Whenever I’m conscious of areas of sin in my life, I tend to get discouraged.
Discouragement is natural, but it’s really not good to get discouraged about sin. Discouragement doesn’t save me… Christ does. A lot of times, I don’t truly believe that. I think that I have to beat myself up in order to achieve victory over sin. That’s not humility. That’s actually pride! After all, my victory over sin has already been won by Christ on the cross. I just need to receive this promise by faith in Christ.
Whenever I beat myself up over my sins as a means of overcoming sin, I am failing to believe the gospel. God doesn’t want me to be discouraged over my sin. He wants me to trust Christ as my savior and believe that I am forgiven and being renewed in the gospel.
Furthermore, in my discouragement I am reminded that I’m not being discouraged enough. If I were truly aware of how sinful I am, I would be infinitely more discouraged. I am far more sinful than I would ever dare imagine. But the grace of God in Christ covers all of that too. I am far more loved by God than I could ever dare to dream.
When I am with Christ in the new creation, I will spend all of eternity growing deeper in the knowledge of God’s love for me. As for feelings of discouragement over my sins, they will be long forgotten!
Lastly, here’s a quote from a 17th century Puritan named Thomas Brooks, from his book “Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices.”
[Christians] being discouraged by their sins will cost them many a prayer, many a tear, and many a groan; and that because their discouragements under sin flow from ignorance and unbelief. It springs from their ignorance of the richness, freeness, fullness, and everlastingness of God’s love; and from their ignorance of the power, glory, sufficiency, and efficacy of the death and sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ; and from their ignorance of the worth, glory, fullness, largeness, and completeness of the righteousness of Jesus Christ; and from their ignorance of that real, close, spiritual, glorious, and inseparable union that is between Christ and their precious souls.