In that day you will say: “I will praise you, LORD. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me.”
Comfort in Place of Punishment
Kaitlin knew her father was going to be furious. She could picture him fuming at home, ready to yell at her the moment she returned. After scraping the side of the car on a pillar in a parking garage at the mall, Kaitlin texted a picture of the damage with the caption: “Just a small scratch, Daddy! Don’t be mad!!!” followed by a row of crying emojis. A long minute later a single text returned: “GET HOME NOW!!”
As she meekly stepped through the garage door at home, Kaitlin braced for the coming onslaught—the lecture about how careless she had been, how much it would cost to fix it, how many weeks she would be grounded. She looked up at her father and could see the anger and disappointment in his eyes. It wasn’t just a small scratch after all. And then came the flood of tears. “I’m sorry, Daddy. I’ll be more careful next time, I promise!” She just couldn’t stop crying.
The next thing she knew, her father was standing next to her with his arm around her shoulders. “It’s okay, honey,” he said in a calming voice. “It’s alright. I’m just glad you’re okay.”
Like Kaitlin, you and I have angered our Father—our heavenly Father. We may claim our sin was an accident, that we didn’t mean to do it, but all too often we knew exactly what we were doing. Sometimes our careless, selfish choices have made wrecks of our lives—causing needless pain for ourselves and others. We know that our Maker has every reason to be angry with us.
But God’s anger has been deflected through the sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ, who bore the weight of our punishment on the cross. Your debt has been paid in full. Now the Lord comes to you and wipes away your tears of repentance. He wants to comfort you with the good news of his grace and mercy. Listen to his assurances of forgiveness and rejoice in his never-failing love.
Loving Father, I know I have angered you with my sin. Thank you for comforting me with your forgiveness. Amen.