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Tag: forgive

Forgiving Others When It’s Hard

Why should I forgive someone who hurt me badly?

Written by Ruth on 04/06/2019
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Forgiveness, Freedom, Reconciliation
When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.

Genesis 37:4
Joseph is badly treated
Joseph’s brothers hated him because their father loved him best. “Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons…and he made him a robe of many colors.” (Genesis 37:3) Such a coat would have shouted this favoritism to everyone who saw Joseph wearing it. As a result, his brothers took an opportunity one day, when Joseph came to visit them in the fields where they were working, to get rid of him. They intended to kill him, but the oldest brother talked them out of that — so they sold Joseph to some passing traders as a slave.

Forgiving does not always mean forgetting
Often we think we must “forgive and forget.” While that is what God does (Isaiah 43:25 and Psalm 103:12) nowhere in the Bible God tells us we must forget the sin we have forgiven. Joseph’s situation is a great example of why forgetting is sometimes impossible. He was far from his home, a slave who could not leave his master, living in a situation that eventually made him a prisoner instead of just a slave (Genesis 39). Forgiving means letting go of what happened, giving what was done to you to Jesus.

We can know Joseph forgave his brothers, even though he could not tell them so, soon after he was sold. How? We see it in the way he acted toward his master in Egypt. He served Potiphar well, so well, in fact, that Potiphar made Joseph the overseer of everything he owned. It is impossible for us to live peacefully in the unwanted consequences of someone else’s action against us without having forgiven those who caused our pain or injury.

Another proof we see that Joseph forgave his brothers was that he treated Potiphar’s wife righteously when she tempted him. Had Joseph still been angry at his brothers, his anger would have transferred to this situation where he would have wronged Potiphar without anyone probably discovering his sin –he would have felt it was his right to get something for himself out of this bad situation. He did not do so.

Again, when Joseph was sent to prison because of the wife’s false accusation, Joseph would not have willingly helped other prisoners with their problems (Genesis 40) if he had not forgiven his accusers. Joseph continued to trust God even when another betrayal appeared to sentence him to a life in prison.

What helped Joseph when he could not forget? He gave the whole problem to God! He had learned from his father’s stories, how Laban and Esau had harmed him. He remembered God’s promises to Jacob, and how those promises had been kept (Genesis 35).

Forgiving means reconciling
Then came the impossible — he met his brothers again! (Genesis 42-44). Joseph, now a man of great power, second only to the king of Egypt, could easily have sought and been granted justice by the king. But rather than seeking vengeance on his brothers, he did the hard work of finding reconciliation with them. He looked for assurance that they had changed from what he had experienced in them nearly 20 years ago. He tested to see if they still harbored jealousy in their hearts. He even set up a situation to see how they would treat his own younger brother, Benjamin, differently — would they sacrifice him for their own gain? He worked toward and won, reconciliation even though his brothers were afraid of him.

Pray this week:
Lord Jesus, help me to forgive ___ so that my relationship with You can remain clean.

Whom do you need to forgive? With whom do you need to seek reconciliation? Please write if you need someone to pray with you about your situation.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How to Replace Grief With Joy

“Not my Joe,” I cried out over and over again. Although he was 19, he was still my baby, the youngest of my three sons.

Written by Janet Perez Eckles on 28/05/2019

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: ComfortForgivenessJoy


casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7

That night at the emergency room, black sorrow filled the air when the doctor said, “We lost him.”

Lord, how can that be possible? Joe was a leader in every way. He was the captain of his football team. He was the star player for his lacrosse team. Joe attended Bible study, encouraged anyone around him. His sense of humor and contagious smile lit a room.

He’s gone? Sleepless nights kept me tossing, trying to find an answer. Trying to seek God’s comfort and reaching for something, someone to ease the pain.

Is that what losing someone we cherish looks like? We long to fill the void, but cannot. We wish it were a nightmare and desperately hope to wake up and find all to be normal like before. And we secretly wonder, will peace ever come back?

But instead, peace becomes a foreign word. We drag grief like a chain that chokes with every step. And as we shuffle through life, we wipe one more tear and give one more sob.

But in the midst of all those emotions if faith remains, and if trust in God grows, He leans toward us and severs the chain of pain with these words: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

That’s exactly what I was doing, mourning, terribly and constantly. But Jesus said I’d be blessed. I’d be comforted.

I leaned my head back, inhaling His truth and savored the promise. That’s when, ever so tenderly, His healing trickled into my heart. It came in five stages:

  1. Belief that God’s love, unfailing and constant was available to me. In His tender care were my tears and my anxious moments. He said, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) In His hands I placed my hope for healing and my expectation of peace to come back.
  2. I changed. Rather than speak of the void in my heart, the pain of my loss or my dark fate, I spoke of the life in God’s restoring love. I repeated the power of God at work in me. And I declared the beautiful truth that God extends compassion for those whom He loves. I spoke words out loud that gave life into my gloom. Always remembering that, “The tongue has the power of life and death…” (Proverbs 18:21)
  3. I chose to forgive. Initially, I was convinced the man who stabbed my Joe 23 times had to be punished. Justice had to prevail, and he had to suffer the consequences for such a horrible crime. Anger and bitterness toward the man were justified. But in Mark 11:25 God instructed the contrary. "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." On my knees, I asked God to help me do the impossible. I begged Him to help me forgive. He did. And my complete, genuine forgiveness ushered freedom that brought on peace, deep and lasting.
  4. Gratitude replaced bitterness. I looked back at the gift my Joe was to me for 19 years. And that’s when gratitude began to sing. I was grateful for the memories, of the laughter, hugs and the kisses from that young man. Each memory made my life rich. I thanked God for the nights I cried out because He was attentive to each one (Psalm 40:1). I thanked Him for the tears, for He stores them in a bottle (Psalm 56:8). I thank Him for the stale grief of today, because tomorrow will be fresh and new. (Isaiah 43:18)
  5. Moving beyond my heartache, I chose to reach out. Every pain has a purpose. Some make us humble. Others make us grow, and others become the vessel God uses for His glory. And as His instruments, we can play the melody of God’s comfort to help ease others’ pain (2 Corinthians 1:3-4), encouraging others, showing them the path to peace and pointing them to Jesus is the formula that brings back our own joy.

 
Eventually, that joy changed my thoughts. I used to cry out, “not my Joe!” But because of my Joe, I came to know the reality of God’s comfort, the truth of His promises and the power of His love.


Pray this week:

Father, in the midst of my sorrow, speak Your truth to me. Grant me the heart to receive what You offer. Show me how to relish in the freedom that forgiveness brings, and help me prepare my heart to receive renewed joy. In Jesus name.


What needs to change for you to welcome joy once again?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Are You Angry with God?

Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is there so much injustice in the world?

Written by Hope on 28/07/2013

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: AngerBitterEmotionsGod


 

"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." (Romans 8:28)

 

Life Is Unfair

Sin in our world makes it difficult to understand the world as God wants it to be. Bad things happen to "good people," and "good people" sometimes let — or even make — bad things happen. "Everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard" (Romans 3:23). It is so easy to want to sin. Why is life not easier? You might wonder, Why would God make a world where horrible things can happen? You might even be furious with Him. But injustice exists because of sin; God created people "for [His] glory" (Isaiah 43:10).

God Is Just

The Lord said, "I love justice" (Isaiah 61:8), but He hates sin. We cannot hope to understand Him nor our place in the world if we cannot understand that He is righteous, holy, and loving. Bad things happen; however "God does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent" (2 Peter 3:9). The Creator's "purpose was for the nations to seek after God" (Acts 17:27). After sin entered the world, He revealed part of His plan, teaching us to obey: "[The Law] was given alongside the promise to show people their sins" (Galatians 3:19). People could not be justified by the Law alone, but by faith: the Law "protected us until we could be made right with God through faith" (Galatians 3:24).

Trust in Him, Not the World

God sent us Jesus to restore the balance between justice and love. The unfair death of righteous Jesus Christ paid the penalty for the sins of us unrighteous people. "God will also count us as righteous if we believe in Him, the One Who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead" (Romans 4:24).That is why we trust in the Lord as our Saviour — He paid the price; we accept that gift in faith. The world tells us that we should be angry with a Creator Who allows bad things to happen, but God gave everything (in the death of His Son, Jesus) to show us His love and justice.

Prayer, Care and Share Jesus

Scripture: Romans 8:28

The Bible tells us that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). But in reality, we see that even people we call “good people”, based on our human standards, can have bad things happen to them:

  • A tragic accident.
  • The sudden loss of a great job.
  • Theft
  • Unexpected/unfair death.
  • Betrayal in a relationship.

The list could go on!

These are tough situations for anyone to go through. Some of us become angry with God for allowing bad things to happen. We feel let down by God. This feeling is real, and even fully committed followers of Jesus carry these burdens.

Our Savior, Jesus Christ, understands. Before He was falsely accused, condemned, tortured and died on the cross to pay for our sin, He prayed three times that this cup would be taken from Him. (Matthew 26:36-44). Even on the cross, Jesus felt the Father had forsaken Him. My Friend, something like this may have happened in your life. You may angry with God or blame Him for what happened. NOW is the time to turn to God and know that He has not forsaken you. I encourage you to stand by faith on God's promise of causing all these things to work for your good (Romans 8:28).

Your feelings against God bring separation from Him. They hinder you from following God’s path for your life, and living more like Jesus did. Repent, dear One, and ask forgiveness. And pray that everyone who hears this message ask God to turn their hearts to Him.


Pray this week:

God will identify any events in your life for which you are angry with or blame God.


If you become angry with God, should you tell Him? What are you angry with God about today? Share with someone and find healing.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Forgive Those Who Hurt You Long Ago

No matter how difficult a situation, you can remember that God wants us to forgive one another “just as God through Christ has forgiven you”

Written by Hope on 07/07/2013
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Forgiveness, Hurt
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32)

When someone hurts you or you experience an injustice, God knows about it. In fact, of course, He knows every wrong that has ever occurred on earth, as well as the good things. "His understanding has no limit" (Psalm 147:5), and He knows that, as with all human action, "it has all been done before" (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Earthly Injustice
King Solomon wrote, “I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless” (Ecclesiastes 4:1). He noticed that people should not “be surprised if you see a poor person being oppressed by the powerful and if justice is being miscarried throughout the land” (Ecclesiastes 5:8). He said this because, "not a single person on earth is always good and never sins (Ecclesiastes 7:20), so we need to recognize that we, too, are sinners in need of forgiveness.

God's Justice
No matter how difficult a situation, you can remember that God wants us to forgive one another “just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (Ecclesiastes 4:32). And because “The Lord loves righteousness and justice”(Psalm 33:5) , you can rely on God to help you overcome injustice by being a loving and forgiving person. It will probably be difficult, but “those who are wise will find a time and a way to do what is right, for there is a time and a way for everything, even when a person is in trouble” (Ecclesiastes 8:5-6).

Prayer, Care, and Share Jesus
Have bad things ever happened to you or the people close to you? Whether these things have happened recently or long ago, we know God is very serious about us forgiving others, just as in Christ, God forgave us.

Maybe you’ve experienced something like this or similar:

Somebody caused an accident and someone close to you died or was injured for life;
A parent, school teacher or another authority figure abused you or someone close to you;
A criminal killed or injured someone close to you in a robbery or attack;
Someone close to you betrayed you. Whether or not you know the person that hurt you, your friend or family member, it is very tempting to harbor anger, hate or bitterness towards them — even if you’re close to God.
There’s nothing wrong with feeling angry in your loss. Jesus understands your pain and anger because He suffered on your behalf. Because of the sacrifice He made for you, and the forgiveness He has already granted you, Jesus asks you to forgive people who bring hurt and pain into your life.

You may not even know where to start when you realize you need to forgive someone. You might ask, “How can I forgive?” Well, here are some suggestions:

Realize and accept you have the anger or bitterness in your heart about the incident (however deeply buried in your memory;
Accept from the Scripture that you have to forgive as you are forgiven;
Surrender the hurt and anger to Jesus in prayer — If possible, pray this out loud with a friend
Forgive the person(s) in the Name of Jesus;
Start praying the Lord's blessing on the person that you need to forgive.
A Helpful Tip: Don't worry if you don't know the name of the person that wronged you or if they may not even be alive now. Forgive them anyway — the Lord knows them. If the process is very difficult, — get help from trusted friend or a counselor.

Pray this week:
You will forgive people who hurt you and start to pray for the Lord to bless them.

Roots of bitterness grow deep and spread to cover all areas of a person's life. Have you chosen to 'forgive' those who have done evil to you in your past? You should ask God to forgive them for you and through you. Forgiveness is for your healing. Do you have a situation you're having a hard time with? Talk to a caring Christian about it.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Why Should We Forgive Others?

Forgive Others as God Has Forgiven You

 

 

“A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?” Luke 7:41-42 (NLT)

 

Once Jesus shared a meal with a very judgmental person. He used this story to show that a person who understands their debt and receives forgiveness will have great love for the one who forgives. Being judgmental and unforgiving shows that you have little regard for God’s forgiveness.

Do to Others as You Would Have Them Do to You (Luke 6:31)

Jesus tells a story about a man who loaned money to two people and then cancels both debts. (Luke 7:41-42) One person owed more money than the other, so Jesus asked “Who do you suppose loved him more after that?” Simon answers, “the one who had the bigger debt forgiven,” and Jesus agrees (Luke 7:43).

Jesus said, “a person who is forgiven little shows only little love” (Luke 7:47). That shouldn’t sound like you or me. We should think of ourselves as the first person in the story rather than the second. Our debt is sin instead of money. God is perfect, holy and righteous. Any sin against Him deserves punishment, but He canceled our debt. When it’s time to forgive others, remember the huge debt of sin God canceled for you and forgive.

We All Need Forgiveness

Many people don’t think they need forgiveness. They might think, “My sins are small compared to THAT person. I’ve never committed murder or adultery.” But God has a higher standard. Jesus tells us that even being angry with another makes us guilty of murder, and looking lustfully at someone is equivalent to adultery (Matthew 5:21-22Matthew 5:28).

This shows we all need forgiveness. The Bible goes on to say, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23). And, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Forgive Others Because Christ Forgave You (Ephesians 4:32)

Jesus died on the cross and forgave us from a debt we could not repay. Are you grateful for His sacrifice? I know I am. When others hurt you and sin, remember that you and I have hurt a perfect God. Instead of God being angry with us, He forgave us. We should treat others the exact same way.

When we forgive others, it is a small picture of God’s forgiveness. We can even make it an opportunity to share the gospel by saying: “Because God has forgiven my sins through Jesus Christ, I am able to forgive you.


Pray this week:

Lord, please help me to remember the gift of forgiveness you’ve give me when I need to forgive others. Help me to joyfully forgive others just as you have forgiven me.


Is there someone in your life, whether in the past or present that you should forgive?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Forgiving Others in the Church

How can I forgive someone who keeps hurting me?

Written by Ruth on 21/08/2018
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Church, Church And Community, Forgiveness, Reconciliation
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32
Is this true for you? — someone at the church you attend bothers you so much that sometimes you would just rather stay home from church! 

Does an “enemy” keep you away from church?
The day before He died, Jesus told His disciples that the most important command He was giving them was to love each other (John 15:12-17). During the whole final evening with them, He was preparing them for life after His death, resurrection, and ascension to Heaven (John 13-17). He had kept them together as His disciples for the past three years, and now they needed to know how they could remain together even though they would be spread to different parts of the world. Jesus’ answer was love for one another, which would unite them.

We also need help in loving each other, even when there are disagreements among us in the church. The disciples had missed Jesus’ point so often, argued with one another and hoped to gain advantage over one another. (Luke 22:24-30). Without Him walking with them, would selfishness and bitterness divide them? Not if they listened to what He said. He told His disciples they must always forgive each other, and this is what we, too, must do. We must not allow anger and bitterness to grow. When that happens, we become ineffective witnesses for Him.

How am I to forgive another Christian who hurts me?
Jesus was committing His disciples to one another as an eternal family. This means a few things:

First, it's pretty much impossible to avoid offending others in this life, so we should not pretend we're never offensive. Siblings don't always get along. But they never stop being family. What does it take to maintain peace? You have to go to someone who feels wronged—even if you don't know what you did wrong. Jesus even gave this priority over our worship in Matthew 5:23-24.

Second, because we know we've done things that give others reason to be offended, forgive others. They may not even know what they did wrong. Go to them. Be persistent and patient. (Matthew 18:15-22) Jesus never runs out of forgiveness for us; we have to be the same way.

Why should I forgive, even when they are not sorry?
One of my dear friends was the victim of a conspiracy in her family. Divorced and raising two children on her own had made life a struggle, but then her father and younger sister agreed to bypass her in the inheritance of some family property. It caused her to curse and forsake her family for years. She even emigrated to another country in order to make an irreversible break in her family relationships. 

But then, something happened to change her mind. She found Jesus. It was a few years before she reconciled with her family. They didn't recompense her for the lost property or years of hard work. But when God changed her life, He gave her first the desire, then later, the actual power, to forgive. Looking back, she now sees clearly how unforgiveness is really what hurt her and cost her the most. It really wasn't until she released her hold on it that she herself was free.

When Jesus said in Matthew 6:14-15 that we cannot be forgiven if we do not forgive others, He was telling us two things: 1) not forgiving someone is disobedience to Him, and 2) we cannot see our own need for forgiveness if we keep anger and bitterness in our hearts. In essence, forgiving someone is more about our relationship with Jesus than with that person. 

How do we forgive when we do not feel like doing so? Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. We must choose to obey. It may be that we must say to Jesus, “I do not want to forgive because that makes what they did right, and it was not right! But I want to be near You more than I want to keep this anger, so I choose to forgive. Help me, Lord Jesus!” Then, the next time you remember what they did or you see them at church or anywhere else, you can simply say to Jesus, “I have given this to You, I will not take it back.” It will not be long before you realize you are free from the slavery of what this person did. You are free from anger and bitterness. You are free to do or say whatever Jesus asks you to say to them with peace in your heart (Philippians 4:7, and Luke 12:11-12).

Pray this week:
Lord Jesus, I have trouble forgiving ___ in my church. I choose to obey You because I need Your peace more than I need proof of being right or even worldly justice. I give this situation into Your hands; help me to leave it with You. Help me also to speak Your words to them so we may be reconciled to each other for the work of Your kingdom.
 

Who do you need to forgive and reconcile with?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member