God tells us in 1 John 1:9 that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This verse doesn’t say anything about repentance, but I think it is implied; with true confession repentance will always be included. But the point I want to make here is that God has promised that if we confess our sins—which implies that we also repent—He will forgive us and cleanse us. So if we don’t feel forgiven after we say that we have confessed, I don’t think we should blame it on God, because He will always keep His promise. The problem must be that we haven’t really, genuinely confessed and repented.
But you say, “I did confess; I did admit my sin.” Yes, but did you repent? Did you decide to change your life? Did you decide not to sin? You see if you are still committing the same sins without any changes, perhaps you haven’t really repented, and so you didn’t truly confess either. True confession means to turn from sin, to stop being a slave of sin, and to start being a slave of righteousness (Rom. 6:19). If you do that then you prove that you have really confessed, and He will forgive and cleanse you. And on top of that, He will give you a new power for living, and for resisting sin and Satan. Then through this new power you will feel His forgiveness.
So, if we don’t feel forgiven, the problem is not with God, it is with us, because we really haven’t repented. And the reason why we don’t repent is because we aren’t looking at Jesus enough; we don’t see His grace enough. Consequently, we don’t believe Him—that He loves us and wants to forgive us. Instead we listen to Satan too much, and we get discouraged about our sin. That’s what Satan tries to do—discourage us. He constantly tells us that we are a failure and that God won’t accept us. And so, in our discouragement we feel a sense of hopelessness, and we sometimes fall headlong into sin, which makes us feel even more unforgiven.
So, if you don’t feel forgiven, what should you do? I think you already know. You need to claim 1 John 1:9: to believe it, and to confess and repent immediately! That means to agree with God about how rotten your sins are, then to make plans to stop your sin. When you do that, you can believe, absolutely, that you will feel a new power and cleansing flood over your body and soul.