Did you ever notice when Jesus forgave those who were responsible for His death?
It was in the midst of His suffering.
Luke 23:34 KJV — Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
This truth struck me this morning as I was praying.
Jesus is the believer’s example in all things and that includes forgiveness.
Thus, we should be quick to forgive, even in the midst of the pain, right in the middle of the wrong, we need to forgive.
What about those things which happened already?
Yes, we need to forgive those who hurt us in the past as well.
Because Christ Jesus forgave us, we must forgive others.
Acts 5:31 NKJV — “Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your forgiveness. Thank You for Your example, that You chose to forgive, even in the middle of the most horrific abuse You were experiencing. Thank You that it doesn’t matter how much we are hurt, it matters how much You are willing and able to heal the hurt. Lord, thank You for Your incredible sacrifice. Thank You for salvation. Amen.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NKJV — Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Years ago the Lord took me through a season of “studying” what love is.
Part of that was to break this verse down piece by piece and really work at understanding everything the scriptures said about what love is.
I needed to know, because I was struggling.
I couldn’t see past society’s fake version of love nor the temporary emotions that are often tagged as love.
I knew there was more, so much more, because of Jesus, and I wanted to better understand His love as well as what mine should be.
My study, years ago was with an NIV and this one section jumped to mind recently.
1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV — It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
“Keeps no record of wrongs”
That had been like a 2×4 upside my head years ago.
The Lord showed me at that time, how I had carefully logged a list of people’s wrongs against me.
I suddenly realized my “praying” for these people was actually me recounting each wrong in order from my list and telling God all about what sad things had happened to me.
Obviously, I wasn’t loving them.
Indeed, I wasn’t praying for them either.
I praise God for His patience and that He showed me my error.
It wasn’t easy nor quick, but the Lord began showing me how to love.
Starting with trashing the lists of wrongs.
When the Lord brought this back to my heart yesterday, it was with great joy.
I’d been praying specifically for a circumstance and this was the answer.
Love keeps no record wrongs, because loving means forgiving.
Matthew 6:14 NKJV — “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Ephesians 4:32 NKJV — And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
God set the example.
Jesus paid the price.
We should love as He does.
Colossians 3:13 NIV — Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for forgiveness! What a priceless gift You have given us, both in Salvation and in life eternal with You. Lord Jesus, thank You for reminding me of this scripture and for bringing back to my heart the importance of forgiveness. Please help me to never make lists of wrongs, but instead choosing to love. Lord, thank You, that You are our righteous judge and that we can look to You and trust You for all things. Lord, please grant me wisdom, that I might be able to know what Your will is for each day. Help me to walk in Your truth at all times. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
“I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:2-6 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for these words from Job. I too can say the same: “…Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand…” Lord Jesus, please forgive me for allowing my heart to doubt You in anyway. It is easy to let fear and hurt distort my perspective and not even realize I am doing it. Lord Jesus, thank You for teaching me how to let go. I know that when I hold things lightly and trust You I am able to walk more closely with You. It’s when I try to cling to anything more than You that I stumble and struggle. Lord, thank You for not allowing me to doubt for long. Thank You for revealing the truth so quickly. Lord, thank You for bringing me to Your Word in the midst of my fear, that I might find truth and healing. Lord, I’m ashamed that I can get so upset by something so small and unimportant. I know it’s because You wanted to show me the past and heal me from those things and therefore You used this to teach me what was hidden. Lord, I confess the truth: You are sovereign and nothing, no one is more important than You. Lord, what You allow is what is best. What the enemy meant for harm You used for good. No matter what suffering I must walk through here on Earth, I know You are with me. No matter what pain must be endured, I want to do it with joy and comfort of knowing You will never leave me nor forsake me. Lord, I often do not understand the circumstances, but I know my Redeemer lives and He shall stand at last on the Earth. Until then, Lord hone my heart, make me new, and be glorified through this broken clay pot. To You be all glory, majesty, and honor. Amen.