What comes to mind when you read that word? Worry? Anxiety? Guilt? Shame? Or do you see conviction as a marvelous and merciful work of our gracious Savior?
When you sin, you are choosing to worship something other than God. This puts something in between you and your relationship with God, and it is important to remember that none of us are deserving of God drawing us back to Him. Because of our sin, we are all deserving of hell; and our perfect, holy God has every right to allow us to remain in our sin, separated from Him. But praise the Lord that we serve a God Who brings conviction of our sins!
God’s work of conviction in our lives brings us to repentance and a right relationship with Him, and this is a powerful work of grace! Psalm 103:8-12 proclaims, “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will He keep His anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.” Now THAT’S grace! God doesn’t just let us wander from our walk with Him, but rather He chooses to bring conviction in order to get us back on the right road -the road to to Him! – and this is far more than we deserve!
One of our interns shared with us a great example of God’s work of gracious conviction in her life. Timea shared, “When I sit down in class at Vision of Hope, or observe a counseling session, I am especially reminded of God’s grace. I have rarely sat in on a class or a counseling session when I left without a number of personal applications and areas to grow. So often I forget that I’m working and I just soak in all of whatever is being taught. It is so humbling for me as I have seen time and time again how much I am unlike Jesus and how sinful I am. There are many days when I leave my shift and just have to go and pray and repent and ask God for help. Yet, somehow God is using me here at Vision of Hope and to accomplish His purposes! When I sit it in on classes and in counseling and see my sin, I KNOW that it is God’s grace that I am being used by Him.”
So, the next time you feel conviction of sin in your life, remember that it is a grace work of Christ that draws you to Him! Consider this week how God may be working through conviction in your life, and take action to respond to His grace and return to His loving arms!