As another year ends, we reflect over all the good things we have done but it can also bring a reflection of maybe some of the bad things we have done. It happens that way sometimes where far too many of us can focus on the memories of our sins and it can weigh down on us like a burden even though we know that God’s forgiveness is granted. We know that God has forgiven our sins but for some reason, sometimes we just can’t accept that and we are overcome with guilt and shame; feelings that are not of God but of the enemy since we are told that there is no condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1). We do something bad and we think, “how could I have ever done something like that?” but I learnt that this is a form of pride; a refusal to accept that we aren’t perfect as human beings and THAT is why Christ came to die for us. He died for our sins because He knew we could never be perfect.
I asked God, “do I serve God or my feelings?” Because sometimes when I ask God for forgiveness, I don’t accept that forgiveness straight away but rather I waste time feeling guilty and moping around! So many of us struggle with guilt and condemnation but Jesus has already made it right! At this time of the year; the Christmas and New Year, it’s just the perfect time to reflect and create in us a renewed heart. A perfect time to acknowledge God’s birth and the redeeming promise it brings. But I’m beginning to learn and accept that whether or not I feel forgiven, I’m forgiven.
STEP 5: LEARN TO ACCEPT GOD’S FORGIVENESS.
Guilt and condemnation, I’ve learnt are just feelings. Why? Because if we really know God’s word, no matter how we feel, we can speak those scriptures of truth over our lives and those feelings will start to lose authority. For example, 1 John 1:9 says that if we repent and confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us. So now whenever I’m asking God for forgiveness and I still feel guilty afterward, I open my mouth and shout out loud, “God forgave me!!” I’m declaring the truth God has given me and allowing it to renew my mind and stand firm! We can’t allow the devil to whisper things to us that aren’t true and make us believe we are something we aren’t. As Christians we need to understand 100% why Jesus died for us and that is the game changer.
I think I started to learn as well that a huge part of not feeling guilt and condemnation is knowing your identity in Christ. I started to learn that if I know who I am in Christ and I choose to grow, I will have a lot less trouble fighting guilt and condemnation. I didn’t want to wake up every day and just live my life based on how I felt but rather to know that God loves me no matter what and that I don’t have to let my feelings dictate my life. If we ask for forgiveness genuinely and sincerely, then that forgiveness is assured. It doesn’t mean that we won’t face consequences – sometimes our inner turmoil can be our consequence however God’s grace – His unmerited favour – is why we celebrate Him and his faithfulness.
I saw a quote that said, sometimes God will save us from situations we created ourselves and won’t even hold it against us. Now isn’t that a merciful and graceful God?