If You, Lord, kept a record of sins,
who could stand?
5 Best Psalms for Forgiveness
One of the most important themes throughout the Bible is forgiveness. It is so important in fact, that we are warned if we do not forgive others, we ourselves will not be forgiven: “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” –Matt. 6:14-15. Forgiveness by God and for others is not only incredibly important, it is required.
Perhaps what is most important to understand about forgiveness is that it is spiritual Law. A prerequisite. And, it is also a spiritual blessing. It quadruples as a supernatural act of humility, love, grace and mercy. Four vitally important virtues that return major dividends in our lives.
If you are struggling to forgive someone today or if you have been wrestling with whether or not God forgives you, prayerfully read over these 5 Best Psalms for Forgiveness. Prayerfully reflect on the psalmist’s pleas for grace and the Lord’s subsequent response of unfathomable mercy. If it is possible, be somewhere quiet as you pray. Listen for the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit. Remember that even though forgiveness is not usually easy, it is always worth it. Forgiveness by God and for others leads to true freedom!
5 Best Psalms for Forgiveness
11 For the sake of Your Name, Lord,
forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
20 Guard my life and rescue me;
do not let me be put to shame,
for I take refuge in You [alone].
21 May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope, Lord, is in You.
Sometimes, the wrongs we do seem too big, too bad, or too frequent for God to forgive. The psalmist David, overcome with guilt, implored the Lord to forgive his iniquity and wickedness “though it is great.” David knew that God did not have to forgive him. He did not deserve the Lord’s forgiveness, and he knew that apart from God’s forgiveness he was nothing. All his hope was in God alone. But David had the courage to ask the Lord for forgiveness because he knew there was nothing “too big, too bad, or too frequent” for God to forgive. Nothing could separate him from the love of his Father.
The same loving and forgiving God of David is the same God of ours today. Through prayerful repentance like David’s we, too, are made right with God again. In that we can always be sure. God forgives a repentant and humble spirit because He is a good and merciful father. The next time your heart is heavy with guilt, read Psalm 25 and be reminded of how good, loving and forgiving your Heavenly Father is.
3 If You, Lord, kept a record of sins,
who could stand?
4 But with You there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve You.
When we earnestly seek forgiveness, we make our way back into alignment with God. In so doing, we must stand reverently before Him and honestly vow to turn away from future sin. Psalm 130 reminds us that when God forgives, He offers not just forgiveness but His love in return. This is great news because it means that instead of fleeing from Him, frightened and ashamed of what we’ve done, we can stand before Him knowing that His great mercy will set us free.
9 Hide Your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast Spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from Your presence
or take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Psalm 51 is one of the most famous psalms of forgiveness. It is often quoted to show the depth of our human sin, subsequent guilt, and the need for repentance. As you read over King David’s pleas for forgiveness, reflect on God’s love, mercy and forgiveness for all mankind. Then think about what He expects from you. Is there someone you are having difficulty forgiving? Reflect on all the times the good Lord has forgiven you. Then work on forgiving the person who, through their weakness, has hurt you.
1 Blessed is the one
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord does not count against them
and in whose Spirit is no deceit.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
my transgressions to the Lord.”
And You forgave
the guilt of my sin.
Psalm 32 focuses on the stark comparison between the torment of guilt of sin and the mercy and joy found in the forgiveness of God. The sin of unforgiveness eats away at our soul and serves as the perfect gateway to further sin. But when we seek forgiveness from the Lord and forgive others, the Lord’s redemption is in full and we are then restored (see Isaiah 1:18).
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will He harbor His anger forever;
10 He does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the Heavens are above the earth,
so great is His love for those who fear Him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
The primary focus of Psalm 103 is to glorify the Lord for His mercy and forgiveness toward us. When we truly acknowledge how patient and forgiving the Lord has been with us, it makes it easier for us to forgive others. If a perfect, Holy and just God can forgive repeat-offending sinners like us, it only seems fair to honor Him by forgiving those who have trespassed against us (see: The Lords Prayer).
Prayerfully reflecting on these 5 Best Psalms of forgiveness is a great way to understand how to repent, find your way back to full restoration and in right relationship with God, and open your heart and forgive others. There is absolutely nothing more important, more comforting or more rewarding than this.
“Lord Jesus, Thank You for Your unwavering and endless love and forgiveness. Thank You also for teaching us how to forgive and the strength to forgive those who have hurt us. We love You so much. Forever and ever Amen.“
The Book of Psalms is filled to the brim with cries of anguish. Desperate pleas for God’s forgiveness and mercy. All of which, upon repentance, He graciously extends. So now it is our turn. The good news is that when we allow Christ to truly reign in our hearts, minds and lives, we will be able to forgive those who have offended us. It won’t be done in our own strength, but through Christ’s.
Today, take a moment with God to repent of your sins. Ask Him earnestly and humbly to forgive all your shortcomings, and to help you forgive those you struggle with. His desire for forgiveness is so great that He sacrificed His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, so that all of us could be redeemed. No matter what has happened in the past, God is with you today. Invite Him in and, through forgiveness, prepare to be fully restored.