For the peace of God to rule in our hearts, and for us to walk in our new identity as Christians, we absolutely have to forgive others.
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do..” (Col 3:12-13)
What’s more, The enemy’s ability to outwit me, for me to fall victim to false teaching, is enhanced if there is unforgiveness in my heart. (See 2 Cor 2:10-11)
Be aware of the evil one’s schemes. Don’t make it easier for him. DISARM him. Pray for those who have hurt you.
Yes, you can.
Because Jesus-in-you can!
Jesus had just told his disciples they need to forgive those who may offend them again and again ,even when they may sin against them again and again. (Luke 17:4)
And the disciples responded, “Okay. Done.”
No! (That’s not what they said).
The disciples knew they couldn’t forgive on their own, so they said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” (Luke 17:5)
Those men knew it was far from easy and beyond their human ability to forgive as Jesus was asking, but their hearts were willing.
And Jesus can do A LOT with a willing heart!
Jesus tells them if they had faith as a mustard seed they could tell the mulberry tree to be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea. (Luke 17:6)
That seems like a weird response until we understand that a mulberry tree has an incredibly vast root system that allows it to live up to six hundred years.
So here’s something to consider… Remember Jesus is teaching on forgiveness when He makes a statement about a deep-rooted, hard-to-pull-up thing.
But know this—when, by faith, we forgive others we can undo YEARS of deeply rooted pain and problems.
Let me say that again (to myself as well) when we, by faith, forgive others we can undo YEARS of deeply rooted pain and problems.
We can forgive awful things that have been done to us, and we can move past years of hurt when we allow the love of Christ to flow through us.
As someone once said, “You can’t go back and change the beginning but you can start where you are and change the ending.”
We find strength to do this, to forgive those who have hurt us when we remember God forgave us so very much, and we are called to forgive others.
For you to heal from past hurts, for your family to move past years of bitterness, and even for our country to truly heal and move past the ugliness of things like racism and come together, there must be forgiveness.
It’s not enough just to call wrong things wrong, there also has to be forgiveness for us to walk forward in freedom.
Forgiveness has to be a part of it.
Otherwise, it will just be a vicious cycle.
Does it mean that the wrong things weren’t wrong?
Not at all.
Is it easy to forgive? No.
But let’s prayerfully ask God to “increase our faith!” when it comes to forgiveness . (Luke 17:5)
Faith can help you move past that hurt you’ve been carrying. No matter what that hurt is!
May God cause us to to move past how we feel; and, in faith, follow Him That’s where the healing is. Though we can’t change the beginning we can do what He says and change the ending.