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Forgiving Others, Part Two: Encouragement to Forgive

Hopefully you have read, “Forgiving Others, Part One: Supernatural Absorption.” There I attempted to show from where the power to forgive comes. In Part Two I hope to lift those of you up who may be having difficulties forgiving.

The reality is that forgiveness can be beyond difficult for many true Christians. Some of you bear not only the cross of extreme wounds, but the torture of being unable to discover (or rediscover) that soft spot in your heart for the offender. You don’t want to be hard-hearted again, but you are, and you can’t escape it. You feel helpless, exhausted, washed-up, and sometimes ready to die.

Is there hope for those who are struggling? Always. “[Jesus] is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25) There is hope in that! Interceding for your salvation certainly includes interceding for your ability to forgive.

What’s more, He Who intercedes with the Father for you can also fully sympathize with you.

“We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

He can sympathize with being wronged! His whole LIFE was one long injustice. One constant wounding. The anointed King had to live among those who did not understand Him, who did not like Him, and who did not love Him. They positively hated Him, slandered Him, mocked Him, and eventually murdered Him. If ever anyone was bullied it was our Creator.

“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:10-12)

By infinite love He absorbed infinite injustice, so that He might heal all the wounds of His people in good time.

We will have to wait until Heaven for hearts that are perfectly free, and light, and loving, and warm. But before then we must- and we CAN- have sweet foretastes of truly forgiving everybody who has sinned against us.

The supernatural absorption of others insults does not mean that we don’t have to fight to forgive. It means He is there. The power to forgive is there. It means Jesus will help His children to forgive. He Who forgave you for putting Him on the cross can certainly enable you to forgive others!

Draw near to Him. Very near. Repent of everything you know you need to, and run to a secluded place to be with Him. Ask Him to meet You.

Focus on your own sin. Your sinful state in general and your particular sins. Make a list of YOUR sins. Note that the evil behind those sins is immense beyond your understanding, for it is against God. When David committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband put on the front lines of battle, so he would be killed, what did David say when He finally came to his senses? He said to God, “Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight.” (Psalm 51: 4) The inspired David did not consider adultery and murder as even comparable to the evil those acts were against God! In other words, whatever you think of the magnitude of your sins, it’s too little. Who can measure the offense of even our “smallest” sins against the holiness of God? Don’t compare your sins to what others have done to you. Compare what others have done to you to what You have done to God. You and I really do deserve Hell forever.

But God… But God… ! But God did what for us?!? Focus at great length on His incredible, boundless love. What endless grace! If you love Christ, there is no need to worry! “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” (Romans 5:20)

Bring out the harps! “Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise, the glories of my God and King, the triumphs of His grace.”

It is hard work to regain a soft heart. But you can do it, because He cares for you and hears the cries of His afflicted ones.