How Do I Forgive When I Still Hurt - Encouragement Café - June 28, 2017

How Do I Forgive When I Still Hurt
By Carolyn Dale Newell

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22 NKJV

Do you struggle with forgiveness? We know it is commanded, and we exemplify Christ-likeness when we relinquish grudges.

Our heads say, “We must,”, but our hearts say, “Must we?”  The ability to forgive will soothe our broken hearts.

It can release us from the prison of depression, and break the chains of bitterness. Forgiveness has healing properties, but that does not make it easy.

I would love to tell you a personal story about forgiveness. I could explain how releasing anger freed me from the pangs of heartache.

I know all this is true in my head, but in my heart, I identify with Peter. Seven times? It has been more than seven times, but there is no need to count.

I want to forgive, but each time I get close, another incident rips the wound open. Whether the hurt is intentional or unintentional, it is still hurt.

The truth is that God has allowed these circumstances to occur. God is sovereign and everything in my life is Father-filtered.

When I looked at it from that perspective, the anger slipped away.  I already understand how God is refining me.

One day, I will tell the story of the healing power of forgiveness, but for now, I am still in the midst of the waters; still in the midst of the fire. God never said we would not traverse troubled waters, but He did say He would be right by our side.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.” Isaiah 43:2 NKJV

Perhaps you can tell your story of forgiveness and the effect it had on your life. Possibly, you are trying to forgive as someone continues to inflict pain.

Join me in prayer as we ask God to enable us to forgive others just as He has forgiven us.

Heavenly Father, You have forgiven us so much. We want to forgive (insert name), but it is extremely difficult. We can only do this through Your power. Help us do the right thing and forgive. Amen.

© 2017 by Carolyn Dale Newell All rights reserved.

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Originally published Wednesday, 28 June 2017.