Worried God Won’t Forgive You
Do you worry God won’t forgive you if you keep making the same mistake? That’s how I felt, and then two words changed my heart, and that fear slipped away.
So what were those words? Devine Mercy. It's where you'll find forgiveness and love that could only come from God.
Devine Mercy-The Key to Forgiving Yourself
What is Divine Mercy? Wikipedia describes it as a form of God's compassion, an act of grace based on trust or forgiveness.
Do you notice who isn't mentioned in that definition? Me and you. It speaks to God's compassion and God's grace, not our own. It does not indicate something we need to do to be forgiven by God. It's His compassion and His Grace that offers us that forgiveness.
If God's forgiveness isn't something we earn, why do we struggle to accept it?
Struggling to Accept God’s Forgiveness
For years after my mom died, I carried around the guilt of not having helped her in a more loving and kind way. She had a wound on the bottom of her foot that required frequent bandage changes. My sister and I would take turns. There were times when I would rush in and rush out of her home, not because I was in a hurry but because I wanted her to see how much of an inconvenience I thought it was. I love my mom, and I know she knew that, but I regret not always helping her from a loving and generous heart.
Over the years, I would pray for Jesus to forgive me, and once, I even went to confession. At the end of my confession, the priest said I was absolved of all my sins. So why didn't I feel better?
It was because I felt I needed to do something to make up for it. And how could I if my mom had passed away?
But lucky for me and you, “proving” we’ve changed isn't a requirement of God's forgiveness.
God's Forgiveness Isn't Something We Earn
Our desire to prove we deserve God's forgiveness is why we don't feel relief when we apologize, and it's why sometimes we are reminded of what we did wrong when we least expect it.
We carry around this idea that we're not worthy enough to be forgiven.
But what I've stumbled on is that forgiveness comes from Jesus. It's about who He is and His great love for us. He came down to save us from our sins. He didn't come down after we were made perfect by ourselves and what we did. He came down as we were sinners and forgave us. He doesn't want us to be left behind.
-Luke 15:4 (NIV) “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?
Practical Ways to Accept God’s Forgiveness
Accepting God’s forgiveness comes from knowing God’s character. Below are some of the ways you can get to know God better.
- Develop a friendship with Him. Talk with Him in prayer. This doesn’t have to be all formal. Just talk to Him as you would a friend. Tell Him your sin and ask for his forgiveness, but don't just stop there; ask for his help in forgiving yourself.
- Stay in Scripture. When you're in Scripture, you start to see God's character. Somebody once made a suggestion that I found very helpful. Whenever you read Scripture, ask yourself, what does this teach me about God and who he is? In doing this, you'll discover His character is loving, kind, and forgiving.
- Journal your feelings. Putting your thoughts on paper is an opportunity for you to go back later and see that situation through the lens of God’s character.
What You'll Gain from Forgiving Yourself
God blesses us with His forgiveness. If we accept that gift by letting go of our guilt, we can find true peace. We'll not only feel at peace; we'll be removing one more distraction in our life that keeps us from living out God's purpose for us.
Our guilt gets in the way of God's plans because we think we're not worthy to work alongside Him.But if we let go of our guilt and shame, we can fully embrace God's invitation to work with Him.
Because I believe God is preparing you for something meaningful, but you need to let go of the worldly things that hold you back.
I invite you to start a conversation with Jesus today. Ask Him to open your eyes to where you hold guilt, and then ask Him for His help to forgive yourself.
My heart found peace when I fully accepted God's forgiveness. And I hope you'll find that same peace as you learn to accept His grace-fueled forgiveness for you.
Scripture Paired with Journal Prompts
I have paired a Scripture passage with a few journal prompts to get you started journaling on this topic.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…
Take a minute and close your eyes. Take a few calming breaths and ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to where in your heart you are holding onto guilt, then journal about the following:
- How does it feel to be carrying the weight of that guilt?
- How do you think it would feel to completely forgive yourself?
- Why do you think Jesus died on the cross?
- And lastly, write a prayer to Jesus, asking for his help to let go of your sin and move forward.
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