We give thanks.
We are forgiven.
For-given. Past tense.
We give thanks to God for we have been forgiven of all our sins.
When we come to God in repentance, we remember that we are utterly sinful and in desperate need of His forgiveness. He reminds us that His forgiveness has already been given.
Not just given, as we give gifts to each other, but paid for dearly through the pain and suffering, and torturous death of His only Son.
Jesus Christ suffered and died for our sins on the Cross.
It’s not a matter of bringing our latest breach of conduct before God and hoping that He will decide to forgive us – again.
We’ve already been forgiven.
“…take heart!” Jesus said to his disciples, on his last night with them. “I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Jesus assured his disciples of this, not after but before he went to the Cross. It was before he agonized in the garden and before he asked God to remove his cup of suffering, if possible.
He assured them of His Victory over sin and death before his last breath in agony, before he said, “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
In the same way we are forgiven, though we are still humbled, and deeply troubled at times, by our sinfulness.
When we give thanks to God for all that He has given us – His forgiveness and salvation in Jesus Christ – we rejoice! We rejoice in His great love, which we cannot begin to fathom. We rejoice in the peace that this great love gives us. We rejoice, and we give thanks, for the kind of love that has done all of this, for us.