Devotions from Judy’s heart
Forgiveness is not always easy and we sometimes need reminders of Jesus words to forgive others as we have been forgiven. Perhaps one of the hardest things to forgive may be the betrayal of a secret affair of a mate who is later found out. I was reading an article in Just Between Us magazine by Lysa Terkeurst, who has experienced that pain and shares about how forgiveness is like a double-edged word, and often seems impossible. Her heart was shattered and yet she has lived out forgiveness over time and warns us to never refuse to give forgiveness. If we harbor hurt and hang on, a hardness forms in our own hearts. She said it isn’t that forgiveness hinges on our efforts as we grit our teeth, but rather something to participate in so that His grace can actually flow through us. That means we have to lean into what Jesus has already done and cooperate with His work of forgiveness in both giving it and receiving it. Of course, it is much easier to experience God’s forgiveness to us but it doesn’t stop there, we need to forgive others.  Yes, we have all been hurt and we have hurt others also.  If we don’t forgive, our hearts get calloused and bitter. In Eph. 4:32 (The Message), Paul says, “Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.” When we pray the Lord’s prayer we pray, “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” God forgives us because of His great mercy and we are to pass it on to others. Just think that Jesus forgave those who spit on him, betrayed him, whipped him, crucified him etc. + We are to forgive freely as we have been forgiven. Let us not make excuses, but quickly ask forgiveness of the Lord and also of one another.  I read about Lysa at the close of her article, and she is the mother of 5, NY Times bestselling author, head of Proverbs 31 Ministries etc.; it leads me to believe God has healed her heart.
Challenge for today: Ask the Lord if there are people in your life you haven’t forgiven and forgive from your heart.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy