Forgiveness is hard. Even when we have given it all to God it can still hurt inside. At those times it's very important that we keep our eyes on God and his promises and not on our feelings. The devil does not want us to get the victory over our hurts and pains. He will use those hurts and pains to sow seeds of doubt in our lives if we'll let him. So we need to be on guard.
Often I 'll ask God if there is anything he wants me to learn from what I'm going through. I keep myself open to God's leading and avoid the pitfalls of the limits of my emotions. God says " I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me". There are no limits there.
God does not want us shackled by unforgivingness or emotional baggage. He gives us feelings but those feelings are there to keep drawing us closer to Him. They provide us with an awareness of our need for Him. Our feelings have limits, but Godís promises do not. Godís word tells us that "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". There needs to be more than just our emotions to lead us through life. There needs to be faith. Faith in a truth thatís greater than our circumstances. Faith that brings hope when things may seem hopeless. God wants you and I to be free. Itís hard to be free when we feel like things are hopeless. Itís hard to be free when are feelings are more real than Godís word and promises are in our lives.
The pain we feel in life does not have to be so confusing. We can forgive and still be hurting inside. Sometimes our wounds may take a while to heal. But when we forgive and let God show us the way we put our faith in something greater than our emotions. No longer do we find ourselves being led by the brokenness of our hurts and pains. Weíre set free to come up out of the dark corners of our mindís pain. Weíre given hope in the promise of Godís word and strength. When we go through hard times its easy for us to want all the answers. If we donít get the answers we want, or God simply wants us to wait on Him, we can get discouraged. God has given us free will, so He wonít make us follow Him. Discouragement is another way the devil likes to take advantage of us. If he can get us confused- if he can get us to believe his lie instead of what Godís word promises us, then he can get the victory over us.("For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.") Godís word is our road map. When we go through hard times His word is there to lead us. Whether those times are good or bad, Godís word is there to give us the clarity to make clear decisions. When we forgive, itís because God said to forgive.
Sometimes it may seem like the one being forgiven doesn't deserve it. But God still tells us to forgive. We may not have all the answers, but we do have the opportunity to make clear decisions. God has not promised us all the answers. But He has promised every one of us that will keep Him as Lord of our lives that He will work all things for our good. This promise is not based on our circumstances. Itís not limited by how much pain we go through. Itís given to and received by (all) those who make Him Lord of their lives. One of the ways we do that is by making His word in our lives more real than our circumstances and feelings.
When we forgive we give it to Him. When we hurt we give it to Him. When we give everything to Him, we give up the restrictions that our hurts and pains have limited us to. We take hold of the faith to believe in something more. We experience how God is limitless.
In the book of proverbs God gives us more guidance on how to experience His leading. In (Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV) it says "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." We can see there that God is not asking us to find the answers on our own. Heís not telling us to take action on our own. He's saying to trust Him even when it doesn't make sense to us. To take action based on His word and not on how we feel. Only then can He direct our paths. Itís when we honor Him with our choices that we truly make Him Lord of our lives. If He's not Lord of our lives than we canít expect things to work for our good.
That same principle applies to all aspects of our lives. Forgiveness is not based on our feelings. Victory in life is not based on our feelings. Faith in Godís word, trust in His leading, and unwavering dedication to those truths grants us the freedom to let go of our limits. When we do that we come face to face with our limitless God. We experience His love, we feel His grace, and we know were free.
Copyright 2012 Paul E. Maguire
Scripture reference: Philippians 4:13 ESV / Hebrews 11:1 KJV / 1 Corinthians 14:33 / Romans 8:28 / Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV
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