A woman smiling with her eyes closed and her arms wrapped around herself.
Spiritual Growth

How To FEEL Forgiven by God

We all have chapters we would rather not have read out loud. But some of us have ones we wish we could rip out and shred to pieces.  

I am one of those people. 

The guilt over those chapters of my life makes my cheeks burn with shame while the pain of regret causes my heart to ache.  

But God did not send His Son to die on the cross so we could live forever burdened by the guilt of what we have done.  

Jesus came to set us free completely.  

While many of us know we have been forgiven . . . sometimes it can be a struggle to FEEL forgiven.   

So, how do we move past those feelings of guilt and shame so we can truly live out of the forgiveness God has given us?

How do you know God has forgiven you?

So, how do you know if you are forgiven by God?  

Well, the Bible says if we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us of our sins. (1 John 1:9) He removes them from us as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12) And He washes us so clean we are white as snow. (Isaiah 1:18) 

If you ever wonder, “Am I forgiven by God?”  

All you have to do is ask yourself: 

  • Have you confessed your sin to God? 
  • Have you asked for His forgiveness? 

If you can say, “Yes” to those two questions, then YES, you have been forgiven by God. 

Can everyone be forgiven by God?

Sometimes what we have done is so horrible that we may wonder if we can even be forgiven by God. 

But the truth is EVERYONE can be forgiven by God. No matter what they have done.

Jesus’s death on the cross was enough to pay for every sin committed by every human ever.  

Which is pretty amazing.  

If you think about it the thief on the cross next to Jesus (Luke 23:40-43) couldn’t have done anything to fix what he had done.

He couldn’t make amends. He couldn’t repay anything.  

He would never step foot in a church. Or attend a Bible study.  

And yet, when he turned to Jesus in faith during his last desperate moments on earth, Jesus told him: 

“I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” 

-Luke 23:43 NLT

This passage shows us that everyone and anyone can be forgiven by God. IF they turn to Jesus in faith and confess their sins.  

A railroad track stretching ahead through the woods. And the words, "No one is ever too far gone to turn to Jesus."

How to ask God for forgiveness when you keep sinning. 

So, God can forgive anyone and everyone for their sins. But what about when you keep on sinning? What if you keep making the same foolish decisions again and again?  

What about then? 

Will God forgive us for repeating the same sins? 

We find the answer to this question if we look at the life of Peter.  

Peter was one of Jesus’s closest disciples. He followed Jesus for three years and pledged that he would even be willing to die for Jesus. (Matthew 26:35) 

However, when Jesus was arrested all of a sudden Peter’s fear of what people would think came into play. And he ended up denying three times that he even knew Jesus.  

Later on, Jesus forgave Peter and then used Peter to start His church.  

But if we fast forward a few chapters, we see that in Galatians 2:11-12, Paul talks about having to reprimand Peter because he quit eating with the Gentiles due to his fears of what the Jews would think.  

Once again, the “fear of man” caused Peter to sin.  

But God never gave up on Peter.

He continued to forgive Peter and to use Peter in mighty ways for His Kingdom.  

God knows we are human. He knows we are weak. He is not disappointed when we mess up once again.  

He just wants us to run back to Him.  

To confess. Accept His forgiveness. And then lean on the Holy Spirit to help us do better.

The point is progress. Not perfection.  

Keep running back to Him. Again and again. Just like a loving parent, He will help you clean up the mess and learn from it.  

A woman's fingers intertwined in prayer while resting on a wooden table. And the words, "Keep running back to Him. Again and again."

Why don’t I feel forgiven by God?

Even knowing all we do about how God has forgiven us. Sometimes we still struggle to FEEL forgiven. 

I think our enemy, the devil, knows this. And he loves to use our past sins against us by encouraging us to wallow in the guilt and shame of our yesterdays.  

But by following a few simple steps, we can learn how to walk in the freedom Jesus died to give us.

To learn how to truly feel and live FORGIVEN by learning how to:

  • Redirect our thoughts.
  • Meditate on verses on God’s Forgiveness.
  • Don’t trust our feelings over the truth.
  • Remember our new identity.
  • Focus on the future . . . not the past.
  • Remember God can redeem ANYTHING.

The first step is to:

1) Redirect your thoughts.

What you think about affects you . . . A LOT. 

Whenever your enemy tries to make you feel guilt or shame about your past, you can CHOOSE to redirect your thoughts to the truth:  

You have been forgiven. 

Every single time you start to think about your past, choose to use that thought to prompt you to once again thank God for His forgiveness.  

And focus on that.  

Praise God for His amazing grace. Turn on some awesome worship music. Sing out loud and bask in His relentless love and unending mercy.  

Let what the devil tried to use to bring you down . . . instead be used to lift your praises up!

And bring glory to Jesus.  

A woman with her arms outstretched while standing in a field with the sun rising in the background. And the words, "Because of Jesus, I am forgiven!"

2) Meditate on verses on God’s forgiveness.

Reading through Scriptures on forgiveness and meditating on them reminds you that no matter how you feel . . . you are truly forgiven.  

It inspires a sense of awe over what your Savior did for you. And fills your heart with gratitude.  

Which in turn makes you want to live today and every day for the One who forgave you and set you free.  

“For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.”

-1 John 3:20 ESV

3) Don’t trust your feelings over the truth.

Your enemy loves to use your feelings against you.  

But the truth is while feelings are important . . . they aren’t trustworthy. They can come and go. They can lie to you. 

Instead of focusing on your feelings. You need to focus on the truth.  

If you have confessed your sins, then God says you are forgiven. 

This is a fact. A fact stated by the God who created you. And passionately loves you.  

So, you really have no reason to doubt Him.  

If God says Jesus’s death on the cross was enough. That all you have to do is accept His forgiveness . . . then if you have done that . . . you are forgiven!  

A woman in a red coat looking up with her hands raised and a smile on her face. And the words, "He died for me . . . so now I live for Him!"

4) Remember your new identity.

Remember that the person who did many of those things you are so ashamed of in your past was someone else.  

It was the “old” you. And the “old” you has been crucified with Christ. 

That version of you is DEAD.  

Why focus your attention on something that is dead? 

It’s a much better use of your time to focus on what is living. The truth that you have been made new and alive in Christ. 

Focus on the “new” you. And the redeemed life Jesus has given you.  

Let that be the thing that motivates you. To learn how to walk with Him. Grow in your faith. And let the Holy Spirit work in you.  

You are forgiven.  

That is your identity now.  

That is who you are.

You are a forgiven, dearly beloved daughter of the Heavenly King.

So, live like it!

“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”    

-Galatians 2:20 NLT
A woman in a field of flowers with hills in the background, with her hands up in the air while holding onto a hat . And the words, "You are a forgiven, dearly beloved daughter of the Heavenly King. So, live like it!"

5) Focus on the future . . . not the past.

Like the apostle Paul says (who had plenty of things in his past to regret) . . . don’t focus on the past, focus on what lies ahead.  

“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”  

-Philipians 3:13-14 NLT

You can’t change the past. It simply is. Feeling guilty about it doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t make anything better.  

The only thing you can change is your present. And your future.  

6) Remember God can redeem ANYTHING.

God can use our mistakes. For His glory. 

(Yes, you heard that correctly.) 

Throughout the Bible we can see this clearly.  

God used the mistakes of a Samaritan woman to bring an entire town to Him (John 4:1-42). He used Jonah’s disobedience in running away to reveal Himself to the sailors on the boat. (Jonah 1:1-16) He used King David’s disobedience to bring us one of the greatest Psalms on repentance. (Psalm 51) 

Yes, you may have messed up . . . badly. But when you choose to accept His forgiveness, you can place your past in His hands and walk away.

Knowing He can use EVEN THIS for good.  

If you think about it, both Judas and Peter betrayed Jesus. They both had good reasons to let their guilt and shame eat them up inside.  

Which is exactly what Judas did. He let his guilt get to him and ended up killing himself. (Matthew 27:5) 

But Peter chose something different.  

He chose to go to Jesus. To accept His forgiveness and love. (Luke 21) And he went on to become a pivotal person in the start of God’s church. 

Accept God’s forgiveness. Let God use your past. Because He can redeem ANYTHING and use it for His glory.  

A woman smiling with her eyes closed and her arms wrapped around herself. And the words, "How to FEEL Forgiven by God."

What happens when God forgives you?

When God forgives us . . . we are forgiven. 

We may still feel regret sometimes. We may still think about our past and grimace. We may even start to feel guilty over the awful things we’ve done. 

But we don’t have to stay in that place.  

We have a choice.   

We can choose to let the devil trip us up by reminding us of all the reasons we have to feel guilt and shame. We can choose to let the past ruin our present and future. We can choose to let the pain eat away at us inside.  


We can choose to tell the devil where to go. We can choose to run to the One who has redeemed our souls. We can choose to be defined by God’s love and grace. 

And to live out of that identity every single day. 

But the best thing we can do is CHOOSE to give our past to God and let Him use it.  

To show others that no one is ever too far gone to run back into the Father’s arms.  

By choosing to live forgiven and free . . . we can help others find their way home.

And that is pretty amazing!

If you found this encouraging, then please share it so it can bless someone else! 

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