Joy breaking free from guilt
For it is by grace you have been saved through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of god – not by works, so that no-one can boast. Ephesians 3:8-9
The Mission trip to Fiji is a blessing in itself but the work of the spirit in me to change, challenge, grow has been the biggest blessing of all. My eyes and heart have been opened to the enormous love of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, and how this amazing sacrifice has affected my life.
The thing that is most evident in the Fijian Christian community is that they are extremely joyful in their worship, prayer, and everyday love for Jesus. This joy really struck my heart and caused me to wonder why Fijians have so much joy and I and the Australian Christians (in general) struggle with conveying and wholeheartedly having joy in their Christian life. This idea lead me to review my life and find out what is holding me back. I personally struggle with being over whelmed by the weight of my sin, as I feel mentally drained by its grip on me, as guilty creeps into my heart for my actions against my Lord and savior. They weigh me down so much that until I ask for forgiveness from the lord and from the person I have committed my sin against, I can’t even think about coming to Lord in praise, it’s as if I’m spiritually separated from the Lord until I begin to slowly forget about what I have done. In a certain aspect I see this as being biblically sound as Jesus calls us to come humbly to the him and ask for forgiveness, to lay our burdens on him as his yoke is easy. However, should I feel guilty of sin even after I have asked for forgiveness?
To tell you the truth, I didn’t know the answer and I gave it to the Lord and asked for him to lay his wisdom upon me so I could understand the reason why. Let me encourage you that the Lord is not a God who stands back from afar and just watches, rather he is beside you always, he is wanting you to ask him for wisdom, guidance and strength in him, as he loves you and wants you to take refuge in him as he is the rock of ages (1 John 5:14-15). Praise God.
To the praise and glory of God he answered my cry through my reading of the book ‘You Can Change’ by Tim Chester as he challenged me by explaining that I need to get rid of the guilt of my sin, as in my guilt.
I’m not fully trusting in the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, because I don’t remember/understand that Jesus death was for all sins and the burden of sin was taken off my shoulders and placed on to his. Chester portrayed this image of us at the foot of the cross, when Jesus Christ, our savior, says ‘it is finished’ then myself saying - 'Wait, I need to feel guilty for my sins first because you haven’t taken away the burden of sin'. How insulting would this be to question Jesus in understanding he is fully God and has conquered sin through his resurrection? This opened my eyes to the truth of the cross and challenged me in this mission to be joyful in the cross. I want to challenge you as well, are you joyful in your Christian life?
Like the rest we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, god, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2: 3b-6)
What a blessing this is! So be joyful in your Christian life as we are now alive in Christ.