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Forgiveness and Happiness

Knowing that we are truly forgiven should naturally give rise to real joy and genuine happiness. When forgiveness is real, having been secured by those contrite sinners who have thrown themselves on the grace and mercy of our forgiving God (who has paid the ultimate price in redeeming us from the penalty of our sins) then they should encourage their hearts to rejoice in the good fortune of this amazing transaction. David wrote these seemingly obvious lyrics for Israel and the church to echo throughout the centuries: “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him” (Ps.32:1-2). The word “blessed” translates the familiar Hebrew word “asher” – the name given to Jacob’s eighth son in response to Leah’s delight over his birth. The word “asher” means “happy” – the joyful or jubilant disposition of someone who has become the recipient of something good. Amid the domestic politics of the patriarchal drama of Genesis 30, Leah could not contain her joy at the arrival of the newborn son. Their little “Asher” had brought her profound “asherness!” That was certainly good for her, but nothing could be better for us than having our list of damning sins accusing us as sinners being totally and completely erased! Praise God, with great joy, that the transgressions which should assault you on Judgment Day are not and will not be counted against you. Rejoice afresh in the “covering” of your sins by God himself. Tell your heart to be glad that you will never know the dread of being condemned before your Creator. Do something today that expresses and reflects the happiness of a forgiven life!

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