Forgiveness can be beyond our natural human capability. Paul when he was left alone and deserted by everyone, he said, “May the Lord not lay it to their account.” Even Jesus on the cross said, “Father forgive them they know not what they do.” Jesus did not say, “I forgive them.”
When Stephen was stoned he prayed, “Let not this sin be laid to their account.” It’s our natural instinct whenever we or our loved one is hurt and rejected by someone to want revenge. Only Christ through us can forgive others.
Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep (died). Acts 7:60
At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. 2 Timothy 4:16
Our abandonment was laid on Jesus whether it was through death or divorce, a parent or another believer. Jesus was abandoned by all his disciples and so was Paul. When I first became a believer at 17 years old, I had some conflicts with my parents as a Christian and then a scripture spoke to my heart.
Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close. Psalm 27:10
I find it’s easier to abandon others when we have been abandoned. Because my parents were unsupportive it was easier to not be supportive (more natural) of my children at times and because I was abandoned by a spouse it was easier to want to abandon my husband when his 13-year old daughter moved in four months after we were married when things got difficult. Sort of reminds me of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and the two pilots bailed out. When Indiana woke up, no one was flying the plane.
My husband refused to let go of my parachute when I wanted to bail out. It’s harder to let go of a person who was supportive of our dreams and who did not let go of us in life. A person who abandoned us and was not supportive of our dreams it’s easy to let go of. It’s easy to leave a church, if people and the pastor were not supportive.
It has been harder for me to let go of my mother and my husband because they were supportive of my dreams where my father and others had more conditional love for me.
I can’t imagine if what happened to Jesus, happened to one of my children how I could forgive a person for doing that, but God could forgive what happened to his son on our account.
I had a situation as a 12-year old where I had a relative who tried to harm me, and I kept it hidden from my family. I wish I could have been the better person and given forgiveness. My father was an unbeliever and I just was afraid my dad would do something to him since my father did not control his temper at times and recently when I told my brother about it he concurred that my dad may have killed him. The person never repented to me and they died a rather harsh death. It was “our” secret, but I wish I could have gone up to that person when I became a believer, and said, “God forgive you.”
Unfortunately, back then I heard more legalistic teaching and it reminds me of that scripture, “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.” I did not lose this person from their sin against me. I retained his sins.
If you forgive anyone's sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven." John 20:23
Our account has been wiped clean through Jesus blood and we appropriate that blood to other people when we forgive them as an act of our will. We are forgiving and accepting them in the person of Christ.
To whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also: for if I forgave anything, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; 2 Cor. 2:10
Be kind to each other, sympathetic, forgiving each other as God has forgiven you through Christ. Ephesians 4:32
It helps me whenever I’ve had a bad thought about someone who has hurt me usually with unkind words or deeds to say, “Lord bless them.” Same when I have had people on the hi-way with road rage, I’ve asked God to bless them.
Jesus said if we just love those who love us there is no reward in that. It’s when we love and bless our enemies there is a reward.
"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.” Luke 6:32
Many people are in a prison in their lives. It can be a prison in their minds they have put themselves in. Some people walk up to a casket after thirty years and say to a dead body, “I forgive you.” Some people are in the prison of unforgiveness.
I’ve had several encounters with divorced people like this or that spouse was unfaithful. I meet a lot of people who have experienced a tragedy and they are in a prison of offense against God or what someone has done to them.
Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt. Matthew 18:34
We are warned in Revelation that Satan will put some in prison. A minister gave a prophesy before he died to his son that in the last days that Satan was going to come against ministers with thoughts and different sexual temptations and it would be a fierce battle. I believe we are entering the last days. The battles are getting more intense.
I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 'He, who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.' Revelation 2:9-11
God accepts us and he will not abandon us. I have met people who believe God has forsaken them after their spouse died. Many people live too much by feelings and circumstances. When it talks about being kings in this life, it’s ruling over our circumstances, fears, and putting our faith in God’s word. Let God’s word be true and every man a liar.
Our ministry as believers is the ministry of acceptance and reconciliation.
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 2 Cor. 5:18
It took me a while to overcome not having my husband’s arms wrap around me at night and I heard a minister say that our brain at times will tell us that we are unhappy. So I’ve retrained my brain to say every day, “Lord I thank you for a roof over my head and a comfortable mattress.” I lived in a tent for about two years with my son in a missionary group traveling around the U.S. and I had to learn to retrain what I ate because my mother’s cooking was different than living in a group of 250 people and what they ate. I lost 20 lbs. when I first joined that ministry, because I did not like the food. We can “retrain” our thinking.
I want my rewards in life to be from God --- not man and those are doors of favor that God can open up in my life and the people he wants me to work within these last days. I find that not all open doors have been from God. It’s seeking the opportunities that God opens up although even Paul said a wide effectual door was open to him, but there were many enemies.
There is a wide-open door for a great work here, although many oppose me. 1 Cor. 16:9
Its seeking our rewards from heaven (seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you.)
After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward." Genesis 15:1
Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. Rev. 22:12
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6