Your brain can trick you into believing you’ve mastered something when you’ve been doing it long enough. That’s how I felt about forgiveness and facing the past. Those tasks were difficult at first, but they became easier with time, right up until the circumstances changed and I found myself needing to relearn a thing or two.
After God has done work in an area of your life, you don’t expect to have to persevere through that darkness again. While I’d learned to forgive attacks directed at me, I realized that forgiveness is much harder when it’s your loved ones who have been hurt. And who knows what future events will need to be faced head-on and worked through? I came to understand that God never stops sending invitations for growth and new life.
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)
We ask for mercy and love, but how often do we pray for those who need the same thing? We forget that we all need God’s forgiveness—a chance to be alive in Christ.
Just as God gave new life to the dry bones we read about in Ezekiel 37, he offers us new life through the forgiveness of sins when we believe in Jesus. He then calls us to forgive others. This isn’t always easy. Some people are hard to love, so we don’t want to offer them forgiveness. We don’t face what they’ve done to us or how our actions and reactions have contributed to the situation. (Yes, don’t forget about the part you play in your story.) Yet, as Christ forgave us, we are to forgive others.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Remember what you’re like in the moments when you don’t love yourself. Like Mr. Miyagi said in The Karate Kid, living can be worse than death without forgiveness in our hearts. Even when we’re hard to love, God has granted us mercy and new life through Jesus.
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
What do you need to trust God with? How has God’s mercy changed your life?
Ask God to teach you how to forgive. Find stories in the Bible about forgiveness. Join a Group where you can live a new life with other Christians and invite others to join.
God, may we all come to you when the past, our fears, and hopelessness stop us from moving forward. Guide and walk with us as we continuously enter new seasons of life. I pray that our faith is strong enough to allow mercy to prevail over our wrath during the darker days. Amen.
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This post was written by Jaron Camp. Jaron is a storyteller and a professional ghostwriter who enjoys using his gifts to write for the LivingItOut. When he’s not developing fictional worlds, researching, and writing, Jaron enjoys watching sports, participating in family game night, and spending time with his wife and four kids.
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