The Amplified Bible says it this way, “Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but he who trust in and relies on the Lord shall be surrounded with compassion and lovingkindness.” The image with the quote is from the New English Translation which uses a different phrasing, “An evil person suffers much pain, but the Lord’s faithfulness overwhelms the one who trusts in Him.”
Both are wonderful wordings of Scripture, however, it was the latter usage of the word overwhelms which caught my attention this morning. According to Dictionary.com, there are multiple definitions for the word overwhelm, and most are used to describe negative situations. However, in this scripture, the word overwhelm can be defined as to “load, heap, treat, or address with an overpowering or excessive amount of anything.” This scripture, from Psalm 32, was written by David and if read holistically is speaking of the joy of being forgiven when we confess our sin. David talks about how “his whole body wasted away” or in the NIV he says, “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.” He writes a few verses later that when [he] acknowledged [his] sin to [God] and did not cover up [his] iniquity and he confessed [his] transgressions to the Lord that the Lord forgave the guilt of [his] sin. David knew what it was like to be guilty of sin and he also knew what it was like to be forgiven. In verse 11 he writes, “Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!”
Paul quotes from this Psalm when he was writing to the Christians in Rome. Romans 4:7-8 says:
Blessed and happy and favored are those whose lawless acts have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered up and completely buried. Blessed and happy and favored is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account nor charge against him.
Paul is writing to the gentile Christians in Rome, and in chapter four he has included the words of David. Paul when writing to the Roman Christians, is confirming who Jesus is, and what He has accomplished on the cross. Chapter four, is about our righteousness in Christ Jesus through faith not of works and he is using the faith of Abraham to make it make his point. Consequently, as Christians, we can be certain that when we trust and rely on Him that the Lord Himself, will encompass, and form an enclosure around us; He will heap, load, treat or address us with an overpowering or excessive amount of compassion, lovingkindness, faithfulness and unfailing love. From the Old Testament to the New, as Christians, we can be certain that our sin ~ upon confession ~ is forgiven ~completely.
That, Brother and Sisters, is a beautiful thing to understand.