Are you finding it difficult to forgive? Or what can’t you forgive? Everyone has a seed of forgiveness in him or her, put in there by God. We are meant to allow it to grow and bear fruit. This post uses Jesus as our example to show the root of forgiveness.
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God – Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV)
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots – Luke 23:34 (NKJV).
You have a right to be angry, but do you have a right not to forgive? Jesus, God Himself (John 1:1-14), was crucified by the people He made. They didn’t just crucify Him, they mocked Him in public; put a crown of thorns on Him, whipped Him and forced Him to carry His own cross through the streets; multitudes were watching and making jeers of Him. They stripped Him of His clothes, nailed Him on a wood He made, between criminals (Him being innocent). People watched, mocked and laughed at Him, people He made! Upon all that, His Father forsook Him (Matthew 27:46) because of this same people! Yet, He prayed to His father saying, “Forgive them, for they do not know what they do”. Do you have a right not to forgive?
If Jesus could forgive all that, including your sins and mine, what can’t you forgive? Jesus’ action on the cross was a pure demonstration of the love of God in action, the love that is shed abroad in your heart (Romans 5:5). For the joy of seeing the world reconciled back to God (Romans 5:10), Jesus endured the cross; I encourage you to look unto Him. Truly, those persons offending you don’t know what they are doing, for if they do they won’t be doing it. You have the Spirit of God in you (if you are saved) and so the Spirit of love is in you. Allow Him to have expression in your heart and life. Let go and let love.
The love of God enables you to forgive people no matter what they may have done to you. Your love for God compels you to forgive. Jesus loved you with the love that the Father had for Him (John 15:9) and He has sent you even as His Father sent Him (John 20:21). So, love with the love that Jesus has for you (John 15:12). Remember, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).
How do you do this? It is not by your might or by your power but by the Holy Spirit (Zechariah 4:6). Ask for the help of the Holy Spirit, and go ahead and obey God, that you may have peace and that the joy of the Lord in you may be full (John 15:11).
Please pray with me – Lord, let me be grounded in the love of God (Ephesians 3:16-19).
Jesus is Lord!
Grace and peace of God be unto you.
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Image by Adam Houlahan