Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Power and Joy of Forgiveness

I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up…  -Psalm 30:1 (KJV)

Have ever considered the power of forgiveness?  Countless people in the world have become hardened in their hearts.  Their hearts, as the Bible says, have become seared as with a hot iron (I Tim. 4:2).  At some point they become so hardened and calloused that they no longer feel remorse for the sins they have committed.  What does it take to become so hard hearted?  It is the result of years, maybe decades, of pushing away the gentle tug and draw of God’s Spirit.  It is also the result of allowing the pain of life to fester to the point of bitterness.  A hardened shell forms around the heart lest it suffer any more pain. 

Another question to consider is what does it take to soften, melt, and then pierce a heart so calloused and cold?  Therapy and counseling can help, but this will not melt the heart hardened by sin, sorrow, and bitterness.  Will soul searching help?  It might, but many have done a great amount of soul searching and failed to produce any positive results.  So, what can get through to the cold, calloused heart of a sinner?  Jesus Christ is the answer.  Only Christ can get through to, melt, soften, and change the heart that has grown cold, embittered, and indifferent.  From there we learn the joy of forgiveness.  Since Christ has forgiven us, we are empowered to forgive others.  Christ lifts from us the weight and burden of all those years of collective sorrow and anger.  Jesus Christ frees us to walk forward in faith, new creations in Him, and we walk in divine, supernatural, Holy Spirit power.  You will only find this in Jesus Christ. 

In Jesus we are as the Psalmist said, lifted up.  Our feet are set on the solid rock, and this rock is Jesus.  Notice who does the lifting; God does the lifting.  This is not from any other source but the Lord.  We are incapable of accomplishing this on our own.  If you are down in the pit of sin and sorrow, you can try to lift yourself up by your own bootstraps as they say, but your efforts are going to falter.  Faith in the Lord lifts us up and when Christ lifts us up He does it right.  He sets us clear of the pit of sin, hell, death, and destruction.  Try the old bootstraps routine and you may find yourself on the very edge of the pit and maybe falling right back into it worse off than before.  Christ lifts us up, sets us clear, and sets us free in Him.  He then empowers us to walk forward in faith.  He gives the Holy Spirit to help us lest we stumble back into sin. 

Do not surrender to the dark forces of the world.  Instead, embrace the brighter, better, and happier life the Lord offers.  Are you in a pit of sorrow and trouble?  Reach out your hand and cry out to the Lord.  He will lift you up.

God bless you today.