“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”-Matthew 6:14-15 (NLT)

 “He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.”  Colossians 2:13 (NLT)

My beloved in Christ, what a journey and experience this life has been for you, full of twists and turns, ins and outs, and everything in between, and I’m sure there’s been times you felt like giving up. But, one thing’s for sure, I’m fully convinced there’s a key that can help you restore peace, health, and restoration in your life, and it’s through this powerful- life changing word that you’ve probably heard many-many times- forgiveness. 

Thus, if you were to take inventory, I’m sure you could point out many reasons to be bitter or resentful, whether toward yourself or someone else. Maybe someone hurt you or caused you excruciating pain and heartache; or, maybe you have trouble forgiving yourself because of the past. I fully understand; but, as a believer in Jesus, you are still required to forgive. According to Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus made it very-very clear when He said, if you refuse to forgive, He won’t forgive you. After two divorces and a lot of other things in between, I understand, the struggle is real. When I finally got tired of shame, anger, and guilt, dominating me, I had to release the records of failures and hurts in my big case file and turn it over to Jesus. I had to get over myself. And that’s not all, I had to leave it all there for good, never picking it back up. Furthermore, I had to unlock the shackles, let the prisoner’s go free, and throw away the key. And do you want to know the greatest miracle? He joyously took the case file off my hands. (Colossians 2:13). But, not only that, he threw it in a big sea, as far as the east is from the west, where it can never be retrieved (Micah 7:19). The record was wiped clean, emptied, never to be remembered!   

That’s why forgiveness is a miraculous-supernatural transaction. It has nothing to do with your emotions, but your willing decision to let it go, even if it seems like the person who hurt you doesn’t deserve it. And honestly, you’re actually giving the gift of forgiveness. Not only that, it’s your response to God and for your benefit, because the one who hurt you, probably isn’t losing any sleep over it. Maybe you’ve been struggling with memories that keep re-wounding you and it seems so real. I understand. But you must keep forgiving. I promise, it will get easier for you. And, if you really want to see transformation, pray for the person who hurt you like it says in Matthew 5:44! 

So, my dear one in Christ, there’s absolutely nothing you can do to change the past, it’s over and it’s done with. You’re no longer a victim, and you have the ability to change your view by finding something good that came out of the situation. This will surely help you, but also keep you in a place of releasing those case files and letting prisoners go free as you willingly make a decision to forgive. 

Stephanie Jones