God's Abundant Pardon
Isaiah 55

We were entirely ready to have God remove these defects of character.

People tell us to repent and stop thinking the way we do. Most of us would give anything to do this. If it were only that simple to put a stop to our obsessive thoughts! When we're starving emotionally, it's almost impossible to stop thinking about what has fed that hunger, even when we realize it doesn't satisfy.

People don't seem to understand. They may quote a verse like, "Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong" (Isaiah 55:7). But we think, How? My thoughts seem to be out of my control.

God does understand. He put that verse into the larger context of dealing with the hunger within our soul. He said, "Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food. Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. . . . Let them turn to the LORD that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously" (Isaiah 55:2-3, 7). The word translated generously can be understood to mean "in progressively increasing measure each time we come."

We need to fight our addictions on two fronts: dealing with the hunger deep inside us, and changing our thoughts of doing wrong. Neither battle is easily won; each requires our daily readiness for God to satisfy our hunger and remove our defects of character.

God not only forgives us, but also promises to satisfy the hunger we feel deep inside.