DEAR REV. GRAHAM: I know I'm supposed to believe that God forgave all my sins when I gave my life to Jesus, but if that's true, why don't I feel any different? I still feel very guilty over what I did in the past. —G.M.
Dear G.M.: One reason you may feel guilty is because you honestly can't believe God could forgive you. After all, you can't even forgive yourself — so why should God forgive you? But God has forgiven you if you've truly asked Him to — and once you understand this, your guilty feelings will begin to fade.
How do we know God forgives us when we turn to Christ in repentance and faith? We know it first of all because He has promised to do so — and God cannot lie. He doesn't say He might forgive us, or that He'll think about it. His promise is clear: When we come to Christ, He takes away all our sins. The Bible says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). This is God's promise to you!
But most of all we know our sins are forgiven because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross. He was without sin — but on the cross all our sins were transferred to Him, and He died in our place. He took the judgment and Hell we deserve for our sins! No matter what you did in the past, it was nailed to the cross with Jesus.
Don't forget, there's a difference between facts and feelings. Facts are true, but our feelings can deceive us. Don't trust your feelings any longer. Instead, thank God daily that because of Christ "we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins" (Ephesians 1:7).