Joy in Forgiveness

Don't you love to watch children playing? I do, too. One of the things I enjoy most is how quickly they get over being hurt. Yesterday my son carelessly smacked his sister in the nose with a toy. She was in tears. He immediately said, "I'm sorry," while she quickly responded with, "I forgive you." The next minute they were laughing and playing again, as if nothing ever happened.

A couple of years ago I experienced a very deep hurt--a betrayal. This wasn't any ordinary betrayal or hurt. It was the kind of hurt that cuts you deeply, to the quick. It was close to the heart--one of those things you think will never happen to you.

Forgiveness is something I really struggled with in this instance, although it took some time to realize it. I was holding on very tightly to my hurt. "This was no smack in the nose," I rationalized. The stakes were much higher. It really hurt!

I had all sorts of justifications for the way I was behaving, but the truth is that I was wrong. No one has experienced a deeper hurt or betrayal than Jesus Christ, our Heavenly Father. Think about all that He experienced and gave up for us. And, yet, He still forgives our sins each and every day. The Bible says he doesn't even remember them anymore! "He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west." Psalm 103:12 NLT
The Bible says in Mark 11:21, "But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. " My sins have been more hurtful to the cause of Christ than any hurt I could ever experience. When we read God's Word, forgiveness is very clear. Just like those children playing, we need to forgive those who offend us--no matter how bad it hurts.

Are you hurt? Do you need to forgive? Forgiveness will provide a place of joy--a lieu de joie--for your soul. "Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight." Romans 4:7 NLT

May you forgive and be forgiven freely today, and may you have the best day you've ever had in your life.


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