“Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD evil is avoided.”
Proverbs 16:6 (NIV)
This summer I’ve been working through Steadfast Love, a study on Psalm 107 by Lauren Chandler. One of the points from this week’s lesson covered how we can find ourselves in chains and darkness but, thankfully, when we cry out to the Lord he will flood us with his light and break our chains: “He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains” (Psalm 107:14, NIV).
Even as Christians, we can often find ourselves shackled to a particular sin. But aren’t we glad that our Father in heaven won’t leave us in darkness and in our chains! Why? Because of his love for us: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,” (Isaiah 61:1, NIV). I’m so thankful that God’s love is stronger than my chains!
Solomon so wisely reminds us in Proverbs 16:6 that our sin can be forgiven because of God’s love and faithfulness. Notice that forgiveness is not based on our performance or best intentions to be perfect – it only comes through God’s grace, his free gift to us. We do not have to clean up ourselves before letting God’s light shine on us. It is only after we call to him to shine his light on our darkest places that we can begin to heal.
So, if you are afraid to bring your chains (anything that enslaves you to sin) into the light because of embarrassment or shame, consider that God’s love for you is his choice and much better than any sin you could hold onto. First we have to see and acknowledge our sin, and then our chains can be broken. Lauren Chandler puts it this way: “God does not uncover to shame us but to further cover us with His grace, love, righteousness, and glory.”
So let God’s light reveal your chains. Let his love and faithfulness atone for your sin. When you do this, you are living out the second part of Proverbs 16:6 – you are fearing the Lord. Fearing the Lord is like walking in the light, meaning that you respect God and his word and rely on him for your strength. So, cry out for bright light and experience broken chains.