Forgiveness is such a huge issue with humans. Forgiveness is at the heart of the God dilemma with the universe. The character of God has been tested on his ability to forgive and the how of forgiveness! It is profound subject.
God is definitely a professional forgiver! God forgives forever. There is no unpardonable offense with God. Did you know that, Friend? Nothing, absolutely nothing is so offensive to God, that He can not forgive. Even rejecting Jesus as a historical presence on this planet, God will forgive! What has been called by religion “the only thing God will not forgive” is not really factually accurate. When a person who rejects God, walks away from God so far, by personal choice, that another 1 billion years wouldn’t make a difference because such individual is set against God, God let’s go! It’s not any more about forgiveness. It is all about a painful, merciful, graceful act of respect by God, to let go of such person! Hell is not so much punishment, but final act of grace and love for the one who would never accept God’s love, such as Lucifer and the demons. Hell is a final moment of mercy for people who have chosen to live a life of misery. Humans were never created to live without God. Are you with me, Friend? God forgives!
Jesus Himself said, (Matthew 22: 31, 32)
“There’s NOTHING or said that can’t be forgiven. But if you deliberately persist in your slanders against God’s Spirit, you are repudiating the very One who forgives. If you REJECT THE SON OF MAN out of some misunderstanding, the Holy Spirit can forgive you, BUT when you REJECT THE HOLY SPIRIT, you’re sawing off the branch on which you’re sitting, severing by your own perversity all connection with the One who forgives."
God’s forgiveness is so passionate, intense and complete, that HE FORGETS. Imagine! No human being is able to forget a deep emotional injury! (Jeremiah 31: 34-Hebrews 8:11)
Jesus spoke a lot about forgiveness:
He said if we do not forgive we are simply revealing the absence of God in our lives. There are not excuses, DNA factors, temperamental pre-disposition of the depth of the offense. Matthew 6:15, says that if we do not forgive, we don’t belong in the Kingdom of God. God’s kingdom is about love!
Forgiveness or an unforgiving spirit is like a huge tree with deep roots in the heart. Here are some of the reasons why forgiveness is so important!
True, authentic forgiveness says, you accept the human condition. The human condition is broken. All of us are messed up! Would you agree with me? Jesus said it bluntly when He was on the cross, talking about the people who betrayed Him, Judas, the CHURCH, those who pierced his hands and feet with nails! Luke 23: 34 “Father, forgive them; THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING." If you can think of your offender and accept that they are human, at times possessed by evil forces, they don’t know what they are doing! If you accept this fact, YOU WILL AMAZINGLY BE ABLE TO FORGIVE!
True, authentic forgiveness declares your dependance on God to fulfill your human needs. When a human let’s you down and you forgive, you are simply declaring that God is the source of your fulfillment. You deprive yourself of God’s abundant forgiveness when you say, “I won’t forgive this person, I will avenge myself, I will divorce the jerk, I will hurt the offender to teach her a lesson…” When you do that, you are walking on your own, and God doesn’t owe you anything! God respects your rebelliousness. God’s kingdom is a kingdom of LOVE not one of revenge!
True, authentic forgiveness opens the gates for God to perform miracles! Did you know that, Friend? When you take the pressure off a human being, your offender, by the act of forgiving, you are tacitly telling God, “God, you take over!” Great story in Matthew 18:23-35.
True, authentic forgiveness is healing to your own soul. I have had the sad past experience to specifically ask forgiveness from 3 people for sins I committed against them. They chose not to forgive me! One said “NO” in front of a whole congregation, the other two said “yes” but their hurtful and vengeful behavior after the facts told me clearly I had to pay for what I did. I believe that an unforgiving spirit sickens the emotions, causes havoc in the brain and the immune system, destroys relationships, intoxicates the mind, and causes sickness. (James 5: 16)
True, authentic forgiveness allows God to use the pain the offender inflicted on you to shape you according to His unique purpose for you. Last Saturday night I spoke about Joseph. God used the pain his brothers caused Him to shape him. God used the pain the King’s wife cause on him to shape him. The devil tried to destroy the “dreamer” in Joseph. God used the trials to take him to the top. I have memorized the words of Joseph, because that’s the way I feel about every one that has ever hurt me, and I pray that God will bless those I have hurt and have forgiven me with the heart. Genesis 50: 20 Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid. Do I act for God? Don’t you see, you planned EVIL against me BUT God used those SAME PLANS FOR MY GOOD, as you see all around you right now—life for many people. Easy now, you have nothing to fear; I’ll take care of you and your children.” He reassured them, speaking with them heart-to-heart. God developed an amazing heart of compassion in Joseph, during all those dark moments that tested His faith in God!
WHAT GOD DOES NOT HEAL, OR SUPPLY IN YOUR LIFE, NO ONE, NOTHING WILL SATISFY EVER. Only temporary relief, then reality again! Or what’s worst, guilt and darkness!