When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy on me; my strength was drained as in the summer’s heat. [Selah] Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not conceal my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and You took away the guilt of my sin. – Psalm 32:3-5
If Psalm 51 is King David’s prayer of confession, then Psalm 32 must be considered God’s answer to that prayer. In these few simple lines, David accurately conveys the agony of unconfessed sin as it is experienced within the heart of one who truly loves the Lord closely followed by the sweet relief this same person experiences when that agony is lifted through confession and repentance.
While we often thank God for His forgiveness, perhaps we should also take a moment and thank Him for the agony of conviction. As unpleasant as it may be, its absence would leave us in our rebellion and promote even greater destruction than previously considered possible. Such is the grace of sweet, agonizing conviction.
The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works. – Augustine