3 ways asking God to help me forgive changes things

Originally published Saturday, 31 January 2015.

If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings, who would stand a chance? As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit, and that’s why you’re worshiped. Psalm 130:3-4 (MSG) 

One of the hardest things to do is to forgive someone who hurt you. 

I know that I should. I know that Jesus asked me too but that doesn’t make the fact that often forgiving feels like trying to swallow a pill that should be a quarter of the size. 

I’m still learning day-by-day how to forgive when my heart aches and my soul is angry, maybe you are too, which is why I sometimes need to remind myself how asking God to help me forgive changes things:

1. It reminds me who God is and who I need to be in the situation.

Read more: How to pray when someone hurts you 

2. It teaches me that forgiveness is a habit.

Read more: Letting things go and learning to forgive (or the story of forgiving my father and mother)

3. It gives me real-life stories of God turning ashes to beauty, evil to good, hurt to healing, pain to laughter. 

Read more: When you need to replace ugliness with beauty (or what a screaming man taught me about loving my enemies) 

If you find yourself without words to ask God to help you forgive then know that you are not alone. (tweet this)

Author of Not MarkedMary de Muth, shares her story of being violated by two boys as a young girl in this post about how to forgive someone you hate. And she offers these words for all of us who walk with a limp because we have been hurt by others to pray: 

Jesus, I’d rather not pray for the people who hurt me. To be honest, my heart is petty, not pretty. I want revenge sometimes. I want the people who hurt me to experience hurt themselves. 

But I can’t stay in that place, Jesus, because I know You ask more from me. Scripture (Matthew 5:43-47) makes it utterly clear that You want me to bless those who cause me pain. You want me to be like You, who when You were betrayed, You still called Judas “friend.” 

How do You do that, Jesus? How do you love so well? How did You forgive the people who put you up on the cross?

And even as I pray these words, I realize I put You up on that cross. My sin held you down as You bled for my caustic words, my unrighteous anger, and the things I’ve done that I deeply regret. 

You’ve forgiven a mountain of sin between us. And I have a hard time forgiving the molehill between my friend and me. To love them well, I must let go. Help me remember I’m more like You when I’m offering grace, than when I’m spewing judgment. 

I choose right now to give You my pain in this situation, and I ask for Your help. 

Please give me love for my enemy. I recognize that I don’t have it in me to do that. But You do. You’re good at it. So I trust You right now. Amen. 

{Share this post}

You can share this devotional on twitter by clicking here. I’d also love for you to connect with me on my Facebook and twitter pages or if you're viewing this via email you can leave a comment by clicking here.

Get a copy of my e-book Life, Life and More Life for free. Just subscribe to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday. In the book I share some of thoughts on how to make every moment count, gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. You can subscribe here

- This was orginally published on my site in December 2014. To read more devotionals like this go to ilovedevotionals.com