Proverbs Chapter 24, verse 16 is a favorite Scripture of mine.
It says: for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again…[NIV Bible] It’s a good thing that I don’t earn my own righteousness, because I fail to be righteous so often. In God’s eyes, you are made righteous by what you believe and have faith and trust in. Righteousness is a gift from God in response to our faith in Him as the One True God, and our belief that Jesus was the once and for all, perfect sacrifice for all of our sins.
Only God Himself is capable of forgiving our sins. God’s forgiveness is the foundation of freedom for us. It allows us to start again. It allows us to crawl out from under our mistakes and regrets and pain.
I love this Scripture because it tells me that I can still make it, I don’t have to give up. As sullied as I sometimes feel by the wrong things I do, I know God forgives. The love of God rehabilitates me.
There are times when I feel so fragile, I don’t know how to put myself together again. But God does know how to help me, and He does it even knowing that I will fall again. It is God Himself Who makes us rise again, by His power, not ours.
There is an old church hymn that really describes the hope that God gives in the lowest of low times. It is called, “Love Lifted Me.” We sang this song at my mother’s funeral, and it has always stayed with me. The words are simple and simply life changing.
It starts: I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore. Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more. But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry; from the waters lifted me, now safe am I!
And the chorus: Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, love lifted me! Love lifted me, love lifted me. When nothing else could help, love lifted me!