Unspeakable Joy Devotional

May 8th

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The Power of Forgiveness. As I write this, I realize what a touchy subject this is for many people including myself. Just hearing the word conjures up images of hurtful things people have done to me. There is an overwhelming feeling that some people just don’t deserve to be forgiven. But in reality, no one really deserves to be forgiven, yet God instructs us to do it anyway.

Forgiveness tends to make people feel weak. But forgiveness doesn’t make you weak, it makes you stronger. Anyone can hold a grudge but it takes strong faith to forgive someone who has wronged you. Jesus wasn’t weak on the cross and yet in His dying moments He forgave the criminals being crucified with Him on the cross as well as those crucifying Him. Luke 23:32-43 “Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals-one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes and casts lots. The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he the Christ of God, the Chosen One.” The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” There was a written notice above him which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “Since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Our goal is to be more like Christ. He forgave our sins even though we were undeserving of it, so if we are to be like Him, we are to forgive others too. Colossians 3:13 “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Forgiveness brings us closer to God and takes away the power others have on us. When we hold on to something that was done to us and keep stewing over it and keep our anger of the issue, it really does have a hold over us. God doesn’t want anyone to have this kind of power over us because it keeps us in bondage and Christ came to set us free from bondage. Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Remind yourself to let go and give it up to God and ask Him for His help and strength to do so. It may be a really hard thing to do in your life, but it may also be the most rewarding!

 

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