IN ANGER HIS MASTER TURNED HIM OVER TO THE JAILERS TO BE TORTURED, UNTIL HE SHOULD PAY BACK ALL HE OWED. THIS IS HOW MY HEAVENLY FATHER WILL TREAT EACH OF YOU UNLESS YOU FORGIVE YOUR BROTHER FROM YOUR HEART
I have had many accusers and I have had many accusations hurled at me. On one of these occasions, the accusations hurt so much that they felt like hard-handed lashes slashing my bare flesh. When my accusers were finally done with their tongue lashing, I left, broken and bleeding. In fact, I thought I was going to bleed to death. To make matters worse, the Lord Jesus whispered to me, “Child, I want you to forgive your accusers…from your heart.”
Surprised at His impossible expectations, I answered, “Are you kidding, God, My heart is broken. How can You expect me to forgive from a broken heart? You are asking the impossible of me.”
“Exactly,” the Holy Spirit answered in my heart, “You can’t. You can only forgive from your heart if it is healed. So, let Me heal it, first.”
To allow the Lord Jesus to heal my heart I had to focus on the pain in my heart—the pain the accusations caused me. Do you know what? When I examined my heart, I discovered that the pain that really broke my heart was not the condemning accusations my accusers hurled at me, but the fact that I felt so alone, exposed, and unprotected during their tongue-lashing.
I brought the real pain to the Lord Jesus…and He exchanged it for His Truth: Precious Child, I was there when your accusers whipped you with their out-of-control tongues. I was not NEXT to you, but BETWEEN you and your accusers, receiving the lashes for you. You were not alone. You were not unprotected. I suffered with you.
BECAUSE HE HIMSELF SUFFERED WHEN HE WAS TEMPTED, HE IS ABLE TO HELP THOSE WHO ARE BEING TEMPTED
I wept as this brought healing to the deepest places of my heart. Suddenly, the tongue lashing did not matter anymore. All that mattered was that the Lord Jesus shared my suffering. Only after I experienced His Presence in my suffering was I able to forgive my perpetrators from my heart.
Have you ever received a brutal tongue lashing that left you broken and bleeding, unable to forgive? The Lord Jesus knows how you feel. He, too, has suffered humility, condemnation, and unfairness. Therefore, He is able to help you feel better, if you let Him in on your suffering. He will share your suffering. He will help you to forgive…from your heart.
PRAYER: Most High, work Your Truth in me, so I may be able to forgive from my heart. Shine Your Light on me, so I may find the negative, destructive beliefs from the father-of-lies that are hindering me from forgiving. Help me to take my focus off the circumstances and the facts that are causing the pain, but instead, to focus on my own heart and Your Truth.
Maintain an Awareness
This must be the hardest of all lessons to learn: to keep our eyes on the Eternal God during difficult circumstances, and trust that His everlasting arms are underneath us, holding us and keeping us safe.