You May Find It Hard to Forgive, But…

We won our independence from Great Britain, and they became one of our biggest allies over the years. The north and south fought it out in the civil war, yet we remain one big country. What about other wars and battles we’ve fought?
Do you find it hard to forgive our enemies even when they have become our friends?

We could have hurt feelings over many things throughout history. There’s probably not a single person living that could not dig up something that they are connected to historically, and the case could be made that their family was wronged. Of course, if you dig around long enough you may find you are related to both sides of the dispute. What would you do with that?

Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:17-21

There is a lot going on in this old world with earthquakes, tsunamis, mudslides, nuclear plants, and revolts. Are you harboring any old grudges against other parts of the world? That’s not ours to do. God will take care of those things. For our friends and enemies, it’s ours to provide help where we can, share God’s Word when we are able, and pray for them to come to the Lord.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
John 3:16-17

That is a familiar verse, but it is easy for us to forget that God loved the whole world, not just our world. If you have lost a relative in a war, maybe you are struggling today with extending forgiveness, mercy and grace to the other side of the planet as they endure pain and suffering, or perhaps you have other issues and your grudge is closer to home.

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Matthew 18:21-22

Sometimes obedience is truly a hard thing, but it is always the best thing. Surrender your grudges to God today.

LIFE APPLICATION

Today’s challenge is to let go of old hurts. If you fought along someone for a cause or in a war, it may be hard to let go any hurt you and your friends suffered at the hands of your common enemy. It is, however, what God says to do. Hanging on to it really only serves to hurt you. Ask God to show you if you are holding on to past hurts and need to forgive. Ask God to forgive you for holding on to them. Ask God to help you forgive. Ask God to start the healing.

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