Summary: Confession is essential for happiness, peace of mind and to defeat sin in our lives!
How to Be Blessed
Our theme of obtaining God’s blessing continues this morning as we continue to remind ourselves that the Bible is a book about getting blessed.
. For the purposes of our study, our personal definition of being blessed is threefold:
1) To be especially happy and content
2) To have inner peace within
3) To be confident and fulfilled
Jesus said that he came to bring us life and life more abundant. In contrast, he refers to “the thief” (Satan?) whose only purpose is to steal and destroy. If we are to find God’s blessing we need to find where the thief is gaining access to our lives. We need to find the areas where he is trying to remove our joy, our faith, our peace, our confidence, and to break our relationship with God.
This week, we begin our study in Psalm 32, where the Psalmist testifies of his personal experience of confessing his own personal sin and receiving forgiveness. He begins by saying “Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”
Do you see the Psalmist testimony for what it is? He declares that He was unhappy, stressed, sleepless, and even in physical discomfort because of his refusal to confess his sin. He had felt God’s hand upon him. He had been unhappy and disturbed. If you read that passage carefully you might recognize symptoms of what we call “depression.”
I believe that a lot of the depression we see in our society today stems from our refusal to confess and forsake our sin. We stubbornly press on in our sadness and knowing we are out of God’s will. We attempt to shift the blame for our unhappiness onto God Himself. We blame God because we have lost our joy.
I have to confess that I’ve been here. I was so down, so discouraged, in physical, emotional and spiritual pain. I spent a year and a half hurting and angry at God and everyone around me. Then, I finally had to confess that the reason for all of my pain was that I had attempted to depart from the path that God had called me. At that moment, my joy began to return. When I cried out to God in honest confession, He began to restore my joy. I was able to come into the church the following Sunday and state boldly, “I’ve got my joy back!” I know exactly what the Psalmist is talking about.
When we remain silent, God’s Holy Spirit continues to convict us, to press us, to speak to us about our sin. It brings us discomfort. It removes us from the path of God’s blessing. It gives us the opposite of happiness. It steals our peace. It keeps us from being confident and feeling fulfilled. In essence, our refusal to confess our sin gives us the opposite of blessing.
In other words, a place that the devil enters our lives and begins to steal our joy and peace is through our stubborn refusal to confess our sin. If he can convince us we don’t need to confess it then he can steal our joy. He can keep us from finding God’s blessing.
Do you note that after the Psalmist confesses his sin he is prepared to teach others? It is only after we deal with our own personal sin that we can begin to minister in the lives of others.
James writes to his readers that there is a need to confess our faults one to another. (James 5:16) Why? Well, remember that the context of James is that one group felt that they were spiritually superior to another. If we are open and honest about our sin we will have a tough time becoming proud and arrogant. It is difficult to maintain an aura of supposed spiritual superiority when we are open and honest about our shortcomings. I don’t believe that James wants believers to share every dark detail of their sin life, but believers must be honest about sin.
We also have the example of the Apostle Paul who said in I Timothy 1:15… he declared, “I am the chief of sinners!” He didn’t say, “I used to be a real bad sinner.” He used the present tense. He was noting that he was still struggling with sin. In Philippians 3:12 he declares boldly that he recognizes he has NOT already attained perfection, but is still struggling to become the man God has called him to be.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14