Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (NIV)
Many years ago, when I was going through a difficult time, I had a friend who told me, "Don't look back because forward is where you are going."
At that time in my life, those words were life saving to me. I was filled with so much hurt and emotional pain, that I didn't know how to go forward. The pain of yesterday was very alive in my mind.
My friend showed me how to make note cards to write down my thoughts during the day. I began to write and through my writing, I was able to let go of the past and look forward to an incredible future.
The writing wasn't easy and I cried enough tears while I wrote to fill a river, or so it seemed to me. But with each word and with each tear, I found healing.
Slowly, I found myself being able to smile a genuine smile. My heart felt lighter and I knew I was happy. I had put the past where it belonged -
in the past.
I still had memories and thoughts of the past, but they no longer controlled my life. Each painful memory had its place; a final resting place in my mind.
Even though I was happier and had put the past in it's place, I realized several years later that I had not really offered forgiveness to the one who had hurt me so deeply.
I chose to do what God calls us to do. I offered forgiveness and I was amazed that I received even more healing. I was finally set free after many years.
Forgiveness works. It sets us free. That is why our Father in Heaven tells us to offer forgiveness to those who hurt us.
It heals us and it sets us free.
It allows us to truly go forward. It allows us to go forward without the pain of the past lurking about like a dark shadow. At times, just an unkind word or a grimace or smirk from someone would act as a trigger for harbored pain to return.
When forgiveness is offered through our Lord, our lives can make an amazing turn around. It doesn't happen at once, but slowly over a period of time, we begin to feel different and react differently to those triggers that reeled us back into the past.
With forgiveness, forward is where we are going. Each day is filled with steps that take us in a new direction and if we have accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, our journey will ultimately be long lasting and full of love. With His love, we get to look forward to an eternity in Heaven.
My prayer for today is that we remember these important words: Don't look back because forward is where I am going. Forgiveness is my goal and life everlasting in Heaven is my final destination.
I pray that in any painful situation, we choose God and make the choice to forgive those who hurt us and go forward into our Father's great love and live in His glory, desiring His presence in our lives for eternity.
Blessings to all,
In Jesus precious name, Amen
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.(NIV)