A young lady, a Christian for at least 10 years, very distraught and couldn’t function, sought me out for advice because advice she was hearing from the pulpit wasn’t helping.
“God forgave you, so you must forgive.”
“Unforgiveness is burning the bridge that you must cross.”
“Forgiveness is good for the soul.”
I’ve heard all these things before ad nauseam. Horrible events few can understand combined with a church that doesn’t celebrate grace is a formula to hear all sorts of platitudes. Many sound good but don’t work.
Friend, let me tell you an obvious secret.
Obviously, we all know it is good to forgive. But how do we forgive when the perpetrator stole something so very precious to us? HOW? The church I went to never told me how. They just told me I should. I felt helpless to change things and resentful that the “evil doers” seem to get away with it.
A guy that you were supposed to marry cheats on you and leaves.
A colleague at work that is purposefully trying to sabotage you at work.
Parents that made you feel so unloved because of their own shortcomings.
How do we forgive that?
There is great hurt because these people stole something from you. They stole from you a big building block to build your life around or a promise of happiness. They stole your future happiness!
The only way to truly forgive the most heinous of sins against you is this: the focus must be not on yourself or the perpetrator, this will lead to despair and repression. The focus is centered on Christ’s ability to renew what was stolen and on God’s greater plan for your life.
Don’t forget, Joseph the governor of Egypt could only truly forgive his brothers that sold him as a slave after years of seeing God’s grace in action. Joseph realized that 1) his brother’s intentions were evil, but God used it for the good of everyone – there was a godly purpose; 2) God was faithful, and gave Joseph “all things” because Joseph chose to follow the Kingdom way, instead of his own way. Joseph could only have true forgiven manifesting with soulful tears in his eyes rather than anger, after being taken care of by God. It is not realistic for us frail humans to go through big tragedy and forgive without ourselves going through grace. Without the experience of this grace, our attempts at forgiveness are superficial at best.
In Grace, disappointments are an opportunity to learn humility and wisdom but also a set up for bigger and better things. Without Grace, there is no guarantee of a worthwhile ending. So always operate on the realm of grace and so it follows to conduct yourself as a king, don’t get caught up with petty things and revel in Christ’s love – how you conduct yourself in this trial will be a setup for bigger things. I am a living testimony to that. (That story is here.)
The Main Points for Today to overcome great disappointments, paving the way to real forgiveness:
God’s role: God can restore supernaturally what the world steals from you in the natural.
- Don’t think of forgiving the transgressor yet. Focus and journey into the blessings that come when God forgives you. (We love because He first loved us.)
- Center your thought life around Jesus and recognize He is the source of why God will keep those promises to you.
- Recognize that you are not fighting humans, but the spirit of the world. So always operate in the frequency of grace and not of our own works.
In doing so, you are on the same sacred journey as Joseph; you will grow in secret and before you know it, you will be a different person with newer blessings and responsibilities. Your life will be much bigger than your old life, making what you lost look very small. The smaller your old problems are, the more thankful you will become and eventually you won’t think of the transgressor the same way. But the key thing is that the focus is on your journey exploring God’s heart and seeing your new life unfold and not “making him pay”.
But today’s message video is found below.
Watch the pre-church video – The Facebook live video link is here:
Friends, do have yourself a great Sunday.
Don’t be discouraged if your journey to forgiveness seems long. Anything worthwhile takes time to develop.