Forgiveness

Forgiveness - Ephesians 4:32Have lies been told about you?  Have you been rejected? Were you abandoned? Have you been a victim of abuse?  Were you falsely accused?  Maybe someone betrayed a confidence?

Healing can be found only in Jesus Christ whose blood offers forgiveness.

The greatest miracle God ever performs is through the Redemption. The concept of redemption means, “to purchase out of.”  Redemption means that the redeemed person is purchased by the payment of a price.   The price is the blood of Jesus.  What Jesus did on the Cross is the basis for our forgiveness and freedom from the bondage of bitterness, anger, grief, sadness, depression and etc.

Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

In this verse, Paul emphasizes the position of forgiveness: even as God in Christ forgave you. The application is that since the believer has been forgiven, he should forgive fellow believers who have wronged him.

But first, we must be willing to face, be honest and take ownership of our own sins because if we don’t, we will always distort and overreact to the sins of others.

In Greek, “forgiveness” is aphiemi. In the New Testament, the concept of the unmerited “forgiveness” of God is stressed by the fact that God forgave our sins when His Son died for us. Each person is a debtor (Matt. 18:23–35) who has no hope of repaying God.

When Scripture instructs us to forgive in the manner we have been forgiven, the focus is not the idea of withholding forgiveness until the offender expresses repentance.  The focus is to forgive freely, generously, willingly, eagerly, speedily—and from the heart.

We all know how hard it is to maintain a forgiving spirit. But the struggle is evidence of God’s grace in the believer’s heart, because otherwise he would just give in to the hatred.  An offended person who never heals can become an easy target for the devil.

Satan’s agenda is to undermine forgiveness.  Remember, forgiveness deflects pride, shows mercy, restores joy, affirms mercy, proves obedience, and revitalizes fellowship.  Imagine how much Satan hates this!

You may know someone who is obsessed with self-protection and will manipulate, threaten, distort and feel no guilt whatsoever to the damage they’ve caused.  This offender is the type who would wear you down to the core until you are totally diminished spiritually, emotionally and at times, physically.

We must humbly lift the offender and their offenses to God.   God is the One who can set us free from the anger that leads to vengeance and “getting even.”  If you do not master your bitterness and anger, it will master you.  That is why it is critical to surrender the whole situation to God.  If you don’t, this will become a stumbling block for you and your relationship with God.  This process requires a great deal of genuine humility and brokenness before God.

Maybe you’ve tried to bury the pain.  Maybe you’ve tried to let it go.  Maybe now, you’ve realized how selfishly and arrogantly you’ve hung onto your pain and now it has become your idol.

Read carefully David’s words in Psalm 55:1-4  Maybe you can relate to the intensity of his struggle.

Psalm 55:1-4, “Give ear to my prayer, O God, and do not hide Yourself from my supplication. Attend to me, and hear me; I am restless in my complaint, and moan noisily, because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked; For they bring down trouble upon me, and in wrath they hate me. My heart is severely pained within me…..”

King David was no stranger to personal offenses.  Not only was he an offender at times, but he himself endured instances when enemies rose against him because of his trust in God.  But the most painful times in his life were those when the people closest to him betrayed him.

The offense David described brought him to the point of anguish and despair.

It is important to realize that in the midst of our hurt, a blessing might be on the horizon.  Think of the deep work God does in our hearts when we become obedient and do what is the most difficult – forgive those who do not deserve forgiveness.  By choosing forgiveness you are stopping the pain of the past, the bondage of resentment and bitterness and choosing an abundant life through Christ!

When acts of sin are freely and thoroughly forgiven it leads to intimacy with the One who has shown mercy.  Such sinners love much for much has been forgiven. A forgiven heart is the fountain of beauty.” ~ David Roper

Blessings,
Your sister in Christ

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