All some people seem to get out of the book of 1 John is “If your heart condemns you not, then you have confidence in God.” When, in fact, the entire book of 1 John is about why you should never lose your confidence in God, EVER!
John reminds those believers in 1 John 3:20 who allowed their hearts to condemn them that “God is greater than your heart!” Remember this truth: it isn't your heart that has the final say; it is God who has the final say. The more you renew your mind to the truth of His Word, the less your heart will condemn you. When you are in Christ, there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1). Jesus who is still the same (Hebrews 13:8) said He didn’t come to condemn (John 3:17). He only does what His Father does (John 8:28). The Holy Spirit is the Comforter, and He only does and says what Jesus says (John 16:13). So, it isn’t the Trinity condemning you. Most likely, it is some leftover religious belief in your heart that gets triggered when you sin or fail in life. Those are called “strongholds,” and they need to be removed or pulled down.
We only lose our confidence in God when we believe the wrong things about who He is to us. However, when we know the truth about God, we will never lose our confidence in Him. We know He is faithful, and His mercy endures forever.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”(2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
These lies about God are the strongholds of religion that contradict who God is to you.
Another reason you should never lose your confidence in God is because God tells us to come with confidence to His throne of grace to obtain grace, mercy, and help. Notice, it is called a throne of grace, not a throne of judgment (Hebrews 4:16). When do you need mercy? After you sin! So who are you going to believe? Will you believe a heart with old, out-of-date or wrong information about God? Or, will you believe God Himself? God tells you that at any time you need His grace or mercy you should approach Him with confidence. This is why John is telling believers that even if their hearts condemn them, God is greater than their hearts. Hence, they can still have unwavering confidence in God being good to them. Your confidence in God has nothing to do with what you did, didn’t do or how great your sin or sins are. Rather, it has everything to do with what Jesus accomplished for you.
Paul writes to the believers in Rome and tells them in the eighth chapter that nothing can ever separate them from God’s love. Therefore, if nothing can separate you from God’s love, which never fails, you have absolutely no reason at all to lose your confidence in God.
The Prodigal Son was stunned to see His father running to him with open arms, embracing and kissing him. He tried hard to convince his father that his sins were so many and great that even God could not forgive him. He felt he no longer deserved to be his son again. Nevertheless, his father took him home, ordered the servants to bring him a new robe, ring, and shoes and to kill the fatted calf to celebrate their reunion. Does it sound like Jesus is trying to teach that if your heart condemns you, you can’t have any confidence in God? No! Of course not! The Prodigal Son obviously felt condemned and knew he didn’t deserve to be his father’s son. But in truth, that decision wasn't his to make; it was his father’s decision. Jesus wants us to see that no matter how great we sin or mess up our lives, we can always remain confident in God’s love for us.
“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise” (Hebrews 10:35-36).
What is the will of God? Well, if you have sinned, trust in His love, mercy, and forgiveness for you.
Finally, let me bring up another undeniable point so you can know beyond any shadow of a doubt you don't have to ever lose your confidence in God. John makes what I believe is an astounding claim. I personally believe it is the least believed verse in the Bible: “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).
If you can have boldness or confidence on the day of judgment because you are as He (Jesus) is in this world, then literally, you can have that same confidence on any day. Why? Because as Christ is so are you!
You never, ever, need to lose or castaway your confidence in a God who is always faithful! So the next time your heart triggers feelings of condemnation, remember that God is greater than your heart, and He gets the final say!