“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” -Isaiah 40:1-2

Isaiah Chapter 40 is God’s word during the Advent season. It says comfort, comfort my people, and let them know that their hard work has been recognized, their sins have been forgiven, and I will even give them a double portion of grace! God gave them twice of what they needed to atone for their evil. That double portion, the cross of Jesus Christ, is supposed to instill in us a confidence, rest, and an inner peace that no one else can give us. But when many of us reflect on the cross, we don’t feel peace or rest–we feel guilt. Although guilt can be a good thing when it leads us to God and repentance, excessive guilt can rob us of life and power. Ironically, it can drive us to do wrong rather than right. When you feel burdened by guilt and shame, you may turn to other sins. You may feel like you’re already low, so you’re going to stay low. But you don’t deserve to feel guilty. You are loved by God. Let him break your chains so you can feel good and be good. You are worthy of the cross of Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Thank you, God, for giving me double what I deserve, Not just one helping of grace—but two. Please help me to accept your grace without feeling guilty.

REFLECTION: Do you feel like your guilt consumes you? Do you repent but continue to feel guilty? Or do you accept God’s grace?

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