Pure Worship

This week’s devotions focus on releasing our misplaced sources of hope.

At a church event, we were seeking to learn how to release the guilt of confessed sin, since so many people seem to continue to deal with guilt over sins from way back in the past – sins that have already been confessed and forgiven by our gracious God. Everyone was asked to write down the sin guilt that still haunted them – and after lifting up a prayer together for God’s blessing as we released the guilt, a praise team began singing and we each silently went to the front of the room, surrendered our guilt to a humming cross-cut shredder, and then went back to our seats. The room became a community of tears, relief, joy – and pure worship.

That’s what we should experience when we release our misplaced sources of hope and plant our hope firmly in the promises of Jesus Christ. So… we may need to do something concrete to open the window for those misplaced sources of hope to make their exit.

The process might begin with the act of writing down on paper (not on a computer) what the lesser thing or things might be. After looking at that piece of paper and letting it soak into your brain that those are misplaced sources of hope, it is time to write a prayer asking God to forgive you for misaligning your hope, to help you release that source of hope to His care, and to guide you to make room for your hope in Christ. Take your time writing that prayer to be sure you’re saying exactly what you want to say – keep working on it until you’re satisfied with it. And then pray your prayer – more than once – perhaps over and over – as often as necessary -- until you sense release and freedom in your soul.

After that, feel free to shred it, burn it safely, or perhaps frame it as a reminder of how easily we can be sidelined by placing our hope in anything or anyone other than Christ. 

Let’s find comfort in the words of the psalmist: As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12)

Let’s also embrace the fresh start that comes with releasing those things in which we formerly placed our hope. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Praise be to God for making us aware of our sin, forgiving our sinful ways, and gracing us with fresh starts!

By Judy Shrout

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