Can You Do It?

My final post on forgiveness (at least for a while) asks the most important question of all:

Can I do it? Can I really forgive and let go? Can I release whatever bitterness, resentment, or hurt that I feel?

We all struggle with those times. We wonder if we can really forgive ourselves, other people, or even God.

But you can do it. Here’s why I know you can.

First, because Joseph did so. Though his brothers treated him cruelly, Joseph not only forgave his brothers he also sought the best for them. Joseph, and everyone in the Bible, was a person like we are. He had every reason to be bitter, but he chose to be forgiving. When his brothers confessed their sin and hurt, Joseph responded that they meant it for evil but God used it for good.

Second, because Jesus forgave those who crucified Him. His forgiveness on the cross showed He was the Son of God and that even on the cross He was in control.

Third, because Jesus forgave Simon Peter and restored Him to a place of leadership. If God could forgive Simon for how He rejected Jesus at such a crucial time, surely no one is beyond redemption and no one is beyond our forgiveness.

Fourth, because Jesus died for my forgiveness. If I refuse to do what He commands, am I really functioning as His child? Have I actually forsaken Him by refusing to forgive? If Jesus could forgive me, can’t I forgive?

Finally, because of the saints who through the ages who faithfully forgave and lived lives pleasing to the Savior. Their example becomes part of my motivation. Thank God for those who give us examples of what faithful followers of Christ do.

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One Response

  1. As I listened intently to the sermon I made some notes on your presentation of how you illustrated that:
    Forgiveness comes from a position of Strength.
    Strength comes from Relationship.
    Relationship comes from Purpose.

    I thought about many of the mission stories heard through the years of Missionaries of many Christian walks who forgave those who were killing them.
    I thought of the testimonial account of the death of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

    I was pleased to hear you say, as well as state, with reference to Romans 8:28 “The fact God works all things for good doesn’t mean they were right at the time.” Suggested a prayer for understanding/perspective while exercising Faith during long-suffering in the quest for His Purpose revealed in His Time. Thought it was a brave statement with the ring of Truth.

    I noticed it is a sign of maturity and understanding of ones position to not throw the obvious station of social hierarchy into the face of underlings who are acknowledging dependence on you in your position of authority.

    Given the social folkways of self gratification via a servant’s tendency to ingratiate themselves with their master, punishment is often charged without a word spoken.

    I thought of the recent question asked of you regarding how one is charged with being” bitter” because abuse was finally brought to Light. (I have seen prayers and blind eyes turned to like pleas for help; while the one pleading is “pigeon-holed” and dismissed.) I tried to think of an example of a person being tortured or imprisoned that went on to live awhile longer where “forgive them for they know not what they do” was prayed. At this moment I can only think of the earthquake account where the jailer had been impressed with the disciples’ continual Worship while imprisoned; and then their example of caring for him for just doing his job. A great example of turning impersonal relationships to a personal relationship: Purpose of Evangelism.

    Thanks be to God, may the sales go well and the context be realized for His Purpose.


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