Have you ever noticed that when you are least expecting it...GOD shows up??!!! That seems to be how it is for me many times. There have been things I have talked to GOD about a lot and haven't really gotten an answer. Sometimes there have been things with me that I want GOD to "fix"...and HE doesn't. However, there have been many things that HE has helped me with. Things in me that HE has changed. HE is an awesome GOD!!! But...there are still things I struggle with. Things, that as a Christian, you either should or should not do. Tonight I am talking specifically about forgiveness...
For a long time it was hard for me to really get the fact that once you ask JESUS to forgive you and come into your life, that was all you needed to do. You were "forgiven" right then. What ever you had done in your past life was gone...erased. In the Bible GOD says that HE casts your sins as far as the east is from the west. HE also says HE doesn't keep a list and HE throws them into the ocean!
Psalm 103:12 (New Living Translation) He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
Isaiah 43:25 (The Message) "But I, yes I, am the one
who takes care of your sins—that's what I do.
I don't keep a list of your sins.
Micah 7:19(b) (New King James Version)
You will cast all our sins
Into the depths of the sea.
This is all great news for everyone! When HE forgives us we are truly forgiven...forever! We are blessed!
Then there's the part where we have to forgive others. Most of the time that isn't a problem for me. Sometimes it takes me awhile but I know I have to do that. So...sooner or later I have gotten there with all the big ones in my life.
Mark 11:25 (New International Version)
"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."
There is still another type of forgiveness that we are expected to do. That is...Forgive ourselves for things we have done in the past.
Romans 8:1-2 (The Message)
With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ's being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
I like the way The Message Bible says this verse...live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. When you can't find it within yourself to forgive yourself for something you did in your "past before CHRIST life"...you cause yourself all kinds of needless problems. But...if you really want to be free and live as you are meant to as a Christian, you have to come to terms with your past, forgive yourself, and put it behind you. You probably won't ever forget what you did but you don't have to be haunted by it either. I always told myself that if GOD could forgive me for what I had done that it didn't matter if I did or not. But I was wrong. Satan will use anything and everything he can to try to get you to fail. To go back to your old life. He will get in your head and remind you over and over of what you have done. When you haven't forgiven yourself what comes rolling in? That low-laying black cloud. When that's hanging over you it causes all sorts of bad things. You listen to what satan says instead of to what GOD says. He brings on all kinds of bad symptoms in your life. But then there's the flip side...
There's a phrase I really like...But GOD!!! At the beginning I said sometimes GOD shows up when you least expect HIM! It is so true. This weekend I was reading a book. It wasn't a self help book, it wasn't the Bible, it was fiction. I was really into the story and all of a sudden what I read just hit me. What a character in the book had done...so had I. I have struggled with the pain of this for years. I have not talked to GOD about it for a long time. The great thing is...GOD talks to us about things when HE wants to! HE chooses HIS time to heal us of things in our past, not our time. When I read the sentences in this book it was as if I were reading about my own situation. The wonderful thing about it is...GOD, right then, healed me of all the pain of my past sin. For the first time that I can remember, I was able to let all the emotion out that I had held inside for so long.
GOD can and will do this for you too. It doesn't always happen immediately. GOD works on HIS time not ours. The great thing is, when HE does it you know that it is truly a...But GOD moment in your life!!
If you need a...But GOD moment in your life don't give up. Sometimes when you least expect HIM...HE shows up!! HE will change your life if you will let HIM. Call on HIM today!!