“We know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
We have been talking about how God can take our past mistakes, addictions, and failures and turn them around for good. This is part of God’s love for us – and tells a wonderful story of His grace, for His glory.
But there is one other way in which God works all things together for good.
Not all of the bad things in our lives are our own doing. Sometimes we are the victim of what others have done to us. We did nothing to deserve them – we were just the object of someone else’s selfishness, or cruelty… or neglect.
These can be the deepest wounds – and also the most dangerous to our souls.
They are dangerous because the only way we can get beyond our pain is to forgive the person who has injured us. And that is next to impossible for us. It is so difficult for us to forgive, because the person who has injured us, deserves to be punished for what they have done. The guilty always deserve to be punished.
Whenever we are asked to forgive, it sure seems like we are letting that person go unpunished – we seem to be saying that what they did to us, was okay.
But, according to the Bible, that is not the essence of forgiveness. Forgiveness is the refusal to place ourselves in the position of judge and jury for someone else’s wrongs. Those who forgive, have come to understand the wisdom that only those who have never sinned deserve to throw the stone of judgment – and that all of us, at some point in our lives, have injured someone else.
Unforgiveness is a sure sign that we have lost sight of the fact that God has forgiven us for all the wrong things we have done – and of the fact that His solution to our terrible things, was to send His Own Son to take the punishment we deserved.
It is in the light of that fact that we are called to forgive the undeserving… as a reflection of the way in which God has forgiven us.
While that seems impossible, it is not. God always gives His grace to the humble. And there is no one more humble than the person who is willing to forgive those who need forgiven. It is God’s grace that enables us to forgive.
Why? Because God’s grace flows directly from God’s Own Heart – enabling us to do just like God does. And when we are doing what God does – God is the One Who is glorified in what we are doing.
Even the terrible things done to us can become wonderful things, when God is using us to display His Own Heart – if we are willing to let Him.
There is no greater story that God desires to tell, through our lives, than the story of how love conquers all – even the horrible things that have been done to us.
Prayer focus: God, help me to take stock of any unforgiveness in my heart… and to live of life of grace, offered freely to the undeserving.