Proverbs 17:9 Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.
It is said, “When we forgive, we don’t change the past, we change the future.”
We cannot undo the effects of hurtful things that were said. We cannot undo things that we did or were done to us. We cannot undo things we have seen that should never have been looked at. We can only go forward with a repentant heart and a Godly willingness within our hearts to be who we were made to be in Christ. Phil. 3:13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have laid hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus.
When our world is upside-down because of past hurts or infected memories, finding our way forward may be difficult. Feelings of being out of place and not quite where we are supposed to be in our heart may run rampant within our entire being. We might even feel like we are walking on the ceiling. Gravity and natural laws seem to be contrary to our ability to grasp where we are and where we are going. Psalm 73:14 I get nothing but trouble all day long; every morning brings me pain.
Confusion can become a default setting in our life to the point that we no longer know which way is up or down. Psalm 43:5a Why, my soul, are you so dejected? Why are you in such turmoil? It might be time for complete capitulation and ceasing to resist the working of the Holy Spirit within our mind, soul and body. Some might say, “It is time to get back to basics,” but it most likely will be a deeper work than that.
When Joseph finally came to the place of surrender within his heart where he forgave his brothers for the betrayal they had orchestrated upon him by selling him into slavery – the decision to forgive was gut-wrenching. It was so deep a work within Joseph that his world had turned upside-down. The whole palace knew a monumental shift had happened, as the affect of this forgiveness could be heard throughout the palace. Gen. 45:2 He wept loudly; the Egyptians heard it and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.
This grace of forgiving not only changed Joseph’s future but also the future of his brothers, father, and eventually a nation. By forgiving the past, Joseph was able to see his own sons blessed by his father. Gen. 48:8 Then Jacob looked over at the two boys. “Are these your sons?” he asked. 9 “Yes,” Joseph told him, “these are the sons God has given me here in Egypt.” And Jacob said, “Bring them closer to me, so I can bless them.” Forgiveness cleared the way for Joseph to see the blessings of the Lord restore his soul and family.
The majority of wounds that cause festering anger within people are most often caused by acquaintances or family members. These so-called friends and relatives brought hurts, rejections, and sometimes brutality that caused mental, physical, and emotional scars that can become infected. The only balm and ointment that can clean the pustulant stench festering in every part of a person’s life is forgiveness. Forgive – and you will be set free!
When Jesus was nailed to the cross and every injustice committed against Him had been performed with malice, He changed the entire future of the world with these words, “Father, forgive them.” Because of the Lord’s forgiveness toward us, we walk in grace and the blessing of the Holy Spirit. Who or what must you forgive to be able to stop walking on the ceiling and be set free? We cannot undo the past, but we can change the future. It is our choice. Do it, forgive.
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