You know, when the enemy of your soul can’t keep you from confessing your sins to your forgiving God, he’ll try to keep you from enjoying the truth that when God forgives you, he remembers it against you no more.
But of course, first you have to confess whatever sin is in your life, forsake it, and ask God to forgive you. And the good news is that he is always willing to forgive us. First John 1:9 makes that very clear. It says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
I believe that a Christian who is refusing to confess known sin and keeps hanging on—even if it seems small and not important—that person is more miserable than a person who is not a follower of Jesus Christ and indulging in the same sin. It’s the Holy Spirit within us that becomes very uncomfortable—or offended or grieved—when we harbor unconfessed sin.
The first thing is to make sure you have confessed your sin, turned from it, and you know God has forgiven you. Make sure of that. But maybe you’re thinking that you have done that and yet you keep asking God again and again to forgive you for what he has already forgiven. Does that describe you?
If so, I would remind you that God has chosen to remember your sins no more once they are forgiven and forsaken. Therefore, who are you to keep bringing them up, living in regret, and refusing to enjoy the forgiveness you have received?
I understand that God is probably the only one who can truly erase his memory if he chooses to. You and I in these earthly bodies with our sin natures, we just don’t have that miraculous power to totally forget. I get that.
But we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, so it is possible to enjoy your forgiveness instead of letting your past hang over you like a dark cloud, robbing you of peace and joy.