Using Psalm 32:1-11

For a model or template for Repentance

Psalm 32:1-11



Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.

Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.

Verses 1-2 – Objective Justification.

This is what God has done for the whole world.  This is the blessing of God’s forgiveness because of Jesus and His death and resurrection for us and for all the world. II Corinthians 5:19

  • What has God done for the whole world that makes us blessed?
  • Who did he do this blessed work through? How was it done?
  • What does it mean for me?

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.

For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.[b]

Verses 3-4 – Contrition.

God’s Law is proclaimed and every human feels the weight and guilt of his or her sin upon them.  We know we have sinned and we feel that we are not God’s children because of our sin.

  • How do these words describing sin and guilt describe me?
  • How have I been feeling that God’s hand has been heavy on me?

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.

Verse 5a – Contrition leads to confession.

“I am guilty before you, O Lord.  Forgive me.”

Verse 5b – God’s absolution.

Our sins are forgiven because of Christ.

  • What are my specific sins that I need to confess to God?
  • Through whom did God do this act of forgiving? How does I John 1:7 to 2:2 comfort me?

Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them.

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Verses 6-7 – Fruits of Repentance:

  • Confidence to pray
  • Trust in God’s protection
  • Assurance of deliverance

Confidence that I am God’s precious child.

  • Knowing that I am a forgiven child of God, what confidence and trust do I have in this troubled world?

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Verse 8a – Fruits of Repentance.

God’s Law acts like a guide for our life

Verse 8b – God’s Word is His guide of love for us.

  • Thankful for God’s forgiveness, where can I find help to change my sinful life and serve my God of love?

Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.

Verse 9 – Encouragement to react to God’s guidance in our life through His Law with love and not reluctantly, as if we were forced to do something we do not want to do.

  • What is my attitude as I seek to change my life and serve God?

10 Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.

Verse 10a – The wicked are filled with woe.

They have no hope in God.

Verse 10b – Trust in the Lord.

His love is unfailing and it surrounds you.

  • What assurance does the fact of God’s unfailing love that surrounds me give me?

11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!

Verse 11 – The joy of Christian living.

Praising God with righteous living and songs of praise.

  • What are ways for me to praise God for His love?

*From the writings of Rev. Alan Siggelkow. Please cite if including this resource elsewhere. 

The above exercise has greater benefit when working with a Christian therapist, your pastor, or a fellow Christian. Interaction and accountability with another person who can provide understanding and encouragement is reinforced in therapy sessions.

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