God designed guilt to ultimately draw us CLOSER to Him so we will seek His forgiveness and allow Him to restore us. The enemy will do all he can to distort and twist our guilt to us it to distance us from the God who loves us.
THE UNBEARABLE BURDEN OF GUILT AND SHAME
John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Satan will use healthy, beneficial feelings of guilt to try and confuse us and deceive us with his lies. He will do his best to make us feel like damaged goods – shamed, unloved, unworthy, and without hope. Satan wants us to believe that our guilt will separate us from God forever. He wants us to believe that we are unredeemable, and beyond hope. He wants us to try and carry our burden of guilt and shame ourselves. That is a burden God never intended for us to carry, because we are completely unable to do that!
Our position of guilt is because of the wrong things we have done. Because we stand in a position of being guilty, we also experience the emotions of guilt and shame. Satan will tempt us to believe that our position of guilt defines who we are. He will tempt us to believe there is no way out of our mess – that because we are guilty, there is no possible way we could ever be found “not guilty”. The enemy wants us to live in sorrow, hopelessness and despair. If we believe there is no way out, we will do what we can to just continue living out a life of defeat.
Destructive emotions have toxic effects on our body, mind and spirit. That delights Satan. He can’t touch the salvation of a true believer in Jesus Christ, but he will do all he can to steal our joy, our peace, and our testimony of victory in Jesus Christ. All too often, that will cause us to seek relief by finding ways to try to numb our minds, but nothing we try will provide true and lasting relief. That is a blessing, because nothing can ever take the place of God in our lives. The only true answer is learning to rest in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
KNOWING VS. BELIEVING
We may know some of God’s promises, but we may not truly believe them. We may not truly believe that God’s promises apply to US.
We may know that Jesus’ death on the cross was to pay for (atone) for our sins and heal us, but we may not feel healed or forgiven.
1 Peter 2:24-25 He [Jesus] personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds we are healed. Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.
We may know that by putting our faith in Jesus, we are saved in an eternal relationship with Him, but we may not feel like our salvation is real, or that we are secure in our relationship with Jesus.
John 10:27-30 [Jesus] My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from Me, for My Father has given them to Me, and He is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.
We may know when we come to Jesus with a repentant heart, He forgives and washes our sin away, cleansing us and making us pure, but we may not feel clean or pure.
1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
1 John 1:7b … the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.
- We may know that when God forgives us, He promises to remove our sins (wipe away our record), but we continue to pray for forgiveness of sins we have already confessed and asked God to forgive more times than we can count.
Psalm 103:10-12 He does not punish us for all our sins; He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For His unfailing love toward those who fear Him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
Isaiah 43:25 “I – yes, I alone – will blot out your sins for My own sake and will never think of them again.
The real problem is… we don’t always really BELIEVE what we say we KNOW. We may not truly believe God’s promises apply to us. That is a lie… they do. We may feel unworthy of God’s forgiveness. That is true… God doesn’t forgive us because we are worthy of His forgiveness! He forgives us because of His love for us, and to display His mercy and His grace. We may not feel forgiven or reconciled with God. That is a lie… IF we know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Our feelings will often reveal that we don’t really BELIEVE God’s promises! All of this stems from unbelief. We are refusing to believe God’s promises and God’s truth, and choosing to remain in our position of guilt and shame. If we allow our feelings to take hold in our mind and heart, we will live our lives with sorrow, regret and shame. We won’t accept and receive the forgiveness God freely offers. So we can pray the prayer so beautifully expressed by the father of a boy that Jesus healed: “Lord I believe, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)
Satan loves it when we try to carry the burden of guilt ourselves, because that separates us from God. True freedom comes when we choose to live knowing and believing in the reality of God’s truth.
Isaiah 38:17 Yes, this anguish was good for me, for You have rescued me from death and forgiven all my sins.