Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. (Psalm 32:2 niv)
To receive forgiveness, we must be absolutely honest with God—not covering up or excusing our sins or holding anything back. Referring to when he was found guilty of committing adultery and murder in the matter of Bathsheba, David continued in his psalm,
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”—and you forgave the guilt of my sin. (verses 3–5 niv)
Like many people, David refused to admit his sin and tried to pretend it never happened, covering it up. But all the time he was like a man with a burning fever. His “strength was sapped” and his “bones wasted away.” Unforgiven sin can produce physical results.
A psychiatrist related this story to me. While visiting a hospital, he met a woman who was in a hopeless condition. Her kidneys had ceased to function, her skin was discolored, and she was in a coma, simply waiting to die. One day, he was prompted by the Holy Spirit to say, “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I remit your sins,” later wondering if he had done something foolish. About a week later, he was amazed to see the woman walking down the street—completely healed. Unforgiven sin had caused her physical condition. When her sins were forgiven through this man’s intercession, her spirit was clear with God and the way was open for her to be healed.