You have been hurt. In fact, your hurt has cut deeply into your heart. You know that you should extend forgiveness, but you simply do not “feel like” forgiving this person.
“If you only knew what he has done to me,” you protest, “then perhaps you would see why I have withheld forgiveness.”
At this point I feel it necessary to interject a critical fact. No one could hurt you more than you have hurt God!
While I will acknowledge your pain, can you honestly say that anyone has hurt you more than you have hurt the very God who created and saved you, regardless of how poorly you have been treated, or how offensive the sin was?
A Biblical Idea of Forgiveness
But what exactly is Biblical forgiveness? Forgiveness in the Bible means to send away. The idea is that God will NEVER bring those sins up against the believer in judgement. He has already dealt with our sins during the work of Jesus upon the Cross 2,000 years ago.
Once you and I asked Jesus to forgive us of our sins, and once we placed our faith in Jesus alone to take us to Heaven, our sins were forgiven! God has said, I have dealt with your sins, there is no need to throw them in your face ever again!
Each of us, who have experienced the forgiveness of God, should pause for moment to thank God for the forgiveness He has already extended to you.
Having Been Forgiven, How Can We Forgive?
In light of this truth, allow me to ask you a question which I trust will penetrate deep into your heart: “How can a Forgiven Person be an Unforgiving Person?”
I will share several Bible verses which deal with the subject of our Father extending Biblical forgiveness. As you study these Scriptures, ask yourself the above question, asking God to place within your heart a spirit of forgiveness to the one you have withheld it from.
Micah 7:19: “He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” I researched the depths of the various Seas and take note of what I learned. This will certainly encourage your hearts as you learn of how deeply God has buried your sins!
- Pacific Ocean (35,827ft) feet divided by 5,280 feet in a mile = 6.8 miles deep .
- Atlantic Ocean (30,246 ft) feet divided by 5,280 feet in a mile = 5.7 miles deep .
- Indian Ocean (24,460 ft) feet divided by 5,280 feet in a mile = 4.6 miles deep .
- Caribbean Sea (22,788 ft) feet divided by 5,280 feet in a mile = 4.3 miles deep
Isaiah 38:17: “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.” The meaning is crystal clear. Every time that God turns His back, your sins shift with Him so that your sins are ALWAYS behind His back. God is not dwelling on Your past sins, so why should you?
Psalms 103:12: “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” How far is East from the West? It’s a question that all have failed to answer. No one knows how far exactly; it’s like asking far light is from the darkness.
I can provide a slim explanation to help: The Eastern part of the United States is exactly 3,629 miles from the Western part of the USA. And this is in only one Country. It boggles the mind to try and comprehend this distance in the World. Once again, God is wanting you to accept the fact of His complete forgiveness of your sin.
1 John 1:9 -” If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:7 – “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
Romans 5:1 – “Therefore being justified by faithYou have been hurt. In fact, your hurt has cut deeply into your heart.”
1 John 2:1 – “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
Acts 3:19 – “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”
2 Peter 1:9 – “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”
Asking for the Ability to Forgive
Hopefully, you are now ready to ask God to heal your hurt and enable you to do what you once thought impossible, and that is to extend the same forgiveness which Jesus Christ has extended to you.
I learned during my counseling training, that when a person speaks the following words, “I forgive you” that three promises are being made to the person that hurt you.
- First, you are promising that you will never bring the problem or hurt up to the individual again. The key word is: never! People have a way of remembering wrongs as though there was a reward to be obtained for the remembrance. You must surrender your “Right of Retaliation.”
- Second, you are promising that you will make a commitment in which you absolutely REFUSE to dwell on the past offense. You will begin to practice Philippians 4:8 where you determine to think upon godly things. Aren’t you grateful that Jesus has made this commitment to you? You will no doubt remember the hurt, but you are making a commitment to “Refusing to Rehearse” the offense. After all, this is what Jesus continues doing for you. How can you do any less?
- Third, you are promising that you will make a commitment in which you will, under NO circumstances, share this person’s offense with another person. I would encourage you to symbolically, go out into a distant place. Dig a deep hole and bury ALL of the hurt, the pain, the disappointments, and the offenses committed against you by that particular person. Now ask your Heavenly Father to enable you to keep the above promises and to help you to forgive as He forgives.
Remember, “A Forgiven Person is Expected to BE a Forgiving Person!”