Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Power of Forgiveness

"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you yours sins."  Mark 11:25

Forgiveness is the key to unlocking the freedom that God has for you to fully receive from him.  He gave his Son so that our sins might be forgiven and that is our blessing.  However, the enemy has a strategy to get us off track.  This strategy is called unforgiveness.  He knows that if we begin to walk in unforgiveness that he can defile us and cause us to leave the grace of God.  He confirms this in Hebrews 12:15 when he says:  "See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root (bitterness, unforgiveness, resentment) grow up to cause trouble and defile many."  When we don't extend forgiveness to others as it has been given to us by God, we than begin to walk out of the grace (unmerited favor) of God.

I have struggled with unforgiveness because I have been hurt, rejection, abandoned, betrayed, unaccepted and unloved.  If the enemy can get us to focus on the hurt and pain that others have done to us than he can wreak havoc in our lives.  It is a process to learn to walk through forgiving others because we have been hurt and have unresolved issues that have never been addressed.  Sometimes it takes years to find out why that person is able to push our buttons and get us in a state of unforgiveness.  Sometimes the injury and hurt done is truly horrendous and is justifiable in being angry.  However, one cannot move forward if they live in the past with all the baggage of the hurt, pain, betrayal, disappointment, lies, rejection and deception.

God has given us the Holy Spirit when we received him.  He did this so that when we need comfort he is there for us.  The Holy Spirit is "Immanuel"  God with us.  We have to turn to God and ask him to comfort and heal us from this past hurt.  We have to come into a place saying, I don't want to carry this anymore, I want you to heal me from what has happened.  And the next step is even harder to say...but God wants us to love and bless our enemies (Matthew 5:44).

Blessing and loving our enemies is coming to know God's great love for us.  We need to understand and have knowledge of this.  Because God loved us first, we can love God and love others.  This gives us a desire to do God's will.  Unless we know the power of God and his ability to heal our broken hearts, we will not be able to overcome.  This requires us to have faith and trust in God.  No one can truly pick up their cross and denying themselves unless they know God.  Faith comes by hearing the word of God and by meditating on his goodness.  Because it is his goodness that leads us to repentance.

In the process of blessing and loving our enemies, we extend the grace of God to them and free ourselves from the bondage and control that they had over our lives.  They no longer are able to determine how we feel.  God comes in and his grace floods our hearts to know that we are accepted and loved despite what they think of us because we are approved by God.  By extending the love of God to them as he did to us, God is then able to do something in their lives.  We have to trust that God is a righteous God and he knows how to handle the person who hurt us.

We need to remember God is the judge and he will one day deal with those who are unrighteous and wicked.  We may not see it in our lifetime, but God knows the beginning to the end.  When we can begin to walk in forgiveness towards others, we can thwart the plans of Satan and begin to walk victoriously in God's plans.  May God bless you today by extending his grace to you and may the baggage of unforgiveness be broken by the power of God.

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