By Dawson McAllister
I desperately need your help with a problem. I was saved four years ago, and I’ve tried to live a Christian life. I have messed up a lot, but every time I’ve asked God to forgive me. And then I’m happy again because I know He forgives.
But here lately it seems like I’m constantly feeling guilty about things I’ve done. I’ve even started feeling guilty about things I’m not even sure if I’ve done. I’ve asked God to forgive me if I did do something wrong, but I still feel guilty. I want the joy back that I first experienced when I first became a Christian. Why do I feel guilty?
You are being honest about a difficult subject, Jennifer. I talk to thousands of students, and I know many of them feel the same way you are feeling. Your openness can help them.
You understand what guilt is, but I don’t believe you fully grasp the greatness of God’s forgiveness. I want you to understand that when you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, God promised that He would never stop forgiving you, no matter what you do wrong.
But don’t take my word. Look at God’s words in 1 John 1:7,
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
That means God continues to purify us even while we are trying, as you are, to live the Christian life. He does that through the blood of Jesus Christ, the blood which saved you forever four years ago.
But you must also remember, Jennifer, that while God wants you to know you are forgiven, Satan wants you to feel guilty. Satan, the prince of darkness, knows your feelings of guilt keep you (in your mind) separated from God.
The Book of Revelation calls Satan the deceiver of the whole world. And in Revelation 12:10, he is called the “accuser of our brothers.” However, while Satan tries to accuse you and make you feel guilty, God declares that you are as pure as Jesus Christ. God said that we are completely forgiven because Jesus paid the penalty for our sins when He died on the cross.
“He has done this through the death on the cross of His own human body, and now as a result Christ has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are standing before Him with nothing left against you—nothing left that He could even chide you for” (Col 1:22, TLB).
So you see, God has done a truly awesome thing. Because you have believed in Christ and accepted what He did for you, God sees you as completely pure and holy, without any faults. And finally, Jennifer, I sense that a lot of what you believe about yourself and about God is based on your feelings are easily changed. The weather can affect your feelings.
But nothing can change the facts in God’s Word. And there is where you have to put you faith—in the facts revealed in the Bible and not in your feelings.
So when you have feelings of guilt when there’s no basis for that guilt, go back to the facts. Those facts tell you that you are loved by God, completely pure and holy through Jesus Christ and constantly cleansed by the Heavenly Father. Bank on those facts, Jennifer.