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Question 120

Q: I had a good marriage but I became unfaithful.

I know God has forgiven me, but Pastor Lutzer, why is it that, more often than not, I have this overwhelming sense of sadness that makes me cry—it feels as if I will never stop? What can I do? Please help.

Asked by: Ronald


A: Well Ronald, first of all I’d like to say that sexual sin is very serious and people oftentimes underestimate the effects of it.

And you’re a good example of someone who thinks that perhaps you’d be able to manage the consequences, but as time has gone on, you’ve realized how serious it really, really is. But I want you to revel in the fact that God is a forgiving God.

For example Psalm 51, if you remember, is where David confessed his sin of unfaithfulness, and in Psalm 32 he said how “blessed is he who’s transgression is forgiven and who’s sin is covered, how blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputith not iniquity and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” And then he talks about what happened when he was trying to cover his sin.

The bottom line is, there’s cleansing, there’s forgiveness. David says “wash me whiter than the snow,” in Psalm 51. And God does that for people. So, I want you to let God love you in your own mind and heart, and make sure that you’ve confessed your sin and received God’s forgiveness. The problem that you seem to be having is one of forgiving yourself, so I think that this is very critical.

It’s necessary for you to say to yourself, “in light of the fact that God has forgiven me, there’s no reason in the world why I cannot forgive myself.” There comes a time when you have to simply walk away from your past and move on and realize that God still has something for you to do.

Something I’ve found very interesting is when David confessed his sin, his tears could do no good. No matter how deeply he repented, he could never restore the purity of Bathsheba. He could never bring the dead man, Uriah, back to life. And yet David knew that he would still serve God.

Read Psalm 51, that’s my recommendation to you. Read it as a prayer, accept its confession, but also accept its cleansing, its forgiveness, and its hope.

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