a great day for forgiveness.
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 NASB
Christ forgave even those who spat on Him, mocked Him, beat Him, whipped Him, forced a crown of thorns upon His head, made Him struggle under the weight of His own cross, laughed at Him and called Him names, nailed Him to His cross, pierced His side with a sword and watched Him die.
What is it that someone has done to you that you find yourself incapable of forgiving?
God knows your pain. He sees how much you hurt and He knows how angry you can be with those who may have caused your pain. Letting go of grudges and forgiving others is hard work, but accepting the love of the Lord into your heart and exhibiting true faith in the power of God to heal you is part of being a child of God.
We cannot pray for God to forgive our sins if we have not developed the love and peace in our heart, through our faith, which enables us to forgive others.
Sometimes it may seem almost impossible to imagine forgiving something another person may have done to us. We may have been beaten, robbed, raped, sexually abused, or had any number of serious sins, crimes, or injustices committed against us. The last thing our hardened human hearts want to do is give up our pride and our desire for vengeance, but true faith changes us; it allows us to open our hearts to love and force out the hurt, the grudges, and the need for vengeance.
As Christ hung on the cross, bleeding from His wounds, knowing that His life was about to end, He looked down upon those who had tormented Him, tortured Him, and were now gambling for His clothes while waiting for Him to breathe His last breath.
Under the worst conditions imaginable, He still looked upon His murderers with compassion, love, and kindness and said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34 NIV).
With Christ as the perfect example; with Christ as the perfect source of love and strength; with Christ as the perfect Light illuminating our path, may we all learn to ask God to help us look upon others with forgiveness for what they have done to us in order that we may then ask God for forgiveness for ourselves.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson