Rest in God’s Forgiveness
Some say they can’t seem to “forgive themselves;” but they misunderstand the extent of God’s forgiveness. Forgiving ourselves is a controversial point, sometimes shared by well-meaning counselors in order to help people dispense of their regrets. But this isn’t ultimately helpful, because forgiving ourselves relies on our changing emotions.
The Bible, in fact, never speaks of forgiving ourselves. We are told to forgive others because we are forgiven; but regarding ourselves, we are instructed to take our sins directly to God and ask for His forgiveness, trusting Him as our Savior and Lord. If we confess our sins, He is faithful; He will forgive and cleanse us from every sin. He has already paid for every sin, and it is foolish and a lack of faith on our part to not appropriate that payment.
Jesus is our sacrifice for sin. There is no offering we can bring to Him—no amount of personal remorse—that can adequately cover our sin. “Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”
Lingering in regrets once we have confessed our sin is playing into our enemy’s hands. Satan is the accuser of believers, and loves to watch us squirm in past sins. The devil says, “If you feel guilty, you are.” That’s a lie!
The Bible says God “remembers our sins no more.” He is not a forgetful God, but He chooses to not ever bring up our sin to Himself or to us or to anyone! No matter our feelings, we need to claim that truth and rest in the Lord’s marvelous forgiveness.
We need to change the channel in our mind that constantly accuses us and tune in instead to God’s restful channel of peace.
As John MacArthur says, “Our sins are forgiven, rebellion ceases, the war is over, and we have peace with God.” (Romans 5:1; Colossians 1:20-22).
There’s really only one time it’s good to remember our past sins—when they remind us of God’s good grace, and enable us to forgive others’ offenses from the heart.
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