somebodylovesmeblog

Sharing God's love with the world, one heart at a time.

Make the Decision to Forgive

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For the last week or so, the Lord has been filling my mind with the word “forgiveness.”  It seems forgiveness has been the theme of many recent blog posts I have read, and the need for forgiveness is evident in many lives around us.  All you need to do is open your eyes and heart to the pain that so many are suffering, and you will see that the source of that pain lies in the refusal to just let go.

Satan is happily and cleverly deceiving us.  We are being fooled into thinking that we are “punishing” those who have offended or hurt us when we tightly hold onto the sadness, bitterness, anger and confusion.  We are living under deception when we hold grudges and wish harm on others because of their transgressions.

I have even heard Christians loudly proclaim that they hope a person “burns and rots in hell” because of the nature of their crimes.

Only the Lord knows a person’s heart.  Only the Lord knows the journey that person has traveled and where his journey will lead.  Only the Lord will make the Final Judgment.

Are we forgetting the conversion of Saul, the persecutor and murderer?

Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

10 Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” He answered, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; 14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; 16 I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 17 So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.  For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, 20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”    Acts 9:1-20

Until a person’s last breath is taken, there is always the possibility of conversion.  There is always the hope that they will open their heart to the saving grace of Jesus.  That is the reason why we must pray for those that have wronged us…pray for and love our enemies.  We must be blessings to all, and love all.

Why are we so afraid to trust the Lord and His love for us?  We claim that we love Him and recite Bible verses;  however, we stubbornly and greedily hoard a list of wrongs in our hearts.  Those wrongs may have been horrendous, hateful actions or words against us, or maybe perceived offenses that we carry within ourselves.

Let it go!

Forgive those who hurt and offended you, no matter how grievous it was.  Forgive yourself, for whatever it is that Satan constantly accuses you of.  If you can’t find it in your heart to forgive and let go, confess that to the Lord, and give the whole situation to Him.  Ask Him to fill your heart with His love, and to help you pray for that person who hurt you.

Satan knows that when you keep your heart filled with resentment, hate, anger, bitterness, sadness, and confusion, there is little room for the Holy Spirit.  Stop feeding into Satan’s lies and deceptions that keep your heart and life in darkness.

Take a true step in faith.  No matter what your feelings are, no matter how deep the pain is, make the decision to forgive.  And pray that The Holy Spirit fills your heart with light and love so intense that it spills over to the souls suffering in darkness.

 

 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.   Matthew 6:14-15

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.   1 Corinthians 13:4-7

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, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  Ephesians 4:31-32   

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13 thoughts on “Make the Decision to Forgive

  1. We are so afraid that our “perpetrators” will not be held accountable for their actions – that if we let go of it, their deeds will go unpunished and thus, we will be somehow accepting what they’ve done (or what we perceive they’ve done) to us as being okay or deserved. Therefore, unwilling to accept that we deserved such treatment and truly not trusting that God is fully aware of and will handle it in His way, we usurp God’s authority and place ourselves in the judgment seat – shoes we are unfortunately ill-equipped and unintended to fill. Punishment should not be the goal or our desire; rather, we should wish that those who are lost or skewed in areas (as we all are), would be enlightened and/or changed and that they would receive abundant life, peace and joy. I have had many personal situations with family members and others where I so badly wanted the assurance that they would be held accountable that I took it upon myself to make it happen. I became angry, resentful and bitter and my hostility grew as I (the victim) nurtured my wounds. Unfortunately, this does not lead to healing, nor does it lead to change in our “violators”. We have to accept that we cannot change what happened but we can change the effect it had on us. And while we cannot change the other party, we can and must surrender them to God not for punishment but for their lives to be changed through a move of the Holy Spirit.

    Wonderful post, Bernadette – as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, Tina, you articulated my thoughts and feelings that lingered for so many years perfectly. As if your words came out of my mouth:-)

      Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom. I always learn a lot from you. Love and hugs, Bernadette

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  2. Forgiveness is something we are to do, but something that is not really possible on our own. At least, not if it is something big we are trying to forgive. We can only do it through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Ultimately, justice belongs only to the Lord. We need to seek Him to help us forgive and turn justice over to the one true Judge. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Bernadette! I loved this post…forgiveness gave me my life back. There were many on my list to forgive…but perhaps the hardest was to be able to forgive myself and learn to love myself again 🙂 Thank you for reminding me this morning of how far I have traveled and how important forgiveness is. I was just in NYC for a few days and the energy there is very over stimulating. I encountered a few very rude people…in the beginning I was fine, but after a few I found myself wanting to return the rudeness….but that is not how I want to live. I think how hard it is to live this way sometimes, when we are TRYING and aware of it….imagine how hard for the people who have no clue. They are the ones who really need our love and forgiveness! Thank you so much for making some of my recent experiences very clear!!! ❤ ❤

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    • Lorrie, thank you for sharing your thoughts, feelings and struggles. The Lord is carrying you through your journey of love and forgiveness. So happy that we all have each other for support and prayer:-)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Forgiveness is so hard, but so essential to our true freedom. Great post. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julie, thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment:-). Yes, forgiveness is extremely hard…such a blessing that we don’t need to forgive on our own. The mercy and grace of Jesus carries us through the forgiveness process, which starts with the admission and acceptance of the gravity of the wrong against us. Feelings must be acknowledged and felt before we can let go and truly forgive.

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  5. “Take a true step in faith. No matter what your feelings are, no matter how deep the pain is, make the decision to forgive. And pray that The Holy Spirit fills your heart with light and love so intense that it spills over to the souls suffering in darkness” – I really need to take your words and my Blog from yesterday “not everyone belongs in our lives and think. Yes, think! In my Blog I have forgiven many times. I harbor no hard feelings. But there is something about your words that have latched onto my heart!

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  6. We all have struggles and the need to forgive. I’ve finally begun to learn the importance of forgiving and letting go. It can not be done without the grace and mercy of Our Lord, and is an important key of growing more intimate with Him. “Pray for our enemies”…does not always mean that they will be in our daily lives. It means we pray for their joy and conversion.

    You are in my daily prayers:-) Love, Bernadette

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  7. Very True blmaluso, holding onto bitterness and resentment is like mixing poison for those who hurt us and drinking it ourselves, it’s like Cancer it eats away all the goodness in us and gives Satan a foothold. But this does not mean we allow ourselves to be continually abused , turning the other cheek means not to seek revenge but to move on in Love and to always be willing to restore a relationship as much as it depends on us to do so.

    I would like to leave you a link for you blmaluso,to save detail here…..

    Rescued – http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/rescued-from-the-graveyard/

    Yes I have had to forgive many times, even with Blogging and as Christians we have a responsibility, it is not Love to look the other way when people sin or hurt and abuse us (see below) or if they teach error but as you shared we are not to judge their Eternal Destiny or their weakness and shortcomings, we all have these and when we rebuke it is to be in Love and for Love and we don’t condemn or use a Carnal agenda, only God’s Truth as confirmed in Scripture. We need to always forgive but for others to receive our forgiveness they need to say sorry.

    Luke 17:3-5 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.

    2 Timothy 4 : 2-3 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne.

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  8. Reblogged this on Journey with God and commented:
    The topic of forgiveness is oft one that is difficult for people to discuss, let alone do. Bernadette beautifully articulates the joy of forgiveness, so I figured I would share it with you as well! God bless and keep you all and may you find forgiveness to be the gift God intended it to be!

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