By Waylon Vande Hoef, LPC, Living Well Counseling
In my line of work, I often hear of past sins or the weight of life that seem to grab ahold and tear down the peace and hope in a believer. As I pondered on this, the Lord called Lamentations 3:22-23 to mind. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
He has used this passage several times in my life at various points and seasons where I needed to hear about His mercies or compassions for me. But recently, the doubts and questions have been even more overbearing than usual. This world and culture that we live in seemingly feels hopeless and helpless. It’s like being a boulder in a powerful river that the water is slowly eroding away, and the doubts, fears, and frustrations begin to overpower the stone. When will the raging river stop? In some ways I can relate to Paul in that he desired to go and depart with the Lord, but like Paul, it is better to stay and suffer for the Lord’s sake. So how do I receive the mercies of today?
Let’s look at Exodus 16. The Lord was dealing with His people in the wilderness, and they were hungry and grumbling. The Lord provided bread for them to eat each morning. They were to only take what was necessary and not have any left. Did they trust and obey the Lord? Nope, instead, being the great intelligent beings they are, they believed they knew more than the Lord and decided it would be better to store up more than they need only to find the next day the bread was filled with worms and decay.
You see, our days are like bread. We receive just what we need for today in the mercy given to us by the Lord. We cannot hold on to the mistakes of yesterday—the should have, could have, would have scenarios. The weight of sin and or the thoughts that, “I should have it all together,” or “I just need to do better and try harder” are rotten and full of worms. We cannot depend on those thoughts to drive us for today.
Instead, we need to remember and delight in Him through prayer and meditation of His word and respond to the conviction from the Holy Spirit through continued repentance. Paul shares in Philippians 3:14 to, “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus,” by forgetting what lies behind, receiving the mercies given today, and anticipating new mercies tomorrow.
So, receive the Lord’s forgiveness of what happened yesterday and cling to the mercies of the Lord today, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.