Psalm 130:3-5 “If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.
The Friday night Small group that meets at our house is studying the Scriptures on the topic of “Forgiveness” this Fall season. A good friend told me lately that their Pastor told another group of longtime Believers that because they were professing Christians, he was not going to focus his lesson to them on “Salvation”, but on “Forgiveness”. They knew and understood from Ephesians 1:7 that “In Him (Jesus) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace”, but what really is this “forgiveness”? In every relationship it’s certain we’ll need to extend or seek forgiveness at some point, so the subject of forgiveness touches us all. But, how can we forgive when the pain is so great? Does forgiving mean we have to forget the insults and injuries? Is the other person going to get away with what they did? Forgiveness not only cleanses our soul and frees our mind but unlocks the chains that hold us captive to the person who wronged us. We need to know and trust that God has a grand plan and purpose for our life. We do not always see what God is doing and who is using to accomplish His purposes in the larger picture or why?
Genesis 50:19-20 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”
This lesson that our group studied this last week taught that to unleash the power of forgiveness in our lives lets it propel us our of painful and awkward situations, and frees us from the pain of the past to move forward. As a Believer, we can effuse to allow the past to determine our future. Everything we have endured, suffered and experienced can have eternal value if we choose to view it from God’s perspective. Joseph did not hold his brother’s mistreating of him against them, but felt compassion for them before they recognized him. His forgiveness was unconditional – not dependant on anything from them. You can read the complete account of Joseph in the book of Genesis, Chapters 37-50. To be sure, his brothers mistreated him, but he chose to see the past from God’s point of view. He recognized that God was working His good in Joseph’s life through the very evil that had been done to him. Joseph’s example reminds us that when we don’t know why certain things happen, we must remain confident that God is at work in every experience of our lives, even the painful ones and not allow situations to paralyze or render us ineffective in our walk with the Lord. Forgiveness is freedom.
Ephesians 2:1-6 You He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
When you look at this passage of Holy Scripture above, see, understand and know the forgiveness of God from His Divine mercy and grace, and walk in freedom toward the future, being graciously forgiving.
In Christ, Brian