He Won't Forgive Me, Will He?
One thing I've noticed about the mind is that it says many things that are true and many that are untrue. One of the biggest lies the mind perpetuates is that God will stop forgiving us, that He will simply cut off His love for us no matter how hard we beg His forgiveness. I've heard stories from people who didn't believe God wanted to save them or that they just weren't part of the elect, and no matter how hard they begged, they didn't believe God heard their prayer. And for some this may seem silly, but for others who are struggling and wondering if God will forgive them, you might be thinking this too.
He could just suddenly stop forgiving us. After all, the Bible talks about how God has the ability to do as He pleases with us because He made us (Rom. 9.21). So this would follow that idea. He isn't obligated to forgive us. We are considered unworthy and undeserving of forgiveness, so it would follow that God could suddenly take his mercy from us and choose not to forgive us. Right?
You can breathe a sigh of relief. The book of Jonah tells a much different story about forgiveness. If you remember, Jonah refused to obey God, was punished, and then restored. Jonah was forgiven, despite the fact that he purposefully disobeyed God and had no intention of obeying God until God created dire circumstances. When Jonah was at his weakest, though undeserving, God heard Jonah's prayer and forgave him. I know what you're thinking. Well that was one story. One example. Maybe Jonah was the exception.
Let's take a closer look.
Remember the Israelites before they left Egypt? They cried out to God for help. He saved them. Remember when David was fleeing Saul? He prayed to God to save him, and God responded and did so. Remember the evil king named Manasseh? One day he was extremely sorrowful for his sins, and God forgave him. And what about those Ninevites? The evil Assyrians? God forgave them once they tore their cloaks and repented of their sins. If you look at all of the stories of people who cried out to God in repentance, God saved them. He never says "No."
But the Bible does say that there is a time when God will not hear the cries of those who call out, and that's reserved for those who purposely live in sin, unremorseful. Sin separates us from God, and if we hold onto it, God won't listen to our cries for forgiveness. This is written about numerous times, "If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened" (Psm. 66.18).
Notice the key term: repentance. So if your mind tells you God won't forgive you, ask yourself if it's because you're dwelling in unconfessed sin. If that's not in, then your mind is fooling you- a ploy of Satan to get you to live a life of misery with a disconnect in communication with God. If you're one of the penitent ones, then you have the Bible to reflect back on and recognize that everyone who called out to God for forgiveness, repenting of their sins, was heard and forgiven.
It's as simple as that. God's love is so great that He won't purposely slam the door on us. He won't say "No" to a sinner begging at His feet. As long as you are alive on this earth, God extends His mercy to the truly sorrowful.
God will forgive the penitent sinner!
Published in Boundless, Devozine, The Lookout, The Life, The Secret Place, and many more, Ashlea is a freelance writer on the side and English professor who spends her free time posting here on her blog.