Read 1 John 3:20
20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. (NLT)
It is one thing to be forgiven. It is another thing to feel forgiven. We may beat ourselves up for all our many and grievous sins. We have confessed them, and sought God’s help in turning from them. We know well the Scriptures that speak of there being no condemnation for those who trust in Jesus.
But the guilt feelings remain. It is not much help to simply say feelings don’t matter. They do. A married couple who had no feelings for one another is in a bad way irrespective of the existence of a bit of paper proving they are married. It is good to have our feelings back up the wider objective reality.
However, as our passage indicates, those feelings must not have the final say. There may be many reasons why I don’t feel forgiven. Inadequate understanding of just how much God loves us; failure to realise we are ‘in Christ’ and thus our sins are not the primary reality in our relationship with God; a sense of shame from the secret sins we have committed.
The fact is, however I feel, God knows all about those sins and has dealt with them in Jesus. God’s goodness is greater than my badness. My feelings may make me uncomfortable, I may have to make greater efforts to grasp the grace of God, but the fact remains that I am forgiven by what Jesus has done and my embrace of that. We do well to get our feelings in line with the facts but, in the meantime, don’t let our feelings hide the facts.