When I was younger, I did a lot of bad things, and I've never gotten over feeling guilty about them. I'd feel better if I knew God would forgive me, but I can't see any reason why He should. Can you? — E.M.
One of the Bible's greatest truths is that God is willing to forgive anyone who humbly comes to Him in repentance and faith, trusting in Jesus' sacrifice on the cross for their sins. Jesus said, "This is my blood... poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:28).
But I know this also is one of the Bible's hardest truths for us to accept. After all, why should God forgive us? When we sin, we're deliberately turning our backs on God and telling Him we don't want anything to do with Him. So why should He forgive us? Why shouldn't He give us instead what we really deserve -- which is His judgment?
The reason is simply because God loves us -- in spite of what we've done. And the proof is that He came down to earth in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, who gave His life for us and made our forgiveness possible. We deserve to die for our sins -- but He died in our place. In other words, all the sins you ever committed -- including those that still haunt you with guilt -- were placed on Him, and He took your judgment for you.
Don't carry your burden of guilt any longer. Instead, put that burden -- and your whole life -- into Christ's hands. The Bible's promise is for you: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).