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Insights from the Bible for daily life.
Forgiveness is not an option.
The area of forgiveness is one of the most touchiest of all topics and yet one of the most crucial in the successful life of a believer on this earth as well as in his journey towards his eternal destination.
Forgive ? How do you do that ?
Forgiveness is not an option is a statement that bears the need to repeat. God commands us to forgive in more than a hundred instances throughout the bible. In one moment Jesus is telling the disciples to forgive seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-35). In another he tells them to be kind to one another, forgiving one another, even as He has forgiven them (Ephesians 4:32). In still another Jesus says to bless those who persecute them and not curse them (Romans 12:14). In none of these instances does the Lord say anything about "if you want to" or "if you feel like it" and yet God gives to us in this life, and eternally, based on the fact that he gives us our freedom to choose death or to "choose life" (Deut 28). Forgiveness to many is based upon how they feel about the offense and is determined by the severity of the offense as well. "But you don't know what they did.." is one of the most common responses to the topic of forgiveness, or "I won't give them the satisfaction of it.." Most do not understand that forgiveness has nothing to do with how they feel but everything to do with choice, the effects of that choice upon their own lives and their spiritual growth and destination. Just as it has been said that love is a choice, so it follows that forgiveness is a choice also. God expects us to choose in accordance with what he commands us in his Word.
How to choose is in the Word
So, if we are to choose the action of forgiveness, how does one get past all those hurting feelings that are wrapped up in such a choice. What is it that we are choosing anyway ? It is simple but hard. The feelings of offense are very powerful. Make no mistake about it. We, in and of ourselves cannot do this. This is truly one of those times that we have to rely upon the Lord and His power. He says that when we are weak, then in Him we are strong ( 2Cor 12:10). It's as if, as we lean into the Lord in the midst of our own powerlessness, He takes it up for us.
There is direction for this in the Word itself.
Jesus says in Philippians 4:8 to think on these things..whatever is pure, lovely, excellent, commendable, worthy of praise. In Deut 28 He tells us to choose life. So whenever the thoughts turn to the offense and the pain it causes, make the choice to turn the thoughts to that which is good in God's eyes and in accordance to His Word. A powerful prayer for this can be "Lord, I choose as an act of my will to forgive so-and-so ( him or her or them) for whatever the offense is and I ask you to make it real and genuine in my heart". This sometimes may need to be repeated many times unto feeling as if it were constant and even turning the mind to actually praying for the one who did the offense. This act takes ones mind off the offense and onto the Lord and lines the heart up with obedience to His Word. God blesses obedience (1 Samuel 15:25) and with diligence and in time His power truly causes the heart to "remember with peace".
Good resources on forgiveness from a Christian perspective.
Forgiveness can be a difficult journey but with practice and diligence it can open up a whole new world to the believer for peace and success; spiritual as well as increases in blessings and the power of God in and through your life.
Forgiveness Brings Forth Life
NO SALVATION WITHOUT FORGIVENESS
The first and most important aspect of forgiveness is the fact that we cannot even have salvation without it. It is clearly the fact that a person realizes that he is a sinner that causes him to even look to a savior to give it to him..to alleviate himself of the burden and weight of his sin (Matthew 5:3). After we have come to the Lord and have received our salvation by it, it is then that Jesus says to forgive others as He forgave us in the first place (Ephesians 4:32). It is also clear that we cannot be forgiven of our own day-to-day sins without forgiveness of others (Matthew 6:14-15).
Choose for Life
One cannot say enough or stress enough the crucial importance of forgiveness in the life of a believer. God actually commands us to forgive. Why does God command us to do that which is so difficult ? Feelings in this area are so powerful. We can actually extend the length of our life and the lives of our own children by the simple act of forgiving someone else of a wrong no matter how great or small the offense is to to us. God will not go against our own will. He gave us our free choice to obey or not to obey. The choice is to choose death or to choose life. In Duteronomy 30:19, He tells His people, "Today I have given you the choice between life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live" (NIV).
I have personally witnessed numerous times a person (in their later years) given a witness about the need to forgive and watched the devastation that came upon their lives within hours, weeks or months of an adamant refusal to do so. One disaster to their health after another or death to family members came into their lives breaking them unto such sorrow..but unto forgiveness before their own death. Holding on to the indignation and pain that comes with an offense from another is like taking poison into our bodies or lives. It's not that God strikes anyone. It's more than we open a door into our lives from the enemy that God allows. He allows the sorrow to the perfect degree in order to not let the enemy of our souls snatch us away from Himself and our heavenly destination. It is human nature to reach out for our loving God when we are in such dire need of Him. I need to make it very clear here that not all death and sorrow is due to unforgiveness. Each person must discern for himself what God would have from them in each individual case.
NOW YOU"RE WALKING
When one walks in the choice to forgive, the focus is taken from the other person and the incident and transferred to the Savior who promises His peace and blessings for obedience (Psalm 1:1-2). His peace that surpasses understanding engulfs us with comfort and joy.. we are released. There is a separation that happens between us and the one we need to forgive. It is no longer our problem. It's as if we have taken invisible hands off the other person and given God permission to deal with the offender himself. God does not go against ourÂ own will to do such a work. We must release others first even if the offense is so great that it takes much time. The choice to do so is the first step that begins the process of healing.Â
This release of an offender through the choice to forgive also brings blessings into our lives. We are all in need of allowance for our own behaviors and thoughts and God promiises that in whatever measure we use he will give back to us. If we are of a giving and forgiving spirit we will certainly reap what we sow into the lives of others. If we give forgiveness to others who have offended us, others will in turn forgive us and so will God. God promises that He, Himself, will bless us with heavenly joys as well as earthly ones into our bosom an life (Luke 6:38)... pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over.
So look into the Word..its Jesus. Contemplate the verses given here and others you may find. If you don't have a bible..it would be good to get one. If that isn't possible, look online. There is a myriad of resources online.
Forgiveness.. What about Cruelty?
The Restoration and Healing of God's Love
In the discussion about forgiveness, numerous aspects of forgiveness have been covered. First the statement that forgiveness is not an option and how the Word of God actually shows that God requires us to do so. The previous articles stated as to how that can be done, why it must be done, and the results of the completion of forgiveness to others. This part is being written to address yet another aspect of forgiveness; those who have gone through abject cruelty at some point either in their life as a child or at the hands of another in their adult life or both.
There are many kinds of cruelty in the world and many stories have been written and or heard about abuse and the devastation it placed upon its victims. The reactions or results of abuse can be as different or varied as the individuals involved. But the general result is that the soul suffers a kind of death within itself. The suffering of the soul can even impede learning and emotional development throughout a person's life; especially if the abuse was perpetrated at a very young age. This aspect of abuse is mentioned in this series of articles because of the deeply rooted damage that occurs with the abuse making forgiveness seemingly insurmountable as well as the many difficulties that crop up in the victim's ability to handle themselves in relationships later in life. It is usually later in life that an abused child begins to realize where his emotional pain and difficulties stem from in current relationships.
This now brings us to the aspect of forgiveness. Anyone who has suffered tragically at the hands of another, whether as a child or as an adult, has what can feel like a monumental chore to do to be able to obey God's Word in the area of forgiveness. As it was stated in the first article of this series, forgiveness is a choice and has nothing to do with how one feels about it. But, having said that, forgiveness can be a very different journey for the heart of one who has suffered so much and so deeply. The whole process for forgiving someone for a tragic hurt can take more time, much prayer, and even counseling by a Christian-based professional or by a pastor. While Christian-based counseling can certainly be helpful, much greater emphasis should be placed in the direction of prayer and/or bible study groups under the guidance of a pastor and/or healing minister as well.
FREEDOM FROM THE PAIN
The Word calls for believers to be transformed in the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:2). It is precisely the renewing of the mind that is so needed for the ability to let go and forgive someone for a tragedy against one's soul, body, or spirit as well as for the healing to be able to take place. What a believer does when they use the scriptures in this way (think on these things...Phillippians 4:8) is to take a beautiful step forward towards Christ to receive His response to it. The Word is Jesus. A believer can actually sense the presence of a very loving God in the person of Jesus through the power of His Holy Spirit. There can be thoughts and feelings of risk for this step forward (choice) given the past experiences of tragic abuse. But spending time in the Word and in prayer is to spend time with Jesus, Himself. In time as a believer takes on the thoughts of God from the Word, he begins to realize that indeed a transformation has taken place. This realization gives way to a sense of freedom, release, sweet joys unspeakable, and a new-found awareness of the passion of a living God for each of His children.
More resources on forgiveness and healing - Recovery and Healing Is Possible
People who have experienced the tragedy of abuse as a child or as an adult can still move forward for restoration and healing in their lives.
With Your Whole Heart - to Capture His
God desires all of your heart
Blessed, blessed times are to be had when we spend time away from the world to be with our Father, who is in heaven. There are different ways to go about this and is personal to each person. I would like to share some things about my own visits in that quiet, still place I go. Each person will have to find what works for him or her based on their own daily routine. But hopefully the outcome can be so rewarding to you as it is for me. I began the process of capturing God's heart with the discipline of an early rising. T'was not easy at first but His heart was what I wanted.
I have spent many years developing my routine. I hope that those who read this can be inspired to find his own pathway. Most important is to not ever give up. The journey is grand...even on my worst days.
I begin my day anywhere from 3 :00 to 4:30 am depending upon the day before. I like to think that the Lord wakes me on time or lets me sleep. I strive to go to bed the night before by 9 or 10 pm. I do this because of something I read in the Word many years ago.
MARK 1:35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Proverbs 31:15 (The proverbs 31 Woman) She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.
I wanted to follow Jesus and the Proverbs 31 woman's example. I also knew that once the day got started, I wouldn't be able to stop all of the "doings" for the day to sit still. I had 5 children, so the early morning shift would have to be it. My husband also went to work by 7-ish so, early it would have to be. I found it was quite a struggle for a long time but it did eventually come around. I was basically born to be a night person so I had to learn to shut down at night to change my daily body rhythms. I found that I would be heading for bed back then by 11pm and I would be wide awake. My body eventually got the message..that I was in control. I found that the body actually prefers this schedule. It also seemed that I had longer days and could get more done. Don't ask me how..it just seemed to come out that way.
Are You Winning the War
The human brain is an amazing piece of work. It governs every aspect of the body's functions and is the seat of the soul; the mind, the will, and the emotions. For the Christian, all the battles in his personal life will be fought and won in the arena of the mind. Waging war with human thoughts and thus actions is a duty that is an ongoing daily discipline. The application of the Word of God to the thought process delivers amazing, permanent victories into the life of a believer (2 Corinthians 10:5). These victories are over sins, habits or thoughts that run contrary to the will of God for his life.
It is first important to state that the Word of God is alive (Hebrews 4:12) and is Jesus (John 1:14). Therefore, the relationship that a believer has with Jesus by knowing Him through His Word is how and where he actually receives the power for transformation and change (Proverbs 4:20-22). Without Jesus, a person only dupes himself out of the success he was created to have in this life or the next. The earthly success man seeks is connected to his eternal success and is the primary reason God gave us His Word for that journey (John 3:16). Success on earth without Christ is tragic. Jesus said, "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?" (Mark 8:36).
Many people suffer with thoughts that hamper any kind of success in their lives. Thoughts that bring guilt, shame, failure, or many kinds of fear. Their thoughts are deeply ingrained even into the subconscious and do a powerful work to immobilize their ability to move forward or upwards in their lives. Many self-help organizations, books, or tapes teach how to have victory by changing those damaging thoughts of one's personal life from negative to positive. This is not enough. These self-help pathways fall short of God's best intentions for him which includes a person's eternal destination as well. The believer must go to the Word daily to learn how God thinks and acts and then apply those words to his own thoughts and actions for change. He must actually capture every thought that raises itself against the throne of God (2 Corinthians 10:5) and submit them to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The first time a thought comes in is not the problem. It's when that thought is allowed to stay, unchecked, that it actually takes up residence in the mind of a believer. It becomes a seed that sends down roots to produce a crop of self-defeating actions. Whatever a person is thinking is what he will eventually be doing. Whatever a man thinks or speaks is essentially who he is deep within his heart (Matthew 12:34 b).
As this article states throughout, the one who would chase the dream of this kind of success must first believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. It's the relationship with Him that provides all that he needs and what the Lord would have for him now and for his future. So, roll up those sleeves and bend down the heart on one knee before Christ. Surrender every thought that is not of God to be replaced with new thoughts from His Word. Experience forgiveness, the healing of all hurts, and the joys of a fantastic future that only God can give.
Further reads for winning the war on thoughts.
Contolling the thought-life of a believer is crucial for his successful walk on that highway of holiness.The arena of the mind can and must control all that comes in as well as what comes up out of his own heart.
Joyce Meyers teaches how to deal with thousands of thoughts that people think every day and how to focus the mind the way God thinks.
Discover how to become free from being ruled by depression, anger, worry, doubt, confusion, condemnation, or fear!
Con la ayuda de Dios usted puede controlar su boca, y hacer que sus palabras obren a su favor. Aprenda: Como hablar el lenguaje de Dios, como dirigirse hacia la victoria y mucho mas.
Have you been helped through the act of forgiveness to or from someone else?