Day 12 – All the Hurt & Bitter Places

Sometimes the people we love the most have the greatest capacity to hurt us.

Sometimes people whom we barely know can be downright cruel for no apparent reason.

Sometimes people make choices that we don’t understand and set our world spinning into a dark hole.

Sometimes there is no easy answer for what happens in life, and words of comfort escape our lips.

Sometimes the pain seems too much to bear.

But even through the pain and the wrong and the anger and the hurt, He still calls us to forgive. Does it seem impossible? No more impossible than Christ looking upon the men who were taunting him, beating him to shreds, and nailing him to a cross and saying, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Jesus understands injustice. He took all the pain and shame of the world upon his shoulders. He came to redeem it – to bring us to a place where there is no more bitterness and anger. If we were left alone to forgive, then yes, it would be impossible. But the miracle of regeneration in our hearts is that our Father can make love and forgiveness grow where once it was impossible.

For if we have been forgiven, how can we not forgive those in our lives who have wronged us? Each of us needs as much forgiveness as the person we are bitter against … we’ve all wronged someone, and if we hold out on forgiving someone else, what gives us the right to think we should be forgiven?

It’s not easy … and sometimes it doesn’t happen all in one moment. Sometimes it’s a process over years, where you must forgive that person again and again. But we mustn’t rely on our own power … we have to trust in the power of Someone infinitely stronger than us.

I’m not there yet … I need His grace every day to forgive those around me. But I trust that He can do something greater with me when I surrender all to Him than if I hold tightly onto my wrongs and hurts. He understands my weakness – and He will work miracles through it.

Prayer Postures for Today:
– Admit your weakness and inability to forgive to the Father
– Pray for the strength and miraculous power to forgive those who have deeply hurt or wronged you
– Pray to more deeply understand the forgiveness that you’ve received so that you can extend it to those in your life
– Lastly, pray for the person who has hurt you

Like Matthew West says in his song “Forgiveness” … “Let it go and be amazed by what you see through eyes of grace – the prisoner that it really frees is you.”

Father, please do the impossible in me today. Help me to love those I never thought I could love … help me to let go of wrongs that I hide away in my heart … and help me to truly forgive like You’ve forgiven me. Let me never forget the beauty of what You’ve created in my life – it’s because of Your forgiveness that I experience new life. And I pray that I would see others through those eyes, not the eyes of my own selfishness. It’s You I live for, Papa.

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