I've been studying Isaiah in Bible Study Felllowship this year. Yesterday was our last class. It was Sharing Day.It is a time to give women the opportunity to share what God has been doing for them through this study. I shared about how God has been opening my eyes to His grace.
When I read Isaiah 53 again this year, the enormity of what Jesus did for me on the cross washed over me in a whole new way. "But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquity, the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed".
I've known that. I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was 9 years old. But I haven't lived as if I was forgiven. I haven't lived as if I was innocent. I haven't felt innocent since I was 5 years old, before the boys next door sexually abused me.
God is showing me more about His grace this year. Because of Jesus' blood shed on the cross for my sins, I am not just forgiven, but I am declared innocent. Isaiah 54:4 says "You will no longer remember the shame of your youth". God doesn't remember it and I don't have to remember it.
I've lived my life trying to be good enough for God to love, but always failing. I've let the thorns of shame, guilt, condemnation and fear define my life. Isaiah 55:13 says "Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow".
It's all about Jesus and God's free gift of grace. He's helping me to understand that regardless of my past "I can be a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor", Isaiah 61:3.
God is showing me, from Isaiah 62:4, that I no longer have to be called Forsaken and Desolate, but I can be called God's Delight and the Bride of God-the innocent Bride of God.