Let’s face it. There are some things in life that are easier said than done. One of those things is forgiveness. It’s the infamous ‘F word’ that has prevented many from enjoying a full and peaceful life. I would even dare say that forgiveness is the miracle-working medicine God designed to cure and heal our families, communities and the church worldwide. But still, interestingly, easier said than done. Why? Because the hurt, harm and pain one inflicts on another, intentionally or not, looks and feels differently for each of us on the receiving end. It digs in and rests in uncomfortable and sometimes volatile places and anchors there, allowing for no attempts of rescue. The idea of actually forgiving that someone or forgiving some group of people, organization, entity or even forgiving yourself may be repulsive to you, scary or offensive even to your spirit. The offense was too much, too major, too big of a deal to forgive. You may even be thinking, ‘If you knew my story you would understand why I just can’t do it…not now.’ Understood. I get it. If you prick me, I’ll bleed too. And then one day my weakened spirit got a transfusion from God’s word. God reminds us all in scripture, as Jesus hung on the cross, dying, with the unthinkable sins of the whole world upon Him,
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34)
What an example of forgiveness! I had always read that scripture from the context of Jesus’ resurrection, the chronological events of his death and rising, but never from a context of how to forgive others. Jesus endured so much from those who intentionally did Him harm, yet He still pleaded for God to forgive His offenders. His offenders had not accepted who He was, who His Father was, nor had they accepted or understood what was to come. They truly did not know what they were doing! Yet Jesus was genuinely, not facetiously, concerned for them. We are expected to do the same and, surprisingly, when it seems we can’t, we actually can – in God’s strength! He is our Father and we are His children. God reminds us in Matthew 6:14-15,
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
This week’s Prayer Assignment:
Pray – God, let me strive to be more like You and extend forgiveness to others. I realize now more than ever that by doing so my life will be better and it will be pleasing to You too.
Prayer works! Complete the prayer assignment and watch God move in your midst. You can do this!
This week’s Helper is written in accordance with My church’s weekly Lenten devotions centering on healing and deliverance in seven areas during the Lenten season. This week’s devotion is on forgiveness.