“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Ephesians 1:7 NKJV
Living a lifestyle of forgiveness, as in seeking forgiveness from the Father and choosing to forgive those whom have wronged us in some way, should be fairly straight forward. It should be a simple process even if we need support at various times, but for some reason, it can be one of the biggest stumbling blocks in our walk with Jesus. Forgiveness comes from the heart of the Father through His son Jesus who suffered on the cross. It brings the greatest freedom in our lives when we receive it and release it to those who have harmed or hurt us. It’s the very central focus of our salvation and surrender to Jesus. Yet there is a struggle that can take place when we are called to walk in it!
I see it on a regular basis in our home. We have three lively children, all with great ideas and huge hearts until they are “wronged.” Then the home becomes a battle zone. Often it takes skills that could be used in establishing world peace to resolve the arguments! The key is enabling one injured party to forgive the other. They have to choose to forgive one another and move forward. This illustration might seem a little too simplistic, so I’ll share a revelation that the Lord gave me some time ago.
I was struggling to forgive someone because their actions had caused much hurt and pain. As I prayed about the situation, Holy Spirit prompted me to extend forgiveness, but I couldn’t do it. I had placed their sin or actions in the “really awful” category and I couldn’t move from that place. I was completely stuck. That is when the Father lovingly spoke to me. With His gentle and compassionate voice, He said, “When Jesus hung on the cross, He did not hold a list in His hand. There was no list of what would be forgiven. He died for ALL so that ALL things could be forgiven. I have no categories. There was no list in my Son’s hand.”
I sat and wrestled with the words “there was no list.” It was good to know this when seeking forgiveness of my own sin, but extending it to another who had caused much suffering was a different matter. I eventually surrendered and released forgiveness. It wasn’t easy, but there was a release from anger and bitterness. When we choose to forgive, further healing and restoration can take place. If you are struggling with either seeking forgiveness or extending it to another person, ask the Father for help. He is compassionate and has incredible love for us. Even if the words you hear may be a challenge, trust the heart of the One whom is speaking to you. He knows what He is doing.
“Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.’” Luke 23:34 (NKJV)
Our God Hears,