August 12: “The Happiness of a Clean Heart”

7 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Nehemiah 3:15-5:13
1 Corinthians 7:25-40
Psalm 32:1-11
Proverbs 21:5-7

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

Psalm 32:1-5 (NLT): “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Interlude. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.”

Reflections from Scripture:

Psalm 32 is ruggedly transparent. And because this is the case, it is incredibly beneficial to us!

Psalm 32:1-2 talks about the happiness that is to be enjoyed by someone who is forgiven. The clear implication is that a grievous sin has been committed.

When we read Psalm 32:3-5, we hear words filled with emotion. The Psalmist informs us of what it is like to live with unconfessed, unresolved sin. He knows that what he has done is wrong, but he hasn’t yet made it right. And it is eating him up on the inside. He is guilt-ridden. His conscience lights up the dashboard of his heart, and his mind warns him that the problem needs to be remedied.

Psalm 32:5, however, tells us how it was resolved. “Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.”

It has been said, “Confession is good for the soul.”

We know this all too well. We understand what it is like to wrestle with the pangs of guilt. We also know what it is like for the weight to be lifted when we confess our sin.

Once again, we realize that God’s ways are best. When He tells us not to disobey His commands, it is for our own good. And when He calls us to confess our wrongdoing to make it right (1 John 1:9), it is also for our good.

So, friend, is there anything that you need to make right with God? With someone else? Why not commit today to resolve that issue so that you can join in with the Psalmist as you get your joy back…

Psalm 32:11 (NLT): “So rejoice in the LORD and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!”

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, I want to obey You and enjoy You. But I know that I stray into disobedience and lose my joy and clear conscience all too often. Help me feel the weight of disobedience and sin and increase my desire for the happiness in You that I can have when I live in obedience. Finally, if there is any unconfessed sin in my life, help me make it right as soon as possible. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Fernando Brasil on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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