And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
Read Genesis 4:9-15
A question was once posed about whether a person can have unprofitable
convictions. It is always profitable when a person is convicted of his sin because
it is the Holy Spirit’s work, isn’t it? Not necessarily. We see this in the
life of Cain, who slew his brother. When God called him to give an account,
Cain could not evade God’s awareness of his misdeed. However, he was not
brought to a true confession of his guilt. Consequently, he did not pray the
prayer of the publican, “God, be merciful to me a sinner.” (Luke 18:13)
Cain commits the same mistake which Pharaoh of Egypt (Exodus 10:16) and
Judas, the Lord’s betrayer (Matthew 27:4), would become guilty of. In all of
these cases, individuals do speak about their sin. However, their guilt did
not compel them to turn to the Lord; on the contrary, it caused them to turn
farther away from Him.
In a similar way, the devil may try to convince you of the greatness of your
sin to make you despair. You may begin to think there is no use in praying,
and that it is not worth the effort to struggle against sin—it is pointless.
However, the Holy Spirit convinces us of our lost condition and our guilt in
a completely different way. When He convicts us, He does not make us despondent,
but He awakens hope. This hope inclines us to call on the Lord in
spite of our sinful lives. We may use the promise stated in Psalm 130, “But
there is forgiveness with thee that thou mayest be feared.” There is always a
way back to God, for Jesus sake.
Thought: The devil always exaggerates the desirability of sin at first and
minimizes it after you have committed it.
Psalter 83:2 (based on Psalm 32)
While I kept guilty silence My strength was spent with grief,
Thy hand was heavy on me, My soul found no relief;
But when I owned my trespass, My sin hid not from Thee,
When I confessed transgression, Then Thou forgavest me.