October 6, 2021

As we complete our look at the topic, how to forgive when it is hard, I would like to reflect on what we have learned:
First, we need to Pray and Love our enemies even when the hard feelings are feeling burdensome, (Matthew 5:44) says it this way, “But I say to you, Love you enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” So we need o “Love… and pray for our enemies.”
Second, we should love and do good to those that have hurt us (Romans 12:9) states this way, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” As we begin praying for those that are hurting us, God will change our hearts to loving and wanting to do good to those that have harmed us.
Third, we must release the people that have harmed us from our punishment (Romans 12:17-19) puts it this way, “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” As difficult as it may be for us to do, we must not seek retaliation (Matthew 5:38-42) tells us, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.”
Fourth, we should not celebrate in your enemies’ failures,” as (Proverbs 24:17-18) specifically tells us, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the LORD see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him.” If (vv. 15-16) is aimed at the wicked, who commit crimes against the righteous (vv. 17-18) is directed toward the righteous, who may be tempted to rejoice over the downfall of the wicked (Proverbs 17:5b) puts it this way, “he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.” Moreover, if God takes “no pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Ezekiel 33:11) says; we should not too.
Fifth, we should treat others the way we want to be treated, (Luke 6:27-31) tells us, “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” There will be times when people (even our loved ones) will hurt us or betray us so profoundly that we desire to return that same hurt or betrayal they have caused us. What comes to mind is (Psalm 106:1-12) where the psalmist reviews Israel’s rebellion and sin against God; no matter how much they hurt God, He still showed His mercy, faithfulness, and forgiveness to them. Who of us would be so faithful if those we loved had betrayed us?
Sixth, we should stop dwelling on the past (Isaiah 43:18) tells us, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Always be mindful that we live in a sin-filled world; people will say and do things that do not always sit well. That said, we must be careful not to dwell on the past, be cautious not to overthink the situation, but be quick to forgive.
Lastly, we should be careful not to speak poorly of the person that has hurt us (Romans 12:14-21) puts it this way, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” On the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” There is an old saying I remember and to this day stand by, “Kill your enemies with kindness.”
Friends, we live in a sin-filled world; people will say and do things that do not sit well with us. That said, we must be careful not to dwell on the past, be cautious not to overthink the situation, but be quick to forgive. Would you pray with me?
Father, the first words You spoke as You laid upon the cross was, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:24)
Father, please help me preserver in the same manner when I am hurt, and pray for those who persecute me. Would you please help me to forgive quickly and readily? May I love without expectations, reservations, and limitations?
May I love without expectations, reservations, and limitations? I pray as I call upon Lord Jesus to abide in me and cast out all revenge and contempt against those who have hurt me. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen!

God Bless and have a Blessed Day, Friends <><

 

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