Q. I went through a horrific year exactly ten years ago and have struggled ever since. I won’t bother you with the details, but trust me it was easily the worst year of my life. Since then I have grown increasingly detached from God and sometimes doubt His existence. I try to put on a good show but I feel like such a hypocrite. Did I lose my salvation? There is still so much pain leftover from 2002 that it blocks my relationship with Him. What gives?
A. Once we’re saved, our salvation can never be lost. God Himself has guaranteed it. He set his seal of ownership on us and put His Spirit in our heart as a deposit that obligates Him to take us as His own (2 Cor. 1:21-22).
Satan is using your pain to drive a wedge between you and God. Your most effective weapon against him is forgiveness. Whether you feel like it or not, you have to start asking God to forgive everyone involved in causing you this pain and keep asking Him until you sincerely mean it.
This includes asking God to forgive you and making sure you’ve forgiven God. He is not the cause of your pain, and wants reconciliation even more than you do. The reason He commands us to forgive those who have harmed us is because it’s the only way we can be free of Satan’s hold on us.
As long as Satan has a hold on you, the pain will be there. Once you’ve sincerely forgiven everyone the hold will be broken, the pain will go away, and you and the Lord will be close again.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you (James 4:7-8).