Borrowing this week from Nancy Leigh DeMoss. In her daily devotional book, The Quiet Place, she shares what I feel are some great truths related to the subject of Forgiveness. Since learning how to forgive those who have hurt us is vitally important if we as believers are going to walk victorious in our Christian lives, I felt these teachings were worth passing on.

Forgiveness and good feelings don’t always go hand in hand

“Forgiveness cannot be proven by our feelings, any more than it can be motivated or empowered by them. Forgiveness is a choice. And feelings often aren’t. So it’s quite possible to forgive someone the right way — God’s way — and still have thoughts flash across your mind that seem to contradict the decision you made.

Forgiveness is not like planting (flower) bulbs, where you never have to think about them again, and everything just naturally comes up nice and pretty in the spring. No, life goes on. Sometimes old feelings turn up when you’re not expecting them, needing to be handled and replanted. But that doesn’t negate what you’ve done. It simply gives you a new opportunity to let the Lord reign over your emotions. When you don’t feel forgiving, that’s when you just keep forgiving — by faith.”

For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgression.” Matthew 6:14-15

Forgiveness does not mean forgetting

“The Bible never says God forgets our sins. He simply has chosen not to ‘remember’ them against us, not to bring them back up again, or to accuse and condemn us with them. Choosing not to remember isn’t the same as forgetting. The fact that you have not been able to forget the offense doesn’t necessarily mean you haven’t forgiven it.

But why wouldn’t God make this tidier? Couldn’t He just purge these negative thoughts and painful memories from your mind? He could, of course. But He doesn’t always choose to do so. One reason is that the memory of past hurts can provide a powerful platform for ministry to other hurting people. If you could not remember how it feels to be damaged by the blows of sin and injustice, how could you relate to the pain that people around you are experiencing? Thank God when He leaves behind enough (memory of painful hurts) to make you useful in ministering to others.”

Thus says the Lord your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” Isaiah 43:25

Forgiveness is a Choice

“By God’s grace, you can choose to forgive in a moment of time. And though additional time and hard work may be required to live out the implications of that choice, the reality of being released from the prison cell of your own unforgiveness can happen today as an established fact.

The choice for you to forgive is actually no more a slow-moving, wait-and-see process than God’s forgiveness of you. Just as you were extended His grace in a moment of time, you can extend grace to others as a right-now expression of your will. That’s when the process begins. Rather than following on the tail end of a lengthy healing period, your willingness to forgive is actually the beginning point of true healing. Forgiving allows you to enter the process of restoration, not the other way around. Forgiveness happens, then it grows on you. You plant it, then it begins bearing fruit.”

God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation. II Corinthians 5:19

Forgiveness doesn’t always fix things

“Innate in the human heart is the expectation that life should follow an upward trend, getting richer, fuller, and more fulfilling along the way. But life generally isn’t like that in our fallen world. Yes, believers in Christ know that the years we spend on earth are but a small fraction of our eternal lifetime . . . but in the meantime, not every offender is going to repent,; not every relationship is going to improve. And as surely as you’ve been wronged in the past, you will continue to face situations where you will again be wronged, maligned, and treated unfairly. Not even the power of forgiveness can prevent that from happening. To expect otherwise is to set ourselves up for disappointment and to live with the foul fruit of bitterness.

It we are going to live at peace with God and our fellow man, forgiveness must be an ongoing way of life. So the next time you are faced with a hurtful, perhaps even repeat offense — in your marriage, with your children, in the workplace, at church — will you harbor resentment, or will you forgive . . . anyway?”

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

~~~~~~

 Now at my bungalow retreat, where I depict country living, bungalow-style through photographs and scripture: April Showers bring May Showers . . . I Mean, Flowers. I hope you’ll drop by for a visit: www.bungalowretreat.com

If you’ve not had a chance to purchase your copy of Caribbean Freedom (third & final Island Legacy Novel), signed copies are available directly from me, or you can purchase unsigned copies through Amazon.com in paperback or e-book. If you’ve not read any of the Island Legacy novels, Caribbean Paradise and Pearl of the Caribbean (first & second books in the series) are also available directly from me or through Amazon.com. Check under Island Legacy Novels for more information.

And don’t forget, you can also connect with me on Facebook: Author, Teri Metts, or follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.