All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
the sins of us all.
Isaiah 53:6 (NLT)
Have you ever wondered:
- Am I really forgiven?
- Am I REALLY ok with God?
Most of us are aware of our guilt at some level. We begin to reason, “God’s well of grace must have a bottom to it.”
“A person can request forgiveness only so many times,” contends our common sense. “Cash in too many mercy checks, and sooner or later one is going to bounce!” Eventually we can become convinced that God’s grace has limited funds, we’ll draw the logical conclusion. Our account with God is empty. God has locked the door, pound all you want; pray all you want. No access to God.
“No access to God” creates multiple concerns. We are orphans, unprotected and exposed. Heaven, if there is such a place, has been removed from the itinerary. Vulnerable in this life and doomed in the next. The fear of disappointing God bears a lot of weight.
There are essentially five paths we take in dealing with our fear of disappointing God:
- I’ll fix it: this is where we think, “how many good things can I do to tip the scale in my favor?”
- Hope for the best: we think, “Maybe God grades on a curve and we will be fine”
- It’s not real: “we start denying that it’s real and hope it will go away”
- Who cares: we think, “If I am going to go down I am going to have fun doing it!”
- I’m Toast: we think, “God’s disappointed in me. He always will be. Nothing I can do about it.”
The prophet Isaiah says, “all we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6)
Yes, we have disappointed God. But no, God has not abandoned us. Remember the words of John’s epistle: “If our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts, and knows all things” (1 Jn. 3:20 NKJV). When you feel unforgiven, evict the feelings. Emotions don’t get a vote. Go back to The Bible as your source of truth. God’s Word recorded in the Bible, holds rank over self-criticism and self-doubt. As Paul told Titus, “God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone!…Tell them all this. Build up their courage…” (Titus 2:11 MSG). Do you know God’s grace? Then you can love boldly, live fully.