Because we live in a fallen world we are often victims of sin. Whether it was the abuse of a parent, spouse or persecution for your faith, we are not only sinful but we are also sinned against. What do we do with all the hurts and pain that comes to us in a world that is so often filled with darkness? Here is where God’s forgiveness is key. We are not only forgiven for our sin, but now through Christ have the power to forgive those who trespass against us.
But often we hold on to past hurts. Instead of forgiveness, we are tempted with bitterness and anger. Instead of extending grace, we often judge and demand some kind of retribution for the injury that was given to us. When we do that, instead of experiencing freedom in Christ, we become bound to that pain and interestingly enough, we will then extend pain to others.
God wants to free us from the cycle of bitterness and hurting others. He does that when we surrender to Jesus and then forgive those around us. Instead of demanding justice on our own terms we entrust our lives to God, who will bring perfect justice. When we do that we see the chains that often bind us from loving others loosed. And when the Son Jesus sets us free, we will be free indeed. Free from the pain within and free to love others, even when they have hurt us.
Romans 13:19-21 invites us this way, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God… To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
So let us follow the Lord on this and forgiven those who have trespassed against us and if we have hurt someone, let us go to that person and ask for forgiveness. When we do that we will be set free and begin experiencing God’s peace and joy in our lives.