Forgiveness is Peace
Have you ever been so hurt or betrayed that it consumed your life? The feelings occupied all your thoughts and your heart was in an angry turmoil. You constantly asked yourself what-if and why questions and the vicious cycle of it consuming your life just continued. Well, I’ve been there and it isn’t a great place. It’s not even a 1 star review kind of place.
For me, it was the why. Why? Why? Why? I had asked why over and over in my prayers. Surely God would tell me why. But God doesn’t always slap us between the eyes with the answer we are seeking, especially when the answer is different than what we think it should be. Each Sunday as I was listening to the sermon, this hurt would be occupying my mind so I began to apply the words being spoken to the thoughts occupying my head. One example is about the story of Joseph and the sovereignty of God and free will. “Resentments are a poison for the soul and chains that bind you from the present.” Chains that bind you? Yep that was happening. Another was about letting go and letting God. “Letting go of the past doesn’t mean forgetting it, it means learning from it.” What did I need to learn from this? We have to trust in God’s grace. Another was about repenting to be ready for Jesus. “Repentance is turning from self and sin to God and Grace.” The answer to the why question is what I wanted; it was on the self side. So, the question now was “What would Jesus do?”
Well, Jesus would forgive. So, I made the decision that I didn’t want this to consume me anymore and I was letting go and giving this burden of hurt to God. We forgive because God forgives. Forgiveness is an act of love, mercy, and grace. Making the conscious decision to forgive will free your heart in ways you didn’t think possible. Peace in my heart is what I really wanted, not the answer to why. It took God several Sundays of speaking to me but as he always does, he will answer our prayers if we are still enough to listen.
Many people think that forgiveness has to be two sided because they view it alongside reconciliation. But that isn’t always possible and that is where one sided forgiveness has to be a decision we make for ourselves. Forgiving does not equal reconciling and re-establishing a relationship. The peace that comes with forgiveness will show us that some relationships are not meant to be reconciled. We can not change another person’s heart and if their heart isn’t aligned with ours then no relationship is best. We must be able to trust someone with our heart but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to pray for their heart.
So, if something from your past is burdening you, let it go. Forgive. Show grace and mercy. And peace will overcome the anger in your heart.