Feeling deeply hurt, I was agonising with Yahweh over the situation – and not for the first time. “The fact is,” I suddenly burst out, “I really don’t want to forgive this person!” The truth of that stunned me into silence, as I realised it was correct. I also knew that Yahweh required me to forgive, it was necessary for my continued access to forgiveness when I needed it from Him. [Luke 11:4]. “Please,” I whispered in a small voice, “make me willing to forgive.” Shockingly, I realised that the pain was so great I didn’t even want to be made willing! I sat before Yahweh in despair: where could I go with this? From deep within my heart there arose a tiny plea, “I am willing to be made willing. Can You start from there?” He can begin anywhere, of course, and over the next little while He brought me through all three stages: I was made willing to be made willing; I began to pray from a willing heart; I was able to forgive absolutely; and then I was released.
When Yahshua taught His disciples to pray, “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us”, it had a far-reaching application. He was not only referring to those times when it’s comparatively easy to forgive, a situation we sulk about, something we brood over for a while, a temporary explosion of anger or bitterness, He meant all forgiveness. We surely know the agony of returning to the same pain or problem again and again; the anguish that makes it seem nigh on impossible to forgive.
The apostle Paul wrote, “But [Yahweh] proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, [Messiah] died for us!” [Romans 5:8]. Forgiveness for my sin is available before I ask, and is provided by the incredible, selfless love of Yahshua. This has an ongoing, precious effect for, “His forgiveness,” writes James Banks, “empowers us to forgive others as we realise we can’t forgive in our own strength and ask Him to help us” [italics added]. Wonderful to know that we don’t have to face the impossible alone! However unattainable it may seem, we can be empowered through divine love, and personal honesty.
Photo Credit: unsplash-logoEthan Sykes