God didn’t wait to be crucified until we fully understood the impact His death would have on us. He died. He forgave. He gave us life. We need to respond in the same way, challenging ourselves to look past the scars and sometimes bloody mess, to offer to those who have hurt us the worst. because God did the same for you and for me. We need to forgive as we have been forgiven.
“We need to forgive others so Satan cannot take advantage of us. We are commanded to get rid of all bitterness in our lives. Forgiving yourself is accepting the truth that God has already forgiven you in Christ. Forgiveness is not forgetting. Once you choose to forgive someone, then Christ can come and begin to heal you of your hurts. But the healing cannot begin until you first forgive. Forgiveness is mainly a matter of obedience to God. God wants you to be free; there is no other way. Don’t wait until you feel like forgiving. You will never get there. Make the hard choice to forgive even if you don’t feel like it. Once you choose to forgive, Satan will have lost his power over you in that area, and God’s healing touch will be free to move.”
Neil T. Anderson
The Bondage Breaker
“A betrayer’s humble repentance in word and deed will pave the way for the betrayed to again risk opening his or her heart and offering the sweet fruit of forgiveness that can lead to restoration and renewed joy.”
- Tim Jackson
Ephesians 4:31-32, Luke 6:37, Mark 11:25, Matthew 6:15, James 5:16, Acts 2:38
Are there areas in your life where forgiveness is needed?
Do you have a hard time allowing God to bring justice rather than you punish others for the hurt in your life?
I wish hope was found as easily as dust bunnies quickly cluster together. Somedays it may feel like you need to tear down the walls of Jericho in order to see just a glimmer of hope shine through to your soul and other days it may shine through so brightly like a clear sunny afternoon. It’s in the moments where the sun is shining through that, although you feel there is progress and see hope, that you also see the dirt, smudges, and wet kisses from the stresses of life too. Hope is not an emotion; it’s a verb.
We have to actively work on seeing the best in our situations and seeing God in the little moments weaving everything together for His purpose and His plan. It’s the emotions that can derail us from the progress much like the dirt and smudges on the windows allowing our vision to be clouded and blurred. God wants us to see not the stains but the rays shining through.
Has it been hard to see through the smudges on the window? What do you do when you lose focus?
Psalm 33:22, Jeremiah 17:7, Joel 3:16, Lamentations 3:26, Jeremiah 29:11
Hope is God taking the impossible and making you believe in the possible. I hope for my two year old to potty train herself, for my house to magically clean itself and for my laundry to fold and put itself away. I hope for my sisters cancer to flee from her body and restoration to find her in every aspect of health. I hope for my children to find Godly men and women to marry someday as they embark on this adult relationship stuff. I hope for Christ to come and save me from more pain before I experience it.
Hope is real. Hope is within our reach and God wants us to hope with great excitement in His expectation. It’s what gets us to take that first step towards forgiveness, reconciliation, and sometimes that first hug we crave so intensely. Hope is part of a believers DNA and let us not forget it when life is completely out of control. “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope.” Psalm 130-5
Is your hope in God? Do you believe He will overcome your pain?
Trusting God after painful betrayal in your marriage is like standing on a cliff near the Grand Canyon as God says, “I’ve got this. Trust me and I will protect you, guide you, and give you what you need in this desperate time of suffering and anguish.” Getting to the point where you can fall; eyes upward and heart in His hands; knowing all you need is to trust and obey, is so much easier said than done but necessary in your process to healing.
When we see in the end that God did have our back and lives taken care of, it’s easier to trust Him the next time we are faced with a difficult situation.
Life experiences can make it hard to trust others with our hearts. I’ve been hurt by some of my closet friends and family members. It has made me a little more cautious as to who I share things with and offer areas of my friendship too BUT, God has never wavered and we can always run to Him.
Trust can be scary. Placing trust and hope in God means allowing God to take you to places you’ve never been before, to put you in uncomfortable situations, and to experience His love in places never thought possible. Sometimes, that means pausing as we may need to stop mid-journey to see the beauty in the pain but never lose sight of God’s will in your life. And so goes the hymn...
“Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet.
Or we'll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.
Has there been situations in your life that have caused you to not trust others and your spouse completely?
Do you give others close to you reasons to trust you and do you allow transparency within your marriage?
If God threw you in the lions den, is your faith strong enough to trust in the promise of the Word knowing that God is with you?
Jeremiah 17:7, Psalm 56:3, Proverbs 11:13, Daniel 6:23,
Revelation 21:5, Joshua 1:9
About the Author
Stephanie is a stay-at-home mommy to four little blessings. Married for 16 years, Tim and Stephanie find new ways to enjoy intimate time together while raising the young family.