Hey friends –
Welcome back to 31 Days to Fire Up Your Faith! Can you believe it’s Day 28?! Wow! Don’t forget, if you missed any of the posts, you can start from the beginning here!
This week, I’ve been sharing my “Fiery Season of 2014,” and confessed devastating surprise details led to a serious marriage mess. (Recap here). Friends, I really thought my marriage was over. My heart was broken in a bzillion pieces.
Thankfully we serve a Savior who can bind up our broken heart. Piece by piece by piece.
As I shared yesterday, forgiveness was a big part of my healing journey.
Now you need to know — forgiveness was the last thing on my mind when I called my friend for help. I was spittin’ mad, devastated, shocked, and ready to punch something or somebody. (Don’t worry — I didn’t punch anything — I just wanted to. 🙂 )
I’m so glad my friend shared not what I wanted to hear, but what I needed to hear.
I’m not joking, her words, “Cindy, you need to forgive him…” saved our marriage.
You should also know — I didn’t want to forgive, wasn’t ready to, and didn’t even know how to.
Thankfully I remembered the lesson on forgiveness I had just heard at Bible study.
Don’t you love how God goes before us? I remember thinking at class that night, “Wow, I’m glad I did all my forgiveness work in the past.”
Boy was I clueless!
Although I originally wasn’t in a place where I wanted to forgive, I decided I’d at least pull out my forgiveness handouts from Bible study.
I read Bible verse after Bible verse after Bible verse. God began to help me see the hurtful situation from a completely different perspective — HIS.
After God had forgiven me for so much — drug addiction, promiscuity, alcohol abuse, my daily shortcomings & more — how could I now stay bitter and angry and hold on to such ugliness in my heart?
- Was forgiving John a process? Yes.
- Did I need HS power to help forgive? Yes.
- Were there still days when I was angry & mad & let John know how much I was angry & hurting? Yes. Yes. Yes.
- Did I take my binder with forgiveness handouts with us on Spring Break, and literally read them every single day? Yep.
- But has God done a powerful, transformational work in my heart and mind, and brought new strength, intimacy, and healing to my marriage? Absolutely yes.
Friends, I know this is a heavy subject.
Truth be told, I never planned to go here during the 31 Days. But my sense is someone needs this message. I wouldn’t be serving you well if I shared only what you wanted to hear, right?
Remember, the Divine IV from Day 23?
Forgiveness helps “un-kink” the flow of God’s strength, power, and grace into our lives.
Let’s not allow unforgiveness to rob us of the joy of living a free, full life in Christ.
As Lewis B. Smedes says so well —
Let’s live free, friends.
Let’s live free!
Today’s Challenge: Day 28 of our 31 Days
1. Grab your Fire Up My Faith notebook. Spend time in prayer using the model of Samuel, “Speak Lord, for I, Your servant, am listening.” Wait in silence and then journal any thoughts/insights. Look up the following and ask God to teach you more about forgiveness:
- Matthew 6:14-15
- Luke 6:27-28
- John 20:22-23
- Romans 12:17-21
- Ephesians 4:32
2. Author Philip Yancey shares, “I never find forgiveness easy, and rarely do I find it completely satisfying. Nagging injustices remain, and the wounds still cause pain. I have to approach God again and again, yielding to him the residue of what I thought I had committed to him long ago. I do so because the Gospels make clear the connection: God forgives my debts as I forgive my debtors.” —Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace?
What do you think about Philip’s quote? What have you learned about forgiveness from your own life?
3. Take a minute and watch this powerful video from Matthew West and the story behind his Forgiveness song.
I’d love to hear your personal examples of forgiveness, friend. Share with us if you feel comfortable.
Thanks so much for stopping by 31 Days to Fire Up Your Faith! May God remove anything getting in the way of your experiencing a full, free, abundant, passionate life in Christ!