Three Sources for Forgiveness

Each of us have experienced wounds in our lives, which were caused by other people. Sometimes these actions were accidental and other times they were purposeful acts driven by the wicked sin nature that resides in everyone.

Freedom from these wounds can only occur through forgiveness. Forgiveness is not based on the works that a person does so as to earn it. Otherwise it would not be forgiveness, but instead the payment of debt that was met. Forgiveness means to send, to leave or to put away. When a person forgives, they are breaking the tie between themselves and the person who sinned against them. In other words, they are leaving it or letting it go.

What gives a person the ability to forgive or release someone from a debt against them? There are three sources: the source of pain, the source of mercy and the source of one’s love for God.

Countless people have been hurt by someone and after carrying the burden of hurt for so long, finally decided to forgive the offender and let the issue go from their lives. This decision resulted from their pain. It was not caused by faith or any virtue, but merely from pain and the desire to be free from the source of it.

The two other sources for forgiveness are the spiritual virtues of mercy and love. It is by these virtues that the Psalmist petitions God for forgiveness. (Psalm 51:1) Forgiving out of mercy comes from recognizing the struggle of the offender and reaching out to them in forgiveness because of it. The forgiveness is not condoning the wrong, but recognizes the person’s fallen state and releases them from personal debt because of it. Those forgiving out of the source of mercy have insight into the needs of the offender and are moved to meet that need. This type of forgiveness occurs most often among friends, family and spouses, but will also be manifested towards others by individuals filled with the Holy Spirit’s power.

The final source of power for forgiving is love for God. The pain a person has may continue to hurt and never get to the point where it moves them to forgive, let go or move on and they may never develop the insight necessary to forgive in mercy. These occasions require another motive or source for forgiving and this source is love or specifically love for God.

God, in his tender mercy, has forgiven us. It was his love that moved him to create, implement and submit to his plan for redemption. Although it would be extremely difficult and very rare for a person to forgive because they love their offender, it is possible to access this great motivation to forgive someone who has been wounded greatly. Since the greatest of qualities that a person can have is love, the same love can move a person to forgive. The difference is that the focus of love is on God and not the offender. Love for God will create a desire to be in his will, an obedience to his leading, a yielding for him to receive glory, and a submission of faith. A heart in this condition can forgive because the focus is not on the event or the offender, but on God. When they forgive, they are putting the care of the matter into the hands of a righteous and just God and are able to let go and finally leave the matter behind them. However, this love can only come about by abiding in God. When we abide in him, we as a branch tap into the vine of his strength and enable it to produce the love that can move someone who has struggled for years to finally forgive.

Forgiveness is never easy, but God has provided all that we need in order the be victorious and conquerors in life. (1 Corinthians 15:57; Romans 8:37)

Did God Forget Me? (Psalm 9:12)

When people forget about you and your needs, it is a hurtful experience. It conveys the absence of love and concern. There are times in our lives when we face trials and difficulties and it appears as if God has forgotten us. We pray and ask for deliverance, but nothing happens. Has God forgotten us?

…he forgetteth not the cry of the humble. (Psalm 9:12)

God has not forgotten you. His love and concern has not been set aside and your life and its concerns have not been mislaid or lost. God has heard your cry, he knows the problems that you face and the heaviness in your heart that you carry because of it.

So, why doesn’t he answer? Why doesn’t he deliver? But he has and he will. God has heard your prayers and is providing the grace that you need. Many of learn the grace and truth go hand-in-hand. It seems that you cannot have the one without the other. God I want you exposed to truth concerning him and buy the truth he will be able to exercise grace in your life. Paul experienced this and wrote about it. God’s grace was sufficient for him because of his reliance on the truth of the power of Christ.

Until your actual deliverance comes, expose yourself to the word of God: read it, listen to the testimony of others, attend church services and listen to the preaching of God‘s word and God will begin working his grace in your life.

How long must you rely on this grace until the deliverance comes cannot be known. Remember as God works in the details of your life, he is also working in the lives of others. He wants to use grace in your life to shine as a light to the lost. He also may be working in the lives of others to bring them to repentance before he moves his hand in judgment or chastening. Until then, you must wait on him. Thankfully because of his grace, you will be able to endure.

…he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.

Protect Yourself !!!

Protect yourself! You hear it all the time. Protect your identity, protect your vehicle, protect your home, get a flu shot. But do you hear anybody talk about protecting your heart from being caught in a snare?

Jesus spoke of this in Luke 17. He tells his disciples that offenses will come. When he spoke of offenses, he was referring to situations that would cause them to stumble or fall. Offenses are traps or snares that take our hearts captive. Much like the branch of a tree is pulled down and attached to a rope so that it can snare rabbits or other small animals.

Each of us could become ensnared and one major way for that to occur would be by refusing to forgive. Right after Jesus’ warning of offenses (snares), he talks about the brother sinning against them and then repenting: not only once, but even seven times in a day. His advice or counsel was for them to forgive each time.

Refusing to forgive can lead to anxiety, anger, depression and a host of physical elements. It would be wise for us to forgive and by doing so, we are not setting the offender free: we really are freeing ourselves.

Forgiveness is not explaining away the offense or allowing the person to be free from the consequences of their wrong. It is simply freeing them from owing you anything.

I remember a conference speaker referring to a situation when he was the principal of the school. He explained how a student brought a firearm to school. When he was caught, he was very sorry and in tears asked the principal for forgiveness. The principal told the boy that he forgave him, but that he could not speak for the law which he also offended. With that, he picked up the phone and called the police. When we forgive, we are acting in the same manner: forgiving them of a debt owed to us, but still having them answer to God concerning their offense against him.

Outside of being persecuted for Christ, you are not required to be a doormat and allow people to wound and hurt you. But you are required to forgive. Remember, when you forgive, the person you freeing is yourself.

Is Depression a Sin?

Hurt and sorrow are not emotions that you can control and store away. When they are present, it is for reason. Some may suggest that you must turn yourself around or rise above the circumstances of your hurt and sorrow. This may seem correct and may be in part, but as a whole this thinking is in error.

God has given us a comforter and he is able to lift us out of hurt and sorrow or at the least give us joy intermingled with our hurt and sorrow. Sometimes our ability to rise out of sorrow or to experience his joy is limited by two conditions or circumstances. These conditions or circumstances are time and the ministering of truth by another person.

I have heard some say that we are to have joy in the midst of our circumstances. To this I somewhat agree, but recognize the joy may not be experienced right away, but only until after hurt and pain has followed its course.

To illustrate, imagine that a person is severely punched in the face leaving the victim wincing in extreme pain. Immediately afterwards, he was approached by a believer who points out the beautiful sunset and tries to get the victim to rejoice in the power and wonder of God. As you can guess, that most likely is not going to happen.

However after the initial pain begins to subside, the victim may be confused as to why he was rejected and wounded in such a manner and then as he looks to the sunset, lifts his heart to God and rejoices in the fact that he who created such beauty loves him and will always be with him. He eventually rejoiced in his hurt and sorrow, but only after hurt or sorrow followed its course. It is not that he would not rejoice in God, but that he could not at that time rejoice in God.

Another reason why some cannot rejoice in the midst of their hurt and sorrow is because the burden is greater than they can bear. The Lord has promised that he will not allow us to be tempted above that we are able to bear because at the same time he will provide a way of escape. For these individuals, the way of escape is truth.

However while being crushed under the heavy load of hurt and sorrow, the believer may not know the necessary truth needed to overcome or they may not recognize it. It is in these circumstances that other believers are instructed to bear the burden of others. Just as the Holy Spirit (parakletos) comes along side us for comfort, we are to come alongside other believers and help them bear of their burden. We can do this with empathy, love, patience and the sharing of truth that will encourage their heart and point them to the Lord. It is not a truth of telling them what they need to do, but a truth of God upon which their faith can cling. When this occurs, the Holy Spirit can continue to do his work and lift her heart from hurt and sorrow. Rejoicing will follow, but it will only be able to occur as a result of at least one person ministering to another.

Remember how those at Thessalonica were sorrowing over loved ones who have passed away? Did not the apostle Paul come alongside the believers and comfort them with the truth that one day they would be reunited and be together with the Lord? (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18)

Also, did not Paul recognize the man who was being swallowed up with excessive sorrow and experienced this because believers did not exercise the truth of forgiveness when he repented? (2 Corinthians 2:7)

Some may deem the person struggling in hurt and sorrow as being in sin and that their hurt and sorrow, which today we call depression is in fact sin. To say that the person struggling with deep hurt and sorrow is in sin could be a sin in itself. Instead of trying to label and identify people, let us first pray to God and ask him to use us to bring truth to those who for the time being are struggling with hurt and sorrow so that their faith may cling to this truth and bring the comfort in the midst of their hurt and sorrow.

What is being spiritual?

What is being spiritual?

Is it knowing the bible very well to where you can quote large amounts of scripture or at the least scripture to pertains to life’s problems?

Is it demonstrating a faith attitude while in the midst of life’s dark circumstances?

Is it being separated from the world so that you don’t look, act, or speak like them?

Are you spiritual when you overcome the hurts, fears and abuses of life?

I am glad to say that the answer to all of these questions is, “No!”  Satan memorized scripture and then quoted it to Jesus, so that knocks out the first.  The outward appearances of man are not nearly as significant as the inward.  Just because a facade of faith is demonstrated on the outside does not mean that it is possessed on the inside.  Being separated is not an indication of spirituality because countless cults around the world, who deny Jesus Christ, have stringent guidelines for conduct and appearance, yet these people are not spiritual.  In fact, they are still lost in their sin.

Finally, we will look at the overcoming of hurts, fears and abuse.  I know many spiritual people who have not overcome.  This may surprise you, but it is true.  Many may state, “What about greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world?”  I John 4:4 is a good verse.  My reply to that is a question.  How can it be expected for people to overcome in Christ if they have not been given instruction in truth or have been given an incorrect manner of going to God for deliverance.  It is just like countless millions who have been told that they must serve Jesus with works in order for him to save them. These individuals may work tirelessly for years and never obtain salvation.  

In like manner, what victory would be obtained for those who have been hurt and abused if they were given the following advice.

If you want to get victory, sell out for Jesus, live holy, give, separate from the world and pray.  

What a legalistic approach.  How much selling out will be enough?  How can I know when I am holy enough?  Is tithing enough or should I give more? If so, how much?  Hair, clothes, words, actions, entertainment: I am separated…should I turn off my electric too?  After all this, there is no victory.  And then we wonder why people only stay in churches for five years.  These hurting people have done everything they were told to do and came up empty.  No wonder they leave…no wonder they give up.

It is time for us to be spiritual and make a difference.  Let us start with Galatians 6:2: Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Rejected Again and Again (Isaiah 53:3)

You fat pig!  You can’t sit here.  I hate you!  We don’t want your kind around here.  Have you ever heard words like these before?  If you have, you know how deeply they hurt.  These words are words of rejection and being rejected is a very difficult thing to handle.  Each of us has faced it and our first occurrence took place way back in our early childhoods.  Since then, we have staggered from rejection to rejection.  Oh, we may pick ourselves up, but each rejection adds to the last and we never seem to completely recover.  We simply harden ourselves and move forward.  However, that is only true for some of us.  For the rest of us, is there any hope?  Is there anyone who will not reject us?  The answer is yes.

I have seen it many times.  Those who have been rejected tend to have a heart towards others who have also been rejected.  This is not always true: there are some who have become hardened people and only project their hurt on others, but they are not the majority.

I have a friend who has been rejected many times and even by friends and family.  Every time I need acceptance and support he is there.  He is able to help me, because he knows what it is like to be rejected and he understands the struggles I face each time I am rejected.  He knows the sorrow that I feel, because he also has felt it.  His compassion and strength become my stability.  He is a very true friend.

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: (Isaiah 53:3)

Have you been rejected?  If so, speak with my friend.  He wants to embrace you in his caring arms and provide the comfort and support you need to overcome your hurts.  You don’t need to measure up to gain his support, you simply need to reach out.

Why Does God Allow This?

Why does God allow mean people to treatment me wrongfully? Or why does God allow people to hurt me? These questions have puzzled many and caused countless people to struggle and even fall away from their faith.

To some degree, the Apostle Paul addressed this issue in the following Scripture passage.

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; (Philippians 1:29)

I remember as a kid, my mother repeatedly played on our stereo the same song: I Never Promised You A Rose Garden. I was so sick of hearing that song, but one thing I distinctly remember from it was that along with the sunshine, there will be a little rain sometime. I guess that sums up relationships, work and even life itself.

Sadly to say, there are many who are saying that if people come to Christ, their lives will be a wonderful experience. They present it like their lives will be a bed of roses. What a mixed up theology. I can say that I would never even think of trading my life in Christ for anything, but I also can definitely say that as a Christian my life has not been easy. But again, why would God want me to suffer at all let alone suffer for Christ?

Our life experiences are a testament to the world. Because the lost will not seek God, he brings the message of hope and love to them. As we experience trials just as the lost do, God wants to demonstrate his comfort and love through his interaction with us. As we experience grace and strength, The Lord sends his message of love to the lost.

God also allows the wicked to oppress us so that he may convict them by us not being afraid but remaining strong in him. Trials and troubles are not joyful, but we can find joy while in the midst of them. God wants to meet you in that trouble and manifest his presence to you. When he does, the lost around you will see a demonstration of what he wants to do for them. We must remember that we are bought with a price and because he paid the great price of our salvation, we now belong to him. He will use us as he pleases and we must trust that whatever he does will be what is best for us and for others. Trials never seem like what is best, but it is during those times that our faith must rely on God and his goodness.

Not Giving In (Job 9:4)


Did you ever get picked on when you were a kid? Of course you have and if you were like the rest of us, you purposes in your heart that you were not going to cry. No matter what people did to you, you would harden yourself to make sure that you wouldn’t allow yourself to give in. You may have ran home, gone in the house and cried your heart out, but you weren’t going to do it in front of them.

Did you know that many people are still acting the same way. They expanded from not being moved to cry to where they don’t allow themselves to be moved. Sadly to say, they act this way towards God. Somewhere along the line, things in life did not work out as planned, so they decide to take over and take change. Regardless of what God does, they purpose not to give in to him.

One of Job’s friends made a comment about such people. He said, “He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered?” (Job 9:4)

Stop and think, can anybody really win when they harden themselves against God? Of course not, but people do it anyway. The children of Israel continually did it while they wandered in the wilderness and God’s people today are no different. What they fail to recognize is that they are yielding to somebody. Everybody does: they either yield to God or they yield to the enemy who is moving their heart against God. How foolish.

What can we do? What should we do? God says that we should instruct them in meekness in hopes that God may give them repentance. (2 Timothy 2:25). Until that time comes, hold on because the road will definitely get rocky.

RAPE (2 Samuel 13)

The desire in his heart moved him to target her. With innocence and love she cared for her brother as his plan to satisfy himself unfolded. He forced himself upon her and then cast her aside as refuse. What were the results of this act and specifically, how did they affect Tamar?

When Amnon forced himself upon his sister, he did more than just take her virginity. His wounds went much deeper because he first deceived her with love. He conveyed love by desiring that he needed her to care for him. His deception of being sick played upon her empathy and falsely convey his need for her. This deception of love may have created wounds just as deep as the rape itself.

Amnon traumatized Tamar by his act of physical aggression. Her cries of reasoning fell deafly upon his ears. His heart was not concerned for love, but only lust. Although the physical struggle may have only lasted for moments, she would continually struggle with it by reliving that moment for years to come. Amnon also victimized Tamar with shame. Tamar would experience shame as the community looked her, but more so would she face shame as she looked upon herself. The one she may possibly be able to escape, but the other would be ever present. Before rape, Tamar proudly wore the garments that the King’s virgin daughters wore. After rape, she wore shame and disgrace. Her character, reputation and testimony were stolen from her.

Possibly the greatest of wounds occurred when she became hated by Amnon. The term for hatred conveys the idea that the subject of hate is counted as an enemy. In Amnon’s eyes, Tamar became the enemy. He saw it as her fault. Her beauty, delicateness and femininity caused it all. He probably saw himself as the victim of her beauty and was unable to control himself.

As an outcast, Tamar remained stunned and devastated as those around her did nothing. Then after two years, Amnon was killed by Tamar’s brother. Amnon paid the price for the wrong that he did to his sister, but his payment did not removed any of the wounds created by his selfish sinful act. Tamar wound carry those wounds with her for the rest of her life.

You or someone you love may be the victim of sexual abuse. There is hope in the midst of this devastation. God recorded this passage to reveal to them that he understands the depth of their hurt and wants to bring the deliverance that is so desperately needed. It will not be an easy road of recovery, but he will provide the strength, people and resources that is needed to overcome.

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