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BUT IF YOU DO NOT FORGIVE

Most of us have been troubled at one time or another by these words of Jesus. 

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Matthew 6:14-15

This morning I heard a marvelous testimony relating to this concept. I am still stirred by what I heard, but I need to be careful not to breach a confidence in sharing it. However, I know that most of you have had similar experiences, and can understand without my giving too many details.

A lady shared this in a prayer request for someone she knew. She had given this person a Bible several years ago, but she had not read it until now. When she came to these verses in Matthew 6, she was stumped. She said, “For God to forgive me, I have to forgive the man who raped me and ruined my life. I could never do that, so I can never be forgiven by God.”

The lady who was sharing with her told us that she understood, because she too was sexually abused as a young girl. And she told about being on a retreat of sorts, where in a very emotional prayer, God gave her the ability to forgive the man.

I told her she was the right person to share with the lady who was struggling with this. She felt she needed to forgive the man, so she could enter into the grace of God. But that is something only God can do in us. We come to Him in our weakness, admitting that we cannot change our hearts. And God, who is drawing us to Himself, transforms us, doing in us what we could never do.

Forgiveness is the sort of thing we will have to struggle with until the metamorphosis that God has begun in us is complete in His presence. And every victory that we have over our unforgiving hearts must be done in us by God.

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Comment by Malva Birch on August 26, 2020 at 11:10am

Heavenly Father, please help those who have been hurt really awfully bad, to be able to forgive so that they can heal and so that Your purposes for their lives will be fulfilled in spite of what had happened to them. Lord, You have the power to change hearts and minds and lives and nothing is too hard for You. Thank You, Lord Jesus.

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