Forgiveness – Part 5

Feed this statement to your faith.  Forgiveness is an act of obedient faith, nothing more, nothing less.

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Mark 11:25-26 – And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

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What is it that makes forgiveness such a powerful faith battle?  The first thing that makes it such a powerful battle is the fact that it is a very personal issue.  You must forgive someone when you have been offended.  And while some areas of forgiveness are easier to handle, the more personal the matter becomes, the greater the fight will be.  Perhaps this is because the more personal the matter, the more we must overcome pride to gain the victory.  For example, if someone steals something from you, that will likely be easier to forgive than if someone told a lie about you.  The stolen item can likely be replaced, or the thief could even return it.  But when someone lies about you, it is your character that has been attacked, and that pushes the pride button.  Someone could burn down your house.  While that is a great personal loss, most of what has been burned can be replaced, rebuilt, or repaired.  But what if someone insults you in public, casting aspersions on your intelligence, education, or ability to perform your professional duties.  Once again, the house can be replaced, but when your reputation, intelligence, and ability are impugned, it has become very personal.  Ah, there is that pride issue arising once again. 

And consider how difficult it can be to forgive someone whose attack is not on you personally, but on those you dearly love; spouse, children, grandchildren, loved ones.  I am a Christian, a gentleman, and a law-abiding citizen.  But attack my bride, my family, and my loved ones, especially in my presence, and the day you are having may suddenly turn very sour for you.  I WILL DEFEND THOSE I LOVE!  While I believe such action to be godly, there are those who may find themselves deeply offended.  At such times, forgiveness is a gigantic faith issue that not only can, but WILL prove to be a powerful and monumental demand on your faith. 

If you know something difficult is coming, that it is lying in wait for you at every turn, it seems to me that the intelligent and wise person would do all they need to do to be as fully prepared for that difficulty, that attack, that snare they know lies somewhere before them.  Jesus said, “It is but impossible that offences will come.”  If Jesus said they will come, they WILL come.  Exercise the mind of Christ that is in you.  Prepare yourself for that fight of faith that will demand of you that you draw from your deepest spirit man the faith you need to win.  Go to the Word of God; read, study, memorize, meditate, and obey.  Remember, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).

Manna for Today – Mark 11:22-27; 1 John 1:9; Psalm 86:6; Matthew 6:12-15; Luke 6:37; Luke 17:1-10; Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:2; 1 John 5:14; Matthew 18:22