Topic: A Gift for Others and for Yourself [September 21, 2016]
Forgive, and you will be forgiven. - Luke 6:37 NKJV
Do you hold unforgiveness toward anyone for any reason? If so, it needs to be eliminated from your heart and mind right away because it's keeping you in bondage. You may be thinking, Well, Joyce, that's easy for you to say. You haven't been hurt like I have. That is true, but I have been hurt in life to a very deep degree. I was abused, abandoned, rejected, blamed, lied about, misunderstood, and betrayed by family and friends, and I allowed the enemy to fill my heart with hatred for those who hurt me. But when I began to learn about love, I moved from hatred to bitterness to mild resentment and finally to freedom, which only comes through forgiveness. The Lord graciously brought restitution into my life.
God promises to bring justice into our lives and to give us a double reward for our former shame, pain, and unfair treatment (see Isaiah 61:7). When we try to bring justice ourselves through vengeful acts, we only prevent God from working on our behalf.
The absolute key to unlocking the recompense of God for past hurts, however, is to do things His way and not our own. We are to love our enemies, pray for them, and bless them. If you have been hurt, God knows all about it, and He has a plan for your vindication. He, and He alone, is the vindicator (Hebrews 10:30).
Love Others Today: Do you need to extend forgiveness to someone? Make the choice to do so right now. It will be a gift to that person and a gift to you.