Matthew 6:34 says, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Many Christians are either a prisoner of the future (through worry) or a prisoner of the past (through guilt and un-forgiveness). God wants to set us free so that we can live each day with Him - a day at a time. One simple principle in forgiveness is not to allow feelings of hurt and un-forgiveness to enter a second day. Each evening we can get things right with God and with others. I have learned, to forgive someone for hurting me doesn't necessarily mean I have to trust them again. You release them according to Romans 13:8, "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another." When Jesus died for us, he took the judgment we deserved. We now owe Him a massive debt which we have no ability to repay. But God doesn't require us to repay it -except in one way: God has transferred this debt to Him onto others around us. We are now indebted to everyone. The only way we repay this continuing debt is by forgiving one another. When we consider how great our debt is to the Lord, is this too big to ask? We now express our love to God by loving others. We cannot be close to God while harboring hatred and un-forgiveness. When we forgive others, we acknowledge several things: 1.God's love for us. 2.Our love for God. 3.Our trust in God's justice. 4.Our faith in God's plan for us. 5.Our readiness to suffer abuse. 6.Our enemy is not people. 7.Our secure position in Christ. I believe one of the greatest examples of forgiveness is found in 2 Samuel 9. King David, after the death of Saul and Jonathan, sought relatives of the former king to show forgiveness and kindness. Even though Saul had sought to kill David for many years, David was willing to show forgiveness on the household of Saul. David invited Mephibosheth, a grandson of Saul, to eat at his royal table as part of the family. Mephibosheth was a crippled man who still had some of Saul’s servants working with him. David gifted all the land of Saul to Mephibosheth for his servants to work and earn from. However, Mephibosheth himself became as a son to David.
In closing, if you forgive, will the hurt you feel go away? Probably not immediately. But forgiveness has nothing to do with feelings. Forgiveness is a decision. Forgetting is a process. If we decide not to forgive, the hurt is like an open, festering wound, which is very difficult to heal. When we make the decision to forgive, the hurt is cleaned up, and the healing process is then quick. Psalm 147:3 says, "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." God is able to heal every heart. In fact, this is part of the Gospel message in Isaiah 61:1. But more than that, God wants to use us to minister that healing to others. Only when we have experienced both the personal forgiveness of God and the grace to forgive others can we be used to minister healing to others. These verses in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 have gotten me through some very tough moments; It says, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." Let's pray: "Heavenly Father, Thank You for allowing me to come to You in prayer today. I humbly bow before your throne of grace and ask that you forgive me for all the times I have failed to come. I need You more than I know. Please help me experience the fullness of Your life-changing presence in a fresh and powerful way, for Your glory! In Jesus Name, Amen"
Two Simple Nuggets "Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and..... realizing you were the prisoner!" "Forgiveness is making a decision to live in the present....even if the past still hurts!"
FYI: "Forgiveness doesn't excuse a person's behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart!"
All my love and prayers,
Minister Dorothy King