I think young Christians and people new to the faith have trouble with this concept. I know when I was young I did. You hear these words, ‘You are forgiven,’ but if you don’t believe you can go home and forget. In fact, forgiveness was a hard topic for me to grasp anyway.
Believing in the forgiveness and peace that comes from Jesus Christ is an important part of your Christianity. For some reason, doubt likes to make an appearance, and that doubt will try to strangle your faith. It’s up to you what you are going to believe, you make the choices that affect your life.
The first time I gave my life to Jesus, I was six years old. I had no theological training other than a bunch of cheesy Christian cartoons and movies that my mother made me watch. I always heard that Jesus loved me, but I couldn’t believe it. At the time, I didn’t believe God wanted me in heaven with him.
If you read the parable of the sower, Jesus talks about the seeds that fall on the ground and rise up quickly, but they’re choked out by the weeks, and then they die. This could’ve been me, and I’ve seen many other people rise up and get choked out. They should be thriving and producing fruit.
A lot of Christians spend their time asking God for forgiveness, and he keeps saying it’s been forgiven. How can we move beyond that, and truly believe that Jesus has forgiven us? It’s a difficult question to answer, but I’ve started to look at my prayers. When I talk to God, am I repeating myself? What have I been focusing on during this prayer time?
You Should Trust That you are Forgiven; Even If It’s Hard.
Ah, the saying that is so cliched it has launched a thousand books. You are forgiven, now believe it. If you’ve asked him for forgiveness, it’s there, he’s given it. When you don’t believe in his forgiveness, you’re telling Jesus what he did isn’t good enough. Does he really need to die again so you can be forgiven?
Of course not, Jesus said, “It Is Finished” At the moment of his death. That means he has forgiven you. Every thought, action, and word. It’s all under the blood the moment you ask him for it. When Jesus said those words he did everything that needed to be done, from then until eternity. His part is finished, and now he waits on us.
The issue isn’t with him, it’s with us. We have trouble believing and trusting him. This is funny because he gave his all to us. Now it’s our turn to give it all.
What Stops Us From Believing In Forgiveness
There are a number of things that stop us from believing the truth. When Jesus says you are forgiven, I have no reason not to believe, but for some reason, it’s hard to do. Part of me thinks it stems from our sinful nature, a lack of trust in God, and feelings of inadequacy. Whatever your reason, you can let it go today. All you gotta do is choose.
Choosing is the hard part because you gotta become vulnerable, but when you make that choice, you’ll find peace as well.
Forgiveness Is Contrary To Our Sinful Nature
This is a broad subject that I’m trying to fit into a couple of paragraphs, so I’m leaving a lot out. There are some blessed people for whom the hand of God comes down and gives immediate deliverance to them. When this happens they are free from certain sins and don’t want to go back. I kinda envy them and wish this happened to everybody, but it doesn’t. I think it’s because we need to work towards something.
God doesn’t seem to be a God that gives his people everything right off the bat. If he did, I think we’d get bored and it wouldn’t be right. Instead, he wants us to be strong, and develop our character. Find out who we are in him, and who he created us to be. Deliverance is sometimes delayed because God wants us to fight the sinful nature in our hearts. When you ask Jesus into your heart, you are forgiven, but Jesus said you must take up your cross daily.
The fight with your sinful nature is a daily fight, and it’s one that’ll be here until we finally go to heaven. Sometimes you’ll do well against it, and others you might fall. I pray for the former, and as you grow the latter disappears. The true strength in this battle is found in Christ when you pray. It’s the only way to win.
Remember You Are Forgiven
You have to trust in the character of God, and not believe in the lies that you hear daily. I’m in a constant state of battle with lies, but I know the truth. When I start to believe a lie, it throws my whole system out of wack until I begin to recognize the lie for what it is.
You are forgiven because Jesus loved you so much that he died for you and if you haven’t asked him for forgiveness yet try him out because you can be forgiven.
You’ve Been Hurt But You Need To Forgive
There are a lot of hurting people out there, and I know I’ve done my share of hurting. It sucks to live with the knowledge that I made someone else weep. I’ve been a bad example of what Christianity is and I’ve given the Church a black eye.
You might be reading this, and people in the Church have hurt you, and it’s turned you away from Jesus. Don’t let people keep you from the God of heaven and earth. Whatever is happening in your life, Jesus wants to be there with you. He DOES love you, and he wants to know you. Regardless of what other people have said, he cares.
The Church does a great job at hurting and alienating people, but that’s because we are hurting people as well. Getting close to God is scary, and many of us stay on the fringes. It isn’t right but that’s how a lot of Churches are. We are wounded people full of pain, and we’re just trying to find our path home.
But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Jesus Is The Way He Forgave You And You Should Forgive Others
Jesus is the way, not because he’s trying to be pretentious, but because there is no other way. We are in a sinking world. Everything is going down fast, and Jesus is here. He’s the only lifeboat, and he’s saying come with me, I’m the only one who’s coming.
People look at him and scoff, not believing in any danger. They say the boat isn’t sinking, all while everything falls apart around them. If they see real danger, they might cry out to Jesus, but by then it might be too late.
You are forgiven, it’s time you start believing that. Stop worrying about the things of this world, and think about the things of heaven. After all, Jesus is waiting, and wondering when you’ll jump into the things you’re made to be.
Sterling grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis. As a kid he loved skateboarding but mostly did street riding. He injured his ankle badly when he dropped into his first half pipe. His skateboarding slowed down after that, but he still loved the sport. While in his 20's he needed to make a change, so he did some world traveling with a motivational speaking group. Through it all, he visited 46 states and 3 continents and eventually lived in Mississippi. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina tore through the state. He jumped into the fray, helping mobilize support for the evacuees of New Orleans & The Gulf Coast. During the aftermath he helped run a shelter and drove food & medical supplies to affected areas by truck. Currently he lives in Minneapolis, runs his snowboard shop, and shreds Vail Whenever he can.