Q. I have had periods when I have been close to God and periods when I lived in adultery and alcoholic fogs. I have asked for forgiveness, but have never “felt” forgiven and I daily live with the regret and guilt of the things I did to totally wreck my career and my first marriage. I know I am paying the natural price now (not God’s punishment) for my own acts. I think I have been forgiven, but I lack the “Blessed Assurance” I have prayed for.
I think that God, knowing my pride, wants to keep me doubting so I will stay in constant contact with Him. It’s either that or I am not really saved and have been deluding myself. Would God let that happen?
A. God is not some master manipulator who toys with our feelings to keep us close to Him. And He doesn’t refuse to give assurance to His children. On the contrary, His word is packed with assurances that our sins have been forgiven.
Your problem is not about whether God has forgiven you. He forgave all your sins at the cross (Col. 2:13-14). When you were born again He tore up the list of all your sins and canceled all of their penalties, counting His Son’s death as payment in full. Your problem is that you haven’t forgiven yourself for messing up your career and your marriage.
The guilt you feel is from the devil. You’re letting him use your feelings about yourself to steal the joy of your salvation and keep you miserable. Resist the devil and he’ll flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:7-8). With His help, you can finally forgive yourself. Then you’ll experience His Blessed Assurance.