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Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

Dealing With Guilt: Today’s Fight Of Faith

Guilty from Microsoft Publisher ClipartDealing With Guilt

Here I am, the morning after Christmas, feeling guilty before God.

We had a great Christmas.  But I’m seeing that over the past week I’ve harbored resentment, worried about the future, and spoken unloving words.

And I’m feeling guilty before God.

I was — just now — bringing this before the Father, asking for fresh assurance of forgiveness through Christ.  I was waiting on him to meet me in the Word.  But then I thought — this might be helpful to share with others.

So here goes.

The State Of My Heart

Like I said, I’m feeling guilty before God.

I’m not sensing his love for me.  I’m not experiencing joy and peace in believing, and I’m certainly not abounding in hope (Romans 15:13).  I’m just feeling guilt, along with regret and emptiness.

So what can I do?

Should I Just Ignore It?

I could.  I could just read my assigned Bible passages, pray through my list, and get on with today’s work.

But God commands me to delight myself in the Lord (Psalm 37:4).  Jesus promises to satisfy my heart-hungers in himself (John 6:35).

So I know he wants me to seek him.  He’s calling me to fight the fight of faith until I once again see and feel his forgiveness, his love, and his all-satisfying presence.

So — let’s start battling.

Asking For His Help

One reason it’s tempting to ignore my need is because it would be painful to seek God for heart-change, and come away empty.

So I’m reminding myself of God’s promises —

“The Law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.” (Psalm 19:7)

“I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”  (John 6:35)

“Let us press on to know the Lord; as surely as the dawn he will come.” (Hosea 6:3)

And I’m praying  —

Father, right now I don’t have a lot of faith that you can, or will, meet me.  So I’m coming to you as I am, in my guilt and unbelief.

I praise you that because of Christ’s blood and righteousness, I can come to you by faith alone, and you are running toward me with all the help I need (Luke 15:20).

Please increase the Spirit’s work upon me.  Give me fresh assurance of your forgiveness through Christ.  Pour your love into my heart.  Let your face shine upon me.

God promises to provide the Spirit’s work as I hear his Word with faith (Galatians 3:5).

So I’m going to pray over Scriptures that touch on my heart-issues —

The Truth Of The Cross — Isaiah 53:6 

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned–every one–to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Thank you, Father, that at the Cross you laid all my sin on Jesus.  You punished all my sin in Jesus — including my recent resentment, worry, and unloving words.

Thank you that because of Jesus I will never face condemnation for these sins.

It’s good to pray this truth.  I’m not feeling it yet, but I know it’s true.

The Reality Of Forgiveness — Mark 2:5

“And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Thank you, Father, that by faith alone in Christ alone, this is what Jesus is speaking to me right now.

I praise you for those precious words — “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now I’m starting to feel something.  The Spirit is using those words to change my heart.  The guilt is lifting.  Assurance of forgiveness is increasing.

That’s encouraging.  But I need more.

I need to see and feel Jesus Christ once again as my all-satisfying Treasure.  I need to be so filled with his glory that my resentment, worry, and unkindness are destroyed.

So I’m asking God what Scriptures would help me with this.

To Battle Resentment — Genesis 50:20

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.”

Father, no one meant evil against me.  But someone did something I did not like.  

So help me see that even in this case, what they did was allowed by you to bring me good — especially the greatest good of more heart-satisfaction in you.

Please, use this verse to strengthen my faith and crush my resentment.

This is helping.  I’m feeling peace, and even hope.  My resentment is lessening.

To Battle Worry — Philippians 4:19

I’ve been worrying because I’m afraid we won’t have something we need.  So I’m going to battle this with Philippians 4:19 —

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Father, thank you for this promise.  You WILL supply everything we need so we can display and enjoy your glory now and forever.

Help me believe this promise.  Destroy my worry with this promise.

It’s working.  Worry is shrinking.  Peace is growing.  Satisfaction in God’s glory is increasing.

Battling Unkind Words

Why had I spoken unkind words?  It’s because my heart was not experiencing joy and peace in believing.  My heart was feeling resentful and worried — which produced words of frustration and pushiness,

But the Spirit used the above Scriptures to subdue my resentment and worry.  My heart is feeling peace, and hope.  So the battle against unkind words has already been won.

My Take-Aways

No matter how guilty or sinful I’m feeling — God can and will change my heart.  He promises (Psalm 19:7; Psalm 51:10; Luke 18:27).

When I’m dealing with guilt, it’s tempting to ignore it, or do something good to try and make up for it.  Neither of these brings me full assurance that I’m forgiven through the Cross.

Because of Jesus’ blood and righteousness I can turn to the Father just as I am, by faith alone — and he is joyfully running toward me with everything I need (Luke 15:20).

When I feel far from God, it does not seem like prayer and God’s Word will do anything.  But God promises to use these to bring the heart-changing power of the Spirit upon me (Luke 11:13; Galatians 3:5; John 6:63).

Sometimes this takes longer than at other times.  But God has always been faithful to meet me when I seek him in prayer and the Word.

And he will be faithful to you.

Comments?  Feedback?

I’d love to hear them.  Leave a reply below — thanks.

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(Picture is from Microsoft Publisher Clipart.)

Category: Being Forgiven by God, Stories from My Life

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15 Responses

  1. Paul Walton says:

    “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
    By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4: 15-18
    Steve,
    These verses in 1 John are my go to verses when I start to doubt God’s unconditional love for me. When my faith is weak, I’m comforted by knowing that all my punishment has been dealt with already on the cross over two-thousand years ago. We need only to confess our sin and trust in Christ’s work, God’s love is perfect and not like human love, truly amazing gracious love for His sheep.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Thanks for your encouraging words, Paul. As you said, his love is truly amazing. And isn’t it encouraging that when we seek him, and pray over his promises, we once again makes his face shine upon us and we feel his gracious favor in Christ. What a Savior!

  2. Jon says:

    Thanks again, Steve, for a faith-strengthening post. Your experience is helpful. I especially appreciate your descriptions of how you were feeling – guilt, regrets, emptiness, resentment, worry, and unkindness. Sadly, I can relate. But, thank God, I can also relate to the scriptures shared and how you used them to see the change of heart God wanted to bring! VERY helpful today.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      I’m so glad this was helpful to you, Jon. Thank you for taking the time to let me know. And isn’t it encouraging that we can turn to Christ, no matter the state of our heart, and by his grace through his Spirit he will meet us — again and again and again.

  3. Jon says:

    Steve,
    Almost too good to be true! That is grace that continues to amaze me.

  4. Beverly says:

    Thank you so much Steve. You are truly teaching me how to fight the good fight of faith. I had never really PRACTICALLY knew how to before. I have never read anything like your teachings before. Just what I need PRACTICALITY! Thank you!

  5. remi says:

    I feel so empty now

  6. remi says:

    Sometimes these feelings could be an attack from d evil one, especially if we’ve confessed dem b4 God.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Yes, you are right. And since Jesus attacked Satan’s temptations by quoting Scripture, we also should wield the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, and fight back.

      Onward, Remi!

  7. Pat says:

    I just came across this and found it helpful. I have felt far from God for so long, plagued by guilt and shame for my lack of faith, unbelief and resulting disobedience. I am a missionary wife and have believed I failed God because I never learned the language and thus never was able to minister. I don’t like to call myself a missionary because of my many years of failure in service. My husband doesn’t agree and says I’m there as his support and that’s what God requires of me. I have felt this shame and guilt for so long I seem to have hardened my heart and don’t know how to change it again.

  8. zack says:

    im struggling with porn. I feel like Gods looking over my shoulder with anger i just feel hes like what are u doing child. I recently turned back to God and i dont want to willingly hurt God its just so hard im praying and i have slowed down alot praise God but i only go so long then fall and i beat m,y self up so much.

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