That is a familiar statement which I dare say, I am fairly certain that one or two of us reading this today, may have had cause to utter at some point or the other in our lives.
With the very best of Christian intentions, and as much as we would love to obey the word of God, that commands us to forgive offences against us, sometimes, the reality of the lingering pain that is the legacy of our experience can be so traumatic and ever fresh, that we just cannot forget the cause or source of the pain.
Be that as it may, there is a scary thought that I want you to hold for a moment before we go any further today:
Jesus categorically says in Matthew 18:35, that God will not forgive us if we do not forgive others from our heart.
The implication of this is that the murderer, the thieves, the adulterers and all those other odious “sinners” and despicable sins that we love to preach against, all have a greater prospect of forgiveness and redemption (when they repent and ask God for forgiveness), than the “Saint” who refuses to forgive offences that people have committed against them.
How many of us saints have our destinies bound because we have held those who have offended us bound in unforgiveness?
To be able to love like God loves, we have to be able to forgive like He does…
From the heart…
How Does God Forgive?
““I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.” Isaiah 43:25 NKJV
“18There is no other God like you! You forgive sin and pardon the rebellion of those who remain among your people. You do not remain angry forever, but delight in showing loyal love. 19You will once again have mercy on us; you will conquer our evil deeds; you will hurl our sins into the depths of the sea.”
“None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”” Hebrews 8:11-12 NKJV
God forgives by forgetting; He deliberately chooses not to remember:
But what does it mean to forget?
Does it mean that I have to deny my feelings and ignore the pain? Does it mean I have to pretend that it never happened? Does it mean I have to open up my life to the offender and make myself vulnerable to them again?
The easiest answer to all that is No: But in reality, there is no cookie cutter, one size fits all answer to those questions, but what I do know however, is if God says it is possible, then I believe there is a way out for that person that will desire to move forward in obedience to His word. (Matt 18:35)
First, You have to allow God to heal your heart so your heart can forgive. A heart that is still hurting cannot forgive and forget.
Remember the cross and think about how much you yourself have been forgiven.
Then dear Saint, cast that burden unto the Lord and leave it with Him to deal with it. Allow Him to pour the Balm of Gilead over that hurt, that pain, that broken heart, that disappointed heart, that abused heart, that betrayed heart, that recurring agony.
Dear friend, the power of His grace is available to you today to heal your heart, your memories and your emotions. Allow Him to heal your past with the love and the anointing overflowing from His own brokenness, so that He can heal your present and your future with the wholeness of His redemptive sacrifice for you on Calvary’s cross.
Don’t hold on to the offence; don’t hold on to the memory of the wrong that was done to you. Let it go. You can’t hold on to those and still be able to hold on to the cross.
Yes, dear Saint, you can do as God does too;
You can forgive and forget like He does…
Pastor Wale Ola
LIFE APPLICATION 1. What is God saying to me in today’s message?
2. What was ministered to me in the bible verses that I read today?
3. What are the changes or adjustments I need to make in my life to align with the word of God?
4. What is my commitment to the word for today?
5. What practical steps can I take to benefit from the word I have read today?
PRAYER FOCUS Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal every offence that you have in your heart against anyone.
Ask Him to reveal to you, anyone that you are holding in unforgiveness.
Take your hurt to the cross and ask God to heal your heart, take the pain away and help you to forget.
Forgive and then release the people that God brings to your mind.
If you know of anyone that you have offended, repent before God, and then apologise to them and ask for their forgiveness. (Even though the person you offended may have forgiven you from their heart, you still need to settle your account by asking for forgiveness)