Summary: Blessed is one of those religious words that are hard to translate into realistic terms. Perhaps the closest we can come is “happiness.” The psalmist says that the blessed person is the one who understands forgiveness. But we can’t understand the reality

August 25, 2006

The Secret of Happiness

Scripture: Psalm 32, especially verse 1: Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.


Some suffering in life is hard to explain, but much of it is self-inflicted. Could your misery be due to poor choices? Due to apathy or indifference? Could our suffering be due to sin?

Psalm 32 lets us see God’s blessings for those who are forgiven. This psalm gives us the forgotten secret of happiness, telling us that sin brings sorrow, but confession brings forgiveness and forgiveness brings joy. Listen as I read Psalm 32 from the New King James Bible:

1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered.

2 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit.

3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long.

4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer.

5 I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.

6 For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You In a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters They shall not come near him.

7 You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.

8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.

9 Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you.

10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.

11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

In the first two verses, David writes about: The Joy of Forgiveness. Both verses begin with, “Blessed is the man.” Blessed is one of those religious words that are hard to translate into realistic terms. Perhaps the closest we can come is “happiness.” The psalmist says that the blessed person is the one who understands forgiveness. But we can’t understand the reality of forgiveness if we don’t understand the concept of sin, so David uses three words to describe sin: Transgression—Sin—Iniquity.

The psalmist was happy that...His transgression was forgiven and that his sin was covered. This psalm grew out of David’s experiences with the Lord after he had committed adultery and had tried to hide his sins (2 Sam. 11–12). But nothing is hidden from God. God sees what you do and keeps a record of it. David had covered his sins on earth, but he couldn’t cover the record in heaven. He found that hiding sin only led to negative physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences. His body wasted away, he groaned all day long, and his vitality was drained. The same consequences will fall on any man or woman who refuses to admit guilt.

But confession brings peace and joy as sin is first uncovered and then covered by God with His forgiveness. However, when you refuse to confess your sins, the Lord must deal with you to bring you to repentance. The longer you wait the more miserable you will be, as you can see in David’s experience.

There is a proverb that says, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” (Prov.28:13). When we trust Christ as Lord and Savior, we receive forgiveness from the penalty of sin. When we, as believers, confess our sins, we receive forgiveness that maintains fellowship with God our Father.

There is no blessing for the person who covers his sins, that is, who refuses to drag them out into the light and to confess them to God and to anyone else who has been wronged. But anyone who confesses and forsakes his sins has the assurance that God not only forgives but forgets. In the book of Hebrews it says, “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” (Heb. 10:17). When we confess, God wipes the record clean. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” according to 1 John 1:9.

If you’re a Christian, you need to know that The Lord doesn’t impute iniquity. Impute is an accounting term, that means that it’s not counted against us. A rough illustration is when you get pulled over for speeding and the kind officer tells you it will not go on your record. God’s forgiveness is like that. There’s no sin so great that He won’t forgive it, and there is no number of sins that’s too many for Him to forgive. This is a reason to rejoice!

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