21 Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?"
22 Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. - Matthew 18:21-22
Deeper than the petty offenses we need to let roll off our back, and even deeper than the hurtful offenses we need to roll up to God, are the unspeakable sins committed against us - a deep betrayal, the taking of a loved one's life, abuse. These are the incredible injustices that leave us scarred and can come to define who we are. Far too many of us have an intimate understanding of the darkness that exists in this broken world, a darkness that is impossible to forgive in our own power. The kind of forgiveness that releases us from the bondage of a darkness that can shroud our entire lives, can only be found in Him and Him alone. You have to pursue it - you have to be diligent and persistent, but you will find freedom if you choose to forgive.
When you are the victim of such a deep injustice, when someone has sinned against you in an unspeakable way, when you have come up against the darkness of this broken world in a tangible way, it can feel like letting it go is nearly impossible. Sometimes we feel like it’s too big to let go, or that we can’t stop the projector in our mind from playing it over and over. Sometimes we feel like letting it go somehow removes a piece of us, a significant part of who we are...sometimes we feel like letting it go let’s our offender off the hook. Sometimes the bitterness or the anger is too much to face, so we refuse to even pull it out of the box to deal with, making it impossible to forgive. We can begin to define ourselves by the crime committed against us, it can even become a comfortable excuse for why things in our lives go wrong ~ I’m not capable of healthy relationships because I have been sexually abused. We can even use it to get attention or pity from others, and letting it go means we have to stand on who we are without it. Holding on to deep hurts from our past, continuing to nurse them, or letting them define you, keeps the shroud of darkness over you. Here’s one of the hardest truths to grab a hold of for those of us who have lived through unspeakable sins - the crime committed against you is sin, but so is the lack of forgiveness. We are called to forgive our enemies.
Unforgiveness keeps the darkness near and the enemy at hand. While the crime committed against you is unspeakable, hanging on to it is a sin and gives the enemy a foothold in your life. He has a place to stand firmly in your life through that unforgiveness, and permission to continue to whisper into your life. Free yourself from that trap by forgiving your offender. Understand that forgiveness does not set your offender free - they are still trapped in their sin until they seek forgiveness from you and from God, they are still living their life in darkness, plagued by the sins they’ve committed. Forgiveness sets you free from the darkness. It releases the hold the enemy has on your life. It begins with a choice and a confession of your own lack of forgiveness.
What enters your life in place of that darkness is a sweet, pure light of love from heaven above. I’ve experienced that freedom ~ I know intimately how He rushes in to fill the void created by laying down the unforgivable sin with a love so pure and a joy so deep it’s difficult to describe. My prayer for all of you in the Christmas season is that you find that love and that joy surrounding you as you welcome the Messiah.
Press on, you are loved 💗
Many of you know I have been trying to raise money to replace the uncomfortable caregiver's chairs in the infusion center at Illinois Cancer Specialists. It is important to me that our caregivers are able to sit comfortably for hours while we receive our chemo treatments ~ we need our caregivers to be at their best so they can care for us at our worst. Please consider donating ~ every little bit helps! Here is the link:
https://www.gofundme.com/chair4caregivers. Thank you so much!!
Popular posts from this blog
I am a believer in Christ, and I have breast cancer. On August 17, 2017, I was diagnosed with an aggressive (HER2+), recurrent (hormone negative) type of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. At this point, they have not yet staged my cancer because they are waiting for the biopsy results from a suspicious spot in the second breast. The biopsy is scheduled for September 5th, with a lumpectomy to follow on September 7th. They will formally stage my cancer after they biopsy my lymph nodes, which will be taken during the surgery. It doesn't make any sense to me that I have a cancer diagnosis - I am a fairly healthy woman who runs 2 miles almost every day and eats a gluten-free, primarily paleo diet, with no family history at all. But it makes sense to God, and so here I am. Update ~ They found 4 isolated invasions during the lumpectomy. Due to the nature of my cancer (HER2+ and ER-), the recommended protocol is chemotherapy and radiation. Beginning in October, my chemotherapy regime
When we launched our new blog we had no idea if anyone would see it or be helped by it, but we knew that the LORD was prompting us to step out in faith and just do it. The response has been amazing and we are looking forward to how God will use this space for His glory. We have learned over many years of service in a variety of ministries, that God does not require human assistance to realize His plans for individuals, churches, nations, or the human race. But the story of the bible is the story of God’s will playing out through the words and actions of the His children. So…we pray, meditate on his Word, and write from the heart about the truths that mold our faith, guide our actions, and inspire our hearts and minds. Please visit the site and subscribe to continue receiving posts. https://graceinmarriage.com/ It is our sincere hope that you are blessed by our work here and welcome your input on how we can make Grace in Marriage even better. Thank you for your support.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. - Psalm 73:25-26 What believer would not want to experience the kind deep devotion to God found in these verses? This kind of loyal commitment is the desire of every person of faith....yet it eludes so many of us. If you've been a believer for long, you know there are times it does not come easy. There is a great price involved in reaching the kind of faith found in these verses. This level of commitment is only achieved through fierce struggle. The battle between Spirit and flesh is constant, but it is in the battle that we are strengthened when we choose to lean in and trust God, to turn to Him for our strength in the battle, and to keep our eyes fixed on Him despite what the world throws at us. Asaph wrote these words only after a difficult and confusing crisis of faith. He was tempted to com