Devotion for March 8
By Bryan Chapell

You, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. (Psalm 3:3-4 NIV)

The summer after his junior year of college, a young man I knew had an experience that left him reeling. Though he was planning to become a doctor, a racist slight caused him to drive away from an accident where he could have provided needed care.

The uncharacteristic moment of rage haunted him. The singular, unplanned act left him in agonizing despair. Deep down in his heart he believed his failure may have cost a life, betrayed his aspirations, and deserved to disqualify him from medicine. 

He lost hope in his future because he believed he could not be free of his past. His daily countenance changed as he hung his head in unrelenting guilt for his inexcusable sin. 

Believers should understand the guilt but refuse to live in such despair. The Bible says that the Lord “is the One who lifts my head high.” He takes no delight in bowing you before the regrets of your past.

You may feel guilty – and there may well be realistic consequences for sin – but remember that God is with you and Christ’s grace frees you from condemnation. Jesus Christ paid the penalty for all your sins! Lift your head!

Lord, I’m thankful that I don’t have to despair over my past but rather can rejoice in your forgiveness through Christ. Lift my head with the assurance of your grace. 

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