Day 13: Fearless in Forgiving - 17 November 2017

Benescke Janse van Rensburg

After yesterday's devotion, several readers told me about their struggle to forgive. One shared how it hurt her to hear her father constantly breaking down her mother emotionally. Another is struggling to forgive the doctor for his negligence when operating on her husband. And yet another shared about her struggle to forgive the person who broke up her marriage.

A while ago I saw a video clip of a young boy with inflatable arm tubes on both sides. He had a cookie in his hand and tried as hard as he could to get the cookie in his mouth. After a while of struggling, he gives up and puts it down as it is just too difficult.

In our lives, an unforgiving heart can be compared to these inflatable arm tubes. Although God has given us the potential of experiencing a "life in abundance" (like the cookie), it becomes impossible to taste it if we do not take off the arm tubes.

We all have had to forgive somebody who hurt us in our lives. It may be your spouse, a parent, a child, a colleague, someone who stole your money, a third party who broke your marriage, a neighbour or even your best friend. When someone close to us hurts us, it especially cuts deep. However, the longer we choose an unforgiving heart, the more difficult it becomes to eventually forgive. This is where the enemy wants to keep us. An unforgiving heart deprives us of our happiness. As the bitterness grows, the arm tubes become bigger, making it impossible to experience true happiness.

In Colossians 3:13 we read: Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.Also in Ephesians 4: 31-32, it is written,Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. And then in Ephesians 4:27 we find the reason why we should not go to bed angry: “. . . do not give the devil a foothold.”

If you are struggling to forgive, here is five steps you can consider: Step 1: Recognize that it is a struggle in your life. Step 2: Talk to God about it. Pour out your heart and ask Him how you should handle the situation. Step 3: Listen to what the Holy Spirit tells you to do and be obedient. Step 4: Choose to put the situation in God’s hands. Take off the arm tubes. Step 5: Pray for that person. Ask God to touch him or her so they would really know Him. (Step 5 is usually very difficult in the beginning, but the more you do it, the easier it will become.)

Forgiving someone does not mean you are setting them free from what they did. It does mean that you choose to stand back so that God can fight for you. By forgiving, you choose freedom, greater happiness and peace in your heart. If we forgive, we take off the inflatable arm tubes, so we can truly taste a life in abundance. Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Always. God bless.

Father God, thank you for Your love and patience with me. Please help me to forgive (name the person). Also please touch (name person's name) through your Holy Spirit so that he / she can really discover You. I lay this situation down at your feet and ask you to fill me with wisdom on how to handle it. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

  • See a video of the little boy who is struggling to eat a cookie at www.benescke.co.za or on the social media Facebook page, Stories of Hope.
  • Feedback: What fears have a hold on you? What do you want to read? Let me know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I would like to hear from you. Benescke

 

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