Clarence L. Haynes Jr.
Have you ever felt like God is mad at you? Have you ever thought this is it, after what I have just done there is no way God will ever forgive me? Have you made promise after promise to “do better”? Have you told God “this is the last time I’m doing this” only to fall back into the same sin you vowed you would never commit again?
If this is you, then I am about to give you a strange greeting: welcome to the club. As crazy as it sounds your situation is not unique to you, there are many others before you who have felt this way. Because we fall into these places of temptation and failure there is the tendency to believe God is mad at you.
I need you to know today that God is not mad at you. To prove it I want to share four reasons with you, so you can know for certain that God is not mad at you.
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1. He Has Forgiven Your Sin
If you are not careful you can make the mistake of putting quantifiers and qualifiers on God’s forgiveness. You can tell yourself he will forgive me a certain amount of times and only for certain sins. Let me tell you, this is not true. Let me explain.
In Matthew 18, Peter poses a question to Jesus about forgiveness.
“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’” (Matthew 18:21).
In those days, rabbis taught that you should forgive a person three times. In Peter’s question, he felt he was being more than generous because he was offering more than double the amount of forgiveness. However, I am sure he was not expecting Jesus’ response:
“Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times’” (Matthew 18:22).
In Jesus’ reply he was demonstrating a simple principle: forgiveness has no limits. There should be no limits to the amount you forgive someone else. Equally, and possibly more important, is that there are no limits to the amount of times God will forgive you.
The secret to receiving God’s forgiveness is asking for it and sincerely desiring it. If you ask God to forgive you, and you really mean it, he will forgive you. It doesn’t matter how many times you have made the same mistake or what you have done. This does not give you a free license to willfully keep sinning with no desire to change, that is a subject for a different article. If you bring sincere repentance to God it will be met with God’s sincere forgiveness. Here is the truth of God’s heart towards forgiveness:
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
“’Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool’” (Isaiah 1:18).
God is not mad at you. He will forgive you – all you have to do is ask.
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2. He Has Forgotten Your Sin
Let’s say you believe me and now you have gotten to the place where you accept that God has forgiven you. Wonderful. After clearing that hurdle there is another hurdle you must get over – the fact that once God forgives your sin he actually forgets it.
I think sometimes we believe God looks at our sin like an open bar tab, keeping track of how many times you have sinned. It’s like we take the seventy times seven (490) literally. You are at sin number 390, you only have 100 more to go before your tab runs out. Let me assure you today, this is not how God views your sin.
When you repent three things happen. God forgives. God forgets. You get to start over with a clean slate. Do you remember the story of the woman who was caught in adultery in (John 8)? The last thing Jesus told her was go and leave this life of sin. He gave her a fresh start. This is what he does for you every time you repent, he gives you a fresh start. He actually chooses to forget your sin the moment you repent of it.
“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more” (Isaiah 43:25).
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Acts 3:19).
“You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).
Once God has forgiven and forgotten your sin, he can’t be mad at you because there is nothing to be mad at.
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3. The Sun Came up Today
I tend to be an early bird and I love to see the early morning sunrise. Because our windows face east, that light flashes into our bedroom in the early morning hours. What a beautiful sight to behold; hopefully you will agree.
However, in every sunrise there is something that you should remember. God has a new supply of love and mercy ready to shower on you. In the dawning of each new day God has a fresh reservoir of love ready to pour out on you.
Think of it like this. New day, new love. New day, new grace. New day, new mercy. New day, new faithfulness. It never runs out. Every new day is another opportunity for God to show you again and again how much he truly loves you. Notice it didn’t say God’s anger is new every morning, it is quite the opposite. Notice what the psalmist says:
“Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:4-5).
We often make the mistake of treating God’s anger like God’s love and God’s love like God’s anger. What I mean is we think God’s love is fleeting but his anger lasts. That is not true. Even if God is angry over your sin, that will only last for a brief moment. You must understand that his love, favor, and faithfulness towards you will last a lifetime.
Please don’t get these confused. I don’t know what time it is where you are at this moment but can I ask you, did the sun come up today? If it did (and I am pretty sure it did) then that is all you need to remind yourself that God is not mad at you. He loves you way too much.
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4. He Has Not Forgotten the Plan He Has for Your Life
“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
Have you ever felt like you missed your moment? One of the big lies the enemy tries to tell you is that it’s over for you. You had your chance and you blew it. God has forgotten about you and moved on to someone else. Your time is passed so you might as well stop now. Don’t think for a second that God is still going to use you after that mess you created. These are all lies, lies, and more lies. Please don’t believe them.
If there is one thing you should know about God it’s that he is faithful. The Bible tells us that even when you are faithless, he remains faithful. God’s faithfulness is a reminder that even if you have missed the mark, he will still be faithful to you. There is not a single person who ever lived for God who hasn’t missed the mark and made mistakes (I know because I have made plenty). Nevertheless, your mistakes will not cause God to give up on you or the plan he has for your life. If that was the case, no one would ever fulfill God’s plan for their life.
I challenge you today to come into agreement with God. Bring all your mistakes and poor decisions to him and watch him turn them for your good. The very thing you thought would be your end, God will use to give you a new beginning. He will take that thing and complete his purpose in your life. As Paul said, he will carry the work he started in you until completion. He is ready to pick you up, dust you off, and move you along into the plan he has for you because he is faithful.
God’s Love for You Is Immense
If you woke up today convinced that God is mad at you, please stop now. He’s not. God is madly in love with you and wants nothing but the absolute best for your life.
Here’s what I want you to do. If you have sinned, repent. Receive God’s forgiveness knowing he has forgiven you and has also forgotten your sin. From there do what Jesus said, go and leave your life of sin. From this point forward, walk in agreement with God knowing he will accomplish his plan in your life. Here is the best part. If you should sin today, just start the process all over again because remember – the sun came up today.
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Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, author and co-founder of The Bible Study Club. He has spent more than 30 years serving the body of Christ in various capacities and has just released his first book, The Pursuit of Purpose. If you have ever struggled trying to find God’s will, this book will help you discover the different ways God leads you into his perfect will. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com.