For you to forgive, you need a tender-hearted forgiving heart. A hard and stubborn heart cannot forgive. A hard heart is a good ground for roots of bitterness and an open doorway for the enemy to come in. Forgiveness is hard because it goes against the carnal nature. The carnal nature wants self-gratification, and part of that is hurting those who have hurt us; hurting them whether with words or actions, by slandering and gossiping, by turning other people against that person who has hurt you, by demeaning them with actions and words.
Forgiveness seems hard because we think to ourselves that when we forgive, we are excusing the other person’s wrongs. Yet that is not so. It never means we excuse their wrongs, it does not mean that what they did or said was okay, it does not mean we allow them to continue hurting us. On the contrary, it is an act of mercy, it means they hurt us so much yet we choose to release them from our hearts.
We choose to release those who have hurt us as an act of obedience to God and so that our souls can be set free and healed.
Bitterness is poison to our souls, it keeps us in chains tied to those who hurt us. It opens the door for the enemy to come in and start playing with our minds and ruin our lives. Without forgiveness, our hearts remain heavy, without forgiveness our prayer life and relationship with God is affected, without forgiveness we will see those who hurt us or hear about them, and then the raw emotions and hurt comes back to us again. Without forgiveness, we will become stuck.
Unforgiveness leads to heaviness of spirit, it poisons the soul, and then starts manifesting itself through our bodies. There are people who are suffering from all sorts of diseases and illnesses brought about by an unforgiving spirit. We were not meant to carry all that weight within us, that is why Jesus Christ came on earth, died, and was crucified, and then rose from the dead. He came and carried all the burden for us.
God knows everything, nothing is hidden from Him.
You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Psalms 56:8.
God knows our struggles, He knows what we have gone through or are going through. He sees the tears shed, He sees the broken heart. Yet, He tells us to go to Him for healing, He tells us to forgive those who have hurt us. God wants us to go to Him for healing and restoration and not to the people who have hurt us. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
When we fail to forgive, we start walking in disobedience. Disobedience then starts opening doors to the enemy. Forgiveness requires a lot of humility, it requires us recognizing that we are not better than others, it requires acknowledging our wrongs, it requires submitting fully to God’s will; God’s will is that we forgive. We surrender to God.
I will lift up my hands toward Your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on Your statutes. Remember Your Word to Your servant, in which You have made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your promise gives me life. The insolent utterly deride me, but I do not turn away from Your law. When I think of your rules from of old, I take comfort, O Lord. Psalms 119:48-52.
Our hope is in God and in His unfailing promises.
The Bible says that the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart; those God will not despise. We reach a point of total surrender and total reliance on God. We take the Word of God as it is and put it into action no matter how much it hurts to do so. We forgive no matter how much the other person or people have hurt us.
God’s ways are not our ways; we may not understand why He tells us to do certain things but we are to do them. Everything works out for good to those who love God. He tells us to fear not, He is with us and He will strengthen and help us. However, we have to make that choice out of our free will, we choose to obey what God says. The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
We have been forgiven much, and because of that, we also forgive much. Forgiveness is hard but we know that God is with us every step of the way. When we forgive, God comes in and mends our wounds. It is God that we need. He is our Healer, the Holy Spirit is our Comforter, by the stripes of Jesus we are healed.
When we forgive, our soul is set free and the spirit lifts up. We know whose we are, we know where we are headed. Jesus bore it all for us, including offenses done against us. Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection make it legally and morally right to forgive. At the cross of Jesus, we lay everything.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. Isaiah 53:5.
We love God because He first loved us, we forgive because we have already been forgiven. We see people as God sees them. God restores our joy. Joy only comes from God.
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