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Can we forgive others with all our heart?
Forgive others— help from the Lord
Several years ago I heard a story about forgiveness that I want to share with you. It was about a lady that was deeply hurt by many people in her life. And after she became a believer, the Lord began speaking to her about forgiveness. But, as is the case with many of us, she did not want to hear and apply God’s command to forgive others.
However, the Lord wanted to deal with this issue in her life. So, one Sunday morning at the congregation she heard the preacher teaching about forgiveness. Needless to say, she could not accept the idea as she thought it was not fair to forgive others. Actually, she was angry at the preacher and left the congregation frustrated with everything that happened there. Next Sunday, she went to a different congregation. And guess what? The preacher in that congregation spoke about forgiveness! And again she left the congregation angry and frustrated on the message and the speaker. Probably she thought it was a conspiracy against her!
Then, the next Sunday, she decided to go to another congregation; a small Methodist congregation, a place where she had never been before. In the sanctuary were only a small group of people. So, when the time for the message came, an old man came in front and spoke about…forgiveness! It was the third consecutive Sunday, in three different places, she heard the same message about the some topic— forgiving others.
Who can help us to forgive others?
The lady in our story began to understand that God was trying to communicate something to her. The preacher read the words of Jesus from John 15:5 (TLV)
I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for apart from Me, you can do nothing.
Moreover, the preacher continued his message by saying that nobody can truly forgive with all of his heart without the help of Jesus. Why? Because apart from Him we can do nothing. And I don’t know how you understand the word ‘nothing’ but I understand it as NOTHING. Not even to forgive others! Does it make sense to you?
So do not try to forgive anyone without first asking for the help of Jesus! You cannot do it in your strength. Probably you have already tried and it did not work. We all need the help of the Holy Spirit to forgive!
Walk in obedience and forgive others
Maybe you will tell me how hard it was to forgive your husband or wife who divorced you. Or your parent who left you at the orphanage or your uncle or neighbour who abused you as a child. Maybe it is hard to forgive your friend who betrayed you or the teacher in school who humiliated you in front of everybody. I know it is hard to forgive. I know because I had to forgive many people in my life for many difficult things. But let me tell you something— I managed to forgive only by the power and help of the Holy Spirit! And if I could do it, you can do it too— by His help!
Do not let your pain and hurts poison your heart anymore. Do you know that even your prayers are blocked if you do not forgive? In Mark 11:25 (TLV) we read
Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your transgressions.”
Moreover, in Matthew 6:12 (TLV) we read
And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.
It may be hard for some of us to receive these words, but if we do not forgive with all our hearts, God will not forgive us either.
Forgiveness and healing
As I said in one of my previous posts, there is a connection between forgiveness and healing. I have read and heard about many people who got healed of cancer, deafness, and many other physical sicknesses only after they forgave with all of their heart! Read the testimony of Lynda, if nothing else.
I know many people would like to get healed of their illness and for that they would even pay the price to fly to a different continent for some ‘anointed’ or ‘famous’ preacher to pray for them. And they go from one preacher to another, from one prophet to another, and nothing happens. When sometimes all they need to do is to forgive.
God wants to deal with your heart and life. He wants you to live a life of abundance but for this you need to forgive. Friend, unforgiveness is sin! And if you live in unforgiveness, you live in sin and in darkness— I don’t care what others are telling you. Put your life in the will of God! Renounce the pride that is behind unforgiveness and let God judge.
Unforgiveness will hinder your walk with God and will make your spiritual life become dry. Unforgiveness always makes you a victim and will encourage you to remain in self-pity. You know what I am talking about!
A few years ago I felt betrayed by one of my friends. And I knew I needed to forgive him and release him in the freedom of my forgiveness. However, it was so difficult to do it. Then the Lord impressed 1 Corinthians 13:7 (TLV)
[love] it bears all things, it believes all things, it hopes all things, it endures all things.
Not some of the things but ALL things. After that I began praying for love.
Forgiveness is also a test from God. And so many of us fail this test and the Lord will not move us to the next level in our walk with Him because we do not genuinely want to forgive. Again, I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about.
I don’t know your past or what happened in your life nor the people who have hurt you. But God knows and He can help you forgive others and put your life in His will. We live in a world that is not perfect and the people around us will give us reasons to forgive all the time. Therefore, make sure you search your heart constantly and choose to practice forgiveness as unforgiveness puts a barrier between you and God.
What if the person who hurt you is now dead? Yes, you still need to forgive and release that person to the Lord, in prayer. What if the pain you feel about someone is small? Yes, you still need to forgive. We need to forgive everybody for all the things they have done to us— small or big. There is nothing too insignificant for God. He wants to heal all of your wounds— deep or superficial. Bring them all before His throne of grace.
If you think of someone— maybe a politician, a Pastor, a friend, etc.— and immediately you start criticising that person or feel anger or resentment towards that person, that is proof that your heart is wounded and you need to forgive. Did anyone reject you or hurt you as a child or a mature person? Again, you need to forgive.
Take your relationship with God seriously. Today choose to spend some time alone with the Lord. Turn off your phone and go in a place where nobody can bother you. Then, ask the Lord to reveal the people you need to forgive and be specific. Read my other post before you do that. Ask God to help you and give you power and love to forgive. And then by faith forgive. If you forgive it will be beneficial for you. Always after I forgive I feel lighter.
Do you agree?
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I am a blogger, writer, minister, husband to Olguta, and most importantly, a child of God. I am also a certified Coach, Speaker, Trainer, and Teacher with The John Maxwell Team, and I am helping people reach their full potential.