Do you trrust Him?
Last month we talked about the futility of “Forgive and Forget” and the possibility of a new phrase; “I remember and I choose to forgive you anyway.”
I want to spend one more lesson on forgiveness because I truly believe that unforgiveness keeps many from living a victorious life. I truly believe that our hang up with the whole forgiveness issue is really quite simple.
Sad, but simple.
When someone hurts us, we want to hurt them back. Before we forgive, we want revenge. It is totally natural. Just watch a group of toddlers playing together. If one hits another with a truck, the one who was hit will retaliate by hitting or biting…or telling the adult in charge. It is a natural response.
As adults we are not much different…we want the ones who have hurt us to be punished. For those of us who want to keep our own hands and conscience clean, we want someone else to hurt the ones who hurt us. We want them to hurt like we hurt. We use phrases like “What comes around goes around” and “God will take care of them.”
But do we really believe that?
Do we really believe that people reap what they sow? Do we REALLY believe that God will take care of things?
Scripture is FULL of examples of God’s justice. Over the past few months I have been drawn to Habakkuk. I feel it truly speaks to this very issue. The book of Habakkuk opens with this question concerning the Babylonians:
How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Hab 1:3 Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.
Hab 1:4 Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted. Habakkuk 1:2-4 (NIV)
Sound Familiar? I myself have even said “Common God! Aren’t you going to do something? Can’t you see what these people are doing?”
Note God’s response:
“Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something
in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” Habakkuk 1:5 (NIV)
Look at that! God is going to take care of the Babylonians in ways that Habakkuk couldn’t dream of! I truly believe that this is a verse anyone who has been wronged can find comfort in. God’s ways are better than our ways. His ways are perfect….always.
Please take time to read the rest of Habakkuk and see how God explains what He is going to do. Also note that it took 66 years for God to carry out the things He’d promised Habakkuk. Not only are God’s ways perfect, His timing is perfect as well and we MUST trust Him in both of these areas.
As I learn more about God’s ways through study of His Word, I am inclined to pray differently for those who have wronged me. Rather than “God why are you letting them get away with this?”, I have learned to pray, “Lord, let them see what they have done and have mercy on them.”
As I seek to see others the way God sees them, as I remember that God has a plan for me AND a plan for everyone else, including those who have caused me pain, and as I learn to trust God’s timing and God’s ways, I realize that more than vengeance, I seek healing.
In closing, the first step to forgiveness is to understand that we are commanded to forgive, not to forget and the second step is to believe that God is in control and will take care of situations in ways we could not imagine.
Do you truly believe that God will take care of all things?
If not, please pray with me…
Father God, I love you and I do trust you with most things. Help me Lord to trust you in all things, specifically with respect to people who have caused me pain. Lord, I know that Scripture is full of examples of your justice. Please guide me to these scriptures so that I may better understand your ways. Help me to forgive. Help me to always remember that your ways and your timing are perfect.
Next month we will look at fear.