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Choosing to Forgive

The topic of forgiving might be the most difficult of all the topics we could choose to study.

Many Christians silently bear a secret burden. It’s a burden that clings to you & doesn’t go away. It’s something that is hardly ever talked about with other Christians. It hurts and can cause depression. It can cause your self-esteem to drop too low. It can cause the loss of joy in your life. It can make you feel like God doesn’t love you. When we do not forgive, we place a barrier between ourselves and God. 

Please do not leave this study… I feel in my spirit that God has brought some people here that need help. The Body of Christ is a redemptive community, not harsh or insensitive. Please hear me out. The love of Christ Jesus can overcome anything.  Let love flow freely in our midst. 

I want to ask three questions now: 

1. Do you find yourself struggling with forgiveness? 

2. Do you feel that forgiving a certain person who has hurt you, would somehow give  
  them an unfair advantage over you? 

3. Do you find it hard to forgive yourself? 

We will look into forgiveness issues in this and the next study. We will seek some answers that can free us from bondage. 

For now, we will focus on forgiving ourselves. 

Let’s start with what GOD has to say about forgiveness: In Psalm 103 

Psalm 103:1 Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name. 

Psalm 103:2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits;  

Psalm 103:3 who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases; 

There, did you see it? In verse 3 – we see that God forgives all our iniquities. 

Now we understand that we have to confess our sins to have that forgiveness, right? 

According to 1John 1:9 

1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  

We can see that this is a covenant promise. “If” we confess, He will forgive.  

God has bound Himself to this promise. We can trust Him to do His part if we will do ours. 

Now lets go back to Psalm 103. 

Psalm 103:11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so is His mercy toward those who fear Him.  

Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.  

We can see here that God does forgive us. God takes our sins away completely. God is full of mercy, grace and love. 

God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus to pay the penalty for our sins. Does it make sense that God wants us to be forgiven? Jesus loves us so much. HE sacrificed Himself for you and me. God doesn’t want your heart to be burdened with guilt.  Guilt is a heavy taskmaster. The human heart can not bear guilt’s load. 

I want you to think for a moment now. 

God says we are forgiven. Why then, won’t we forgive ourselves? Would we say that God is wrong and He just couldn’t forgive what we did? Remember that God created each of us. God is not surprised at what we have done. God knows the beginning from the ending. He knows all things. 

What shall we do then?  

God gives us the answer, through Paul in the letter to the Philippian believers -  

Phillipians 3:7 But whatever things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  

Phillipians 3:8 But no, rather, I also count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them to be dung, so that I may win Christ  

Phillipians 3:9 and be found in Him; not having my own righteousness, which is of the Law, but through the faith of Christ, the righteousness of God by faith,  

Phillipians 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death; 

Phillipians 3:11 if by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead.  

Phillipians 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, but I am pressing on, if I may lay hold of that for which I also was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.  

Phillipians 3:13 My brothers, I do not count myself to have taken possession, but one thing I do, forgetting the things behind and reaching forward to the things before,  

Phillipians 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  

There it is, right there in verse 13 & 14. Forget what is behind & press on toward the prize. 

If you are struggling with forgiving yourself, I urge you to surrender to Jesus Christ and let Him take away your guilt feelings. Allow Jesus to heal your heart. He wants you to have abundant life. 

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 

Do not carry your burden any longer. Give it to Jesus. Are you willing to give Jesus a chance? It is your choice. 

Matthew 11:28 Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  

Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls.  

Matthew 11:30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.  

I want to encourage you. I want to share this awesome promise from the Lord with you as we close: 

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  

I pray you will give this some serious thought. Victory can be yours! The joy of the Lord can be yours!!! 

This study may not be for you. It may be for someone you know and love. If this is true, please share this with them. Share it with tenderness and compassion. 

Thank you for taking the time to participate. May GOD bless you abundantly. 

Bible Study by InAwe