The Healing Power of Forgiveness

THE HEALING POWER OF FORGIVENESS

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Then Peter came to Him and said,

“Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

Matthew 18:21-22 NKJV

Do you struggle with forgiveness? It is commanded, and we exemplify Christ-likeness when we relinquish grudges. Our heads say, “We must,”, but our hearts say, “Must we?” The ability to forgive will soothe our broken hearts. It releases us from the prison of depression, and breaks the chains of bitterness. Forgiveness heals, but it also challenges us.

I would love to tell you a personal story about forgiveness. I could explain how releasing anger freed me from the pangs of heartache. I know all this is true in my head, but in my heart, I identify with Peter. Seven times? It has been more than seven times, but who needs to count?

I want to forgive, but when I get close, another incident rips the wound open. Whether the hurt is intentional or unintentional, it is still hurt.

The truth is that God has allowed these circumstances to occur. God is sovereign and everything in my life is Father-filtered.

When I looked at it from that prospective, the anger slipped away. Even now, I perceive how God is refining me.

One day, I will tell the story about the healing power of forgiveness, but for now, I am still in the midst of the waters. Still in the midst of the fire. God never said we would not traverse troubled waters, but He did say He would be right by our side.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.” Is. 43:2 NKJV

Heavenly Father, You have forgiven us so much. We want to forgive (insert name), but it is extremely difficult. We can only do this through Your power. Help us do the right thing and forgive. Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Matthew 18:21-35.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Perhaps you can tell your story of forgiveness and the effect it had on your life. Possibly, you are trying to forgive as someone continues to inflict pain. Join me in prayer as we ask God to enable us to forgive others just as He has forgiven us.

Copyright 2016 Carolyn Dale Newell.

Spiritual Miracle-Gro

SPIRITUAL MIRACLE-GRO

By Carolyn Dale Newell

But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith,

love, patience, gentleness.

1 Timothy 6:11 NKJV

I repeatedly checked my inbox, hearing the familiar ding. Once again, it was not the email I had anticipated. My heart thumped with the stress and excitement of publishing another book. I was overwhelmed with curiosity concerning the details. What would the cover look like? Would this be the final revision?

Was it not enough that God knew? Could I not trust His plans without having the information ASAP? Was I walking in the flesh rather than the Spirit?

Impatience grew, like the weeds in my flower garden. While tending to my plants, I realized my needs were similar to the beautiful blooms. First, weed out these eager desires. Next, pour on the spiritual Miracle-Gro to jump start my ability to sit tight. It is only through the Holy Spirit that patience will blossom.

My need-to-know was actually my need to control the situation, but God was in control. I must trust His plans and His timing. My time for waiting is God’s time for working. We can rest while waiting, or we can wrestle with waiting. A patient wait is peaceful, but an inpatient one is filled with panic. We must make the choice. Hours of continual worry transpire into days of agony. Would it not be better to linger in Scripture allowing God’s peace to calm our troubled hearts and minds?

Our focal verse commands us to pursue patience. It should be sought after like a thirsty man seeks a glass of cold water.

Perhaps you can identify with my fleshly need for immediate answers. Possibly, your struggles are more serious. You may be longing to hear test results. You may be looking forward to the day when a terrible situation becomes a memory. Whatever we are expecting, let’s determine to wait God’s way: calmly trusting in His timing. Every time, God is right on time.

Holy Spirit, patience is one of Your fruits. Plant within me the ability to wait it out in a manner which brings glory to my heavenly Father. In Jesus’ name, amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Galatians 5:17-25. Verse 24 speaks of crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires. That includes impatience, but it requires a daily crucifixion of the flesh.

HIKING THE TRAIL

What is the best way to crucify impatience daily?? Follow the Spirit’s lead into the fragrant garden of patience today.

Copyright 2016 Carolyn Dale Newell.