Before we move any further into this year, there is something we need to address…the past.
I have a strong burden on my heart. That burden is the knowledge that we can only move forward in this season if we will let go of the hurts and disappointments of the past. Imagine it this way, when we refuse to forgive and let go of the past, then it’s as if we are tethered by the ankle to a tractor trailer full of all the things we refuse to let go of.
God reminds us of this…
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him; He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:8-14
We must be willing to forgive ourselves and to forgive others.
I was recently struggling over some things God had asked me to lay down, and when I faltered, I repented to Him and asked Him to pull me out of my muck and mire. Then I saw Him. He reached into the mud and pulled me out…what was shocking though, was the fact that I was already completely clean and pearly white as He was pulling me up. My sins are forgiven. I am clean. That was a reminder I truly needed because the enemy is a professional accuser. It sometimes feels like his full-time job is to accuse me of any and everything. But God doesn’t. I was made new at the cross. I have given myself to Him.
This encounter also began to better shape the way I see others. We are all “in process”. None of us is perfect and all of us are a work in progress. You have no idea how far I am in God’s process for my life, and likewise, I have no idea how far along you are in His process for you. Therefore, forgiveness should be a constant in all of our lives. Even toward unbelievers. Especially toward unbelievers.
As we move into today, and the rest of our journey through the year, let’s come to the bonfire and release the past. Our own past offenses and let downs, and those who have hurt or offended us. Let go of all disappointment and delay. Today is a new day. Tomorrow is replete with promise. Will you pray with me?
God, I love You. Today, I ask for Your forgiveness for any time that I have held onto offense, disappointment, self-loathing and unforgiveness. I surrender each of those to You now. You are not only a good Father, but an honest Judge. I trust You with my entire life, even the pain of betrayal and disappointment.
For great is His love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord. Psalm 117:2
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me. Psalm 18:16-19