I am going to explode if I don’t share this with someone.
I am FREE! So in the last post (click) I shared about some people who have hurt me deeply. Well, in the past few months or so, God has really been convicting me to fully forgive them. I’ve made steps before this conviction…acknowledging that I can’t change what happened, letting it just become a part of my past, etc. I didn’t know how to forgive them, so I just prayed for God to help me. It’s been a process, but now I can say that I am free!
I knew that the Bible says, “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” -Matthew 6:15. I knew that God had forgiven me of so much that I had to do the same and extend forgiveness to these people who had hurt me. It was so hard to do that in my own strength. However, God started to heal me as I gave it to Him. It is simply impossible to forgive without God. He makes me want to forgive. I went through different steps…acknowledging that I still had not fully forgiven them, asking others I had hurt to forgive me, and hearing from others what it looked like for them to forgive people.
After hearing Pastor Dave’s sermon about enemies and God as the righteous judge, for the first time in prayer, I was able to fully bless those who have hurt me. I have prayed for them before, but this time, I had peace in my heart. I sincerely wanted the best for them. After sitting on it for one night, I know that it wasn’t just a fleeting peace about it all. I have been freed of the chains that were holding down on my heart, and it feels great. Peace has taken place of the built-up resentment and anger in my heart. I finally have accepted in my heart that God sees the pain and that I can move past it with His help.
Forgiveness is difficult. It’s been a struggle, but it feels so good. It’s restorative. God’s grace is so immense and deep like the ocean, and if I have this gift of grace, I have to try my best to extend forgiveness to the people around me. Someone reminded me today that the gospel becomes real when we forgive each other. It’s so true. Now I realize the significance of the grace God has shown me, how I truly don’t deserve it and how desperately I need it. Even better…the root of it all is love. “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD” -Leviticus 19:18. I think the sermon was quite dramatic to apply to my case with talk of enemies and all, but I think that helped me realize that my situation made forgiveness seem easy. I didn’t have anyone out to try and kill me like David did, yet David was the bigger person in this passage (click). Why couldn’t I do the same? Jesus was betrayed too, but “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” -1 Peter 2:23.
So I was finally able to respond by doing what Matthew 5:44-45 says: “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
Life is a daily struggle, but today I’m free. I’ll rejoice in that.
Yes. It feels great to be free.
Friends, thank you for sharing your experiences with me and praying for me through this. It means the world to me.