiven are full of songs that lead to a pure celebration! The forgiven realize the greatest songs of joy are experienced when the liberation of a heart from sin takes place.
In summary, God gives a hiding place for our joyful hearts to sing of His unfailing love! Let the happiness of God’s forgiveness reign in your soul!
J. Robert Hanson