“Many are the sorrows of the wicked, But he who trusts in the LORD, lovingkindness shall surround him. Be glad in the LORD and rejoice you righteous ones; And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.” (Psalm 32:10-11)

Bad decisions, especially those that are caused by our selfishness and that result in others’ pain, create tremendous stress. If we don’t turn to God quickly, we can multiply our sorrows with outbursts of anger when others point out our faults, with lies as we try to cover them up, and ruined relationships because people cant trust us.

God doesn’t demand perfection from us, just honesty. This beautiful psalm is King David’s confession of sin. He bluntly describes the pain and anguish he endured when he kept silent about his sin, but when he embraced God’s forgiveness, he experienced cleansing and hope. Perhaps as much as anyone who ever lived, King David had good reason to be grateful for God’s lavish mercy.

Thankfulness is one of the chief characteristics of a person who walks with God. We can be thankful for all manner of things; our homes, our health, our family and friends, and countless other blessings. But if we’re honest about the darkness in our hearts, perhaps one blessing stands out above the rest; the infinite mercy of God.

We cant attain upright hearts by self-effort. Having a clean and pure heart comes only from the kindness of God to look at the worst of our sins and choose to forgive us. It’s enough to make us shout for joy.