Matthew 18:21-22 (Referenced)
Galatians 6:7-8 NKJV
Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
Psalm 91:11-12, Exodus 23:20, Matthew 18:10, Hebrews 13:2, Hebrews 1:14, Luke 4:10, and Psalm 34:7 (Referenced)
Luke 23:34 NKJV
The Art of Forgiveness
As we near the end of this series on Forgiveness, I think the most truthful thing I can say is that it’s probably the most difficult thing you’ll do in your life.
It’s also one of the most rewarding things you’ll do.
As I recall there’s an old saying that goes like this…”anything worth doing is worth doing right.”
It’s not scripture but it’s true. Learning how to forgive quickly and well is worth doing and worth doing right. That means even when you don’t feel like you forgive and you don’t dawdle. Get on it, do not sit on it, and just do it.
One of the best reasons for you to do it and do it right is because God does it for you (and me). We do not deserve God’s forgiveness. Even when we know better but we do the wrong thing God forgives us. Even though we do the wrong think 50 times a day, when we ask God forgives us.
Jesus made forgiveness understandable and clear when he came to earth. He spent a lot of time talking about forgiveness and modeling it.
Jesus made it clear that we forgive as many time as is needed…70 x 7 (Matthew 18:21-22) which is an unlimited number in this scripture. We are to forgive as many times as God forgives us, even for the same issue.
However, we must remember that while God forgives us, we do reap what we sow. If we choose to sow seeds of the flesh we will reap seeds of destruction. But, if we sow seeds of love from the Spirit we will reap love and everlasting life.
The Apostle Paul made it clear in Galatians 6:7-8 when he wrote, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”
I am reminded that we cannot plant cucumber seeds and grow tomatoes.
We will be forgiven and we will reap what we sow.
I believe that’s because the choices we make are part of the life we are living. We make choices in life and we live with our choices. We are forgiven, and we live with our choices.
Knowing God through scripture we learn even though we don’t always make the best choices, God is always with us. God does not walk away from us.
However, there are times when we feel like we are alone.
When we feel alone or confused, we do have a “get out of jail free card” so to speak that we can play.
It works every time.
I’ve practiced it all my life.
It’s the surrender card.
You go to God and you tell Him you’re lost. Or you tell Him you messed up and you don’t know how to get out of it. You tell God exactly what you’re feeling and then you surrender it to God.
In doing that you are telling God that you trust Him. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
The wise King Solomon knew that even when we do not understand or KNOW we can trust God. He also knew that when we turn to God and surrender, God will never fail us.
We can even trust God when we are struggling to trust God. We can surrender our trust issues to God and He will teach us how to trust Him.
In addition to that, what God did and does for each and every day is to protect and cover us with His love when we ask for it. We can surrender our fear to Him and ask that Angels will surround and protect us. I learned that when I was 27 years old. One night I had a horrible nightmare and Satan was trying to grab me. He couldn’t touch me because a beam of very white light stood between me and Satan. I woke up screaming.
I was so frightened that I instinctively asked God to surround me with Angels that would protect me. I could feel the Angels and their protection. Scripture talks about Angels protecting us as well (Psalm 91:11-12, Exodus 23:20, Matthew 18:10, Hebrews 13:2, Hebrews 1:14, Luke 4:10, and Psalm 34:7 to name a few).
Ultimately, what God did for us is that he surrendered part of Himself (His son) in order to reconcile us to Him. God bridged the gap between heaven and earth when He sent Jesus.
We need to consider how God felt when part of Him (His Holy Son) was not forgiven and He was nailed to a cross. We cannot imagine what it was like for God to see and feel what His Son (part of Himself) suffered and died. At the same time God also knew that there was an ultimate purpose of Jesus’ death. God knew his death was a game-changer. God knew when Jesus ascended to heaven the Spirit of God would rest on the earth. God knew the Spirit would help us when we needed it.
God knew the Spirit would help us when our backs were up against a wall. God knew the Spirit would be there for us when we need to surrender because we can’t say, “I forgive them.”
God knew that because He’d been there. When He was nailed to the cross, in agony and pain, He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).
God knew what it’s like to forgive the unthinkable.
When you cannot speak the words, “I forgive them” surrender it to God, and the Spirit will stand with you and make it possible to speak the words, “I forgive.”
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Surrender
Surrender what you’ve been carrying to God and let the Spirit help you.
In God, Deborah