Forgiveness: Setting Your Captives Free
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
It is one of the first verses we learn as children—“Be kind to one another.” Kindness, when it is taken to the highest degree, must be forgiveness. Forgiveness is the ultimate display of kindness.
Forgiveness is also one of the most necessary components, not only for personal revival, but revival within a body of believers. It is the key that sets us free from the bondage of bitterness against another and against God. When we forgive, we not only are released from bondage, but we are releasing that one that we forgave. It opens the floodgates of peace and joy!
Sometimes it is easier to forgive someone when they have made a mistake, admit it, and ask for forgiveness. It is most difficult when the offender has done what I think may be irreparable damage, emotionally and physically, to me or to someone I love. I may try to forgive, but I just can’t get over it. I can’t stop thinking about it. The hurt just won’t let me forgive.
But God. God is sovereign over all. Even our hurts. And He can use them for our good if we let Him. In Genesis when Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brothers, he forgave. He also acknowledged and accepted the fact that God had a purpose even in the evil that his brothers had committed against him.
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Genesis 50:19-21
As Romans 8:28 teaches us, all things do work together for good for those who love God. It is all for His purpose. We can trust Him.
We have been forgiven an insurmountable debt. No debt against us can be greater. We must forgive others as God, through Christ, has forgiven us. Completely and freely.
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
I have often said, "Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself." I've had to give myself that gift on many occasions. It can be very difficult, but this too is part of Seeking Him. How will you seek Him this week?
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