Hosea / chapter 7 (read the chapter)
This chapter of Hosea opens with a sobering reminder: “Whenever I would heal Israel, the sins of Ephraim are exposed and the crimes of Samaria revealed. They practice deceit, thieves break into houses, bandits rob in the streets; but they do not realize that I remember all their evil deeds. Their sins engulf them; they are always before me.” (vs 1-2)
We’ve all struggled with sin in our lives. We all do things we don’t want to do—even when we’re in the act of doing them! And we all don’t do things that we want (and know we need) to do. To top it all off, what fuels the continual struggle with sinful behavior sin our lives is the Sin we also struggle with—that seemingly-all-pervasive, stubborn independence, that pride that just doesn’t want to submit to anyone or anything.
As we struggle, often, it’s easy to forget that God knows and sees it all. He knows about all the lying, stealing, cheating, and hating. He knows about the greed and indifference. He knows about the addictions, the passions, and the lusts that sometimes overwhelm and overtake us, leaving us feeling helpless to do anything at all.
Sometimes, because no other human being knows about our secret sin, we forget that God knows all about it. And we continue right on with what we’re doing, forgetting that He is right beside us every moment, wishing we would turn to Him for help.
Oh, yes. For when we feel helpless to do anything about our sin struggles, this is what God says, “Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light.” (Matt 11:28-30)
God not only knows all the bad stuff, He wants to take the burden of it off our shoulders! He wants us to surrender to Him, to give Him every struggle we have, and to trust that He will heal us. This was the problem with Israel—not that they struggled with sin, but they refused the remedy! “Israel’s arrogance testifies against him, but despite all this he does not return to the Lord his God or search for him.” (vs 10)
You belong to God, and that’s why nothing you do or don’t do will ever change His love for you. Sure, He knows all the bad stuff, but that doesn’t make Him love you less. And surrendering to Him isn’t going to make Him love you more; it will only allow Him to heal you, which is what He’s wanted to do from the beginning.
So don’t worry.
You are fully known, fully accepted, and fully loved.
And if you let God have His way with you, you will also be fully healed.