85 Forgiving

Secret number 17 to finding humility is to forgive.  Jesus taught the disciples to pray to the Father like this, “And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” (Mt. 6:12)  Undoubtedly, you have heard much about God’s forgiveness.  It seems to be the primary topic used by teachers of the Word.  His forgiveness enables us to be in relationship with God.  Forgiveness is vital.  Yet it can take time and requires humility.

We need to forgive others as an act of faith through the power of the blood of Jesus.  Our lack of forgiveness shows unbelief in the power of His blood to make atonement for everyone’s sins.  To be consistent, we need to recognize the blood is good enough not only for our sins but also for the sins committed against us.  In fact, submitting to Jesus’ Lordship necessarily involves forgiving those who hurt us.  Keep in mind the story of the servant who was forgiven much and then went and demanded payment from a fellow servant for a small amount. (Matt. 18:23-35)

“But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  Matt. 6:15

Receiving God’s forgiveness enables us to forgive others, which then frees us from the shame and hurt caused us by other’s sin against us.  If we refuse to forgive others at this point, we then block ourselves from receiving God’s forgiveness.  We need to forgive in order to receive forgiveness.  Do you want to be forgiven?  Then forgive.  This is easy to write but how do we forgive others who have wronged us?  We first need to keep in mind that we have been forgiven by God and by others.  Whether or not we feel forgiven, we need to remember that we have been forgiven.

Second, forgiving is not the same as forgetting.  We don’t need to forget what others have done to us in order to forgive them.  Rather, we need to let go of any thoughts of revenge or punishing those who have hurt us.  If we want to punish others, we only succeed in hurting ourselves.  Bitterness is the poison we swallow in hopes of hurting the one who hurt us.  Lack of forgiveness blocks healing.

If forgiving others still feels impossible, then we need to have a good, long conversation with Jesus.  Tell Him exactly what happened in detail.  Then we need to listen to what Jesus has to say.  He has a healing word for us.  We only need to listen.  Remember, He said, “the sheep listen to His voice.  He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.” (John 10:3)

If, after a long talk with Jesus, you still feel weighed down with bitterness and don’t feel able to forgive, know this:  You really can’t forgive on your own power.  It’s okay.  God understands.  Now don’t’ hear me say that you don’t need to forgive.  Rather, you need God’s power to forgive!  Ask God to give you the power to forgive.  Then watch for His divine power to work and receive the ability to forgive from Him as a gift.  God will forgive through you and in you.  Allow His forgiveness to flow through you.  After receiving His forgiveness, give it away.  We don’t deserve to be forgiven, it is a gift.  Those who hurt us don’t deserve to be forgiven.  Forgiveness is about grace; we neither earn nor deserve it.  We receive forgiveness from God and give it to others.  Life in God’s kingdom requires forgiveness.  Nice side benefit:  when you truly forgive you actually begin to forget!

Finding the grace to forgive,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

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