As saints who still sin, we regularly have need to be restored in the knowledge that we are forgiven and cleansed before the Lord. The Lord lifts us out of the guilt and defilement that we bring on ourselves. He assures us of his faithfulness to forgive and cleanse us once and for all, based on the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. — 1 John 1:9
When our lives are under a great amount of stress, it is easy to fall back into the mindset that our acceptance with God is performance-based. The best of saints struggle with this problem. Do you experience the sense of guilt that you are never doing enough to please God? Is there a lingering fear that maybe God does not love or accept you?
Stressful times can lead to the resurrection of old addictions and struggles of the past.
Most likely, those sentiments arise in connection with certain sins in our lives. Maybe it is that same sin you have struggled with for years without the deliverance you thought would be given by now. Maybe it is because you struggle with how little your devotion is to the Lord. Maybe the experience of constant failure has become overwhelming.
What may actually be happening to many believers in times of uncertainty is not stronger devotion to Christ but rather the resurrection of old addictions and struggles of the past. Stress and anxiety have a strange way of prompting us to reach for old idols. Those idols always have been and still are death to us, and yet we grab them for relief. Through it all we wonder, does the Lord still accept us?
In 1 John 1:9 God provides ongoing help for those who are already forgiven of all their sins.
At times like this, it is good to meditate on the promise of 1 John 1:9. The Holy Spirit inspired these words to reassure believers who are confused and struggling over the continued presence of sin in their lives. Here, God gives his prescription for how we can respond in faith when we find ourselves doing the things we do not want to do, or neglecting to do the things he wants us to do (see Romans 7).
In this remarkable promise, God provides ongoing help for those who are already forgiven of all their sins.