Week 5 – Day 3 The Stress of Sin

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Focus: harboring unconfessed sin can cause much stress

Scripture: Prayerfully read Psalm 32. Thank the Father for forgiving all of your sins.

OUT OF FELLOWSHIP

Donna often recalls the unrest she experienced several years ago. She remembers the day she went to her doctor because of shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and other physical discomforts. After an examination, her doctor asked “Are you under some kind of stress?”

Donna was suffering from the weight of unconfessed sin in her life. She didn’t admit it at the time, but she now realizes that being out of harmony with God affected her emotionally, mentally and physically. God has used this experience to allow her to help others recognize the damaging effects of unconfessed sin.

We have discussed the importance of taking care of yourself physically. Not attending to your physical needs can contribute to unwanted stress in your life. A complacent attitude toward sinful behavior can also lead to stress overload.

Consider some damaging effects of unconfessed sin. Circle those you or someone you know has experienced.

Sleeplessness lack of energy inability to focus

Loss of appetite racing pulse restlessness

Loss of joy physical aches lack of interest in things

Withdrawal from people distraction other_____________

David knew the agony of unconfessed sin (see Psalm 32:3-4). Before giving his sin to God, he experienced a spiritual drought and heaviness. God does not want you to settle for anything less than a full abundant life with Him. “I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance” John 10:10.

When we are involved in personal sin, God will allow us to experience great physical, emotional and mental discomfort. Discomfort is part of the refining process, drawing our wayward hearts back to Him. He is always working out His plan for our lives and its consistently leading us to the place of contentment and joy in His presence.

RATIONALIZING SINS

Not until Donna’s doctor asked if she were under some type of stress, did Donna come to terms with a particular sin area in her life. Prior to the doctor’s question, she had shrugged off her sin as no big deal.

Unconfessed sin creates a barrier between you and God. Since the fall in the Garden of Eden, sin has been a reality for all of God’s children. To rationalize sin and deny its existence in your life is to deny the truth of Scripture. “If we say “we have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).

Therefore, we need to acknowledge the reality of sin and the need to confess. We don’t have to live with the burden of unconfessed sin. God has promised to completely forgive us and restore our joy. “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Physical suffering is not always indicative of unconfessed sin our lives, and many other cause lead to sickness. However, since we are focusing on things that cause us to be frazzled and stressed, we need to take a look at the unconfessed sin issue.

In Psalm 32:3-4 David describe what he experienced before he acknowledged his sin. Have you experience that kind of anguish? Yes or not, if yes explain how this event brought you closer to God.

Feeling of sadness, guilt, anger, embarrassment, shame and despair are experiences as consequences of sin. God does not desire that you stay in one place of hurt, but he will allow you to experience these emotions to bring you to repentance. You may need to repent of an attitude or a behavior or even a lifestyle that is displeasing to Him. God will not allow you to experience His peace if you are living out of His will.

GOD’S FORGIVINGNESS IS COMPLETE

As I read David’s words in Psalm 32:5, I can almost feel the physical breaking of chains. I sense a weight lifted and a burden dropped. David’s words point to the joy we experience when we come clean before the Lord.

“Then I acknowledged my sin to You, and did not cover up my inutility I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord” – and you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:5)

Spend a few moments praying, asking God to reveal any area in your life that is causing a barrier between you and Him. Ask Him what you need to do. Commit to be obedient and accept His instruction. Make notes of what actions you think He’s calling you to take.

What is God revealing to you today?

As you close today’s study, start your prayer time with this prayer

Dear Father, Thank you for loving me. Search my heart. Reveal any attitude, thought or behavior that is not pleasing to You. Give me the desire to live in obedience to You in every way. Be my strength, Lord I love You.

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