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Forgiveness: the Miracle You Need

Some wounds are so deep that forgiveness is just unnatural. We’re not talking about someone accidentally stepping on your toe. We’re talking about willful disregard of someone else for their own pleasure, ambition, or gratification.

The more I meditate on this, the more I see that forgiveness is a miracle.

When we live with bitterness and unforgiveness, we are as limited as the blind and lame who came to Jesus’ feet to beg for restoration. They didn’t need a patronizing pat on the head and a disingenuous “there, there.” They needed a miracle.

When the wounds are so deep and real that we’ve taken forgiveness off the table as an option, we need a miracle.

If only it were as easy as lip service or praying the “right” prayer. True forgiveness liberates and enlivens us. The rage is replaced with compassion. The hatred is soothed by genuine divine love.

To be honest, I’ve felt this miracle and grace of forgiveness all at once in a beautiful moment of heaven-saturated presence, but I’ve also known the process of forgiveness. In that case, it’s a path and it may take a great while to walk it out.

Craig Groeschel put it this way in The Christian Atheist:

“When we’re told to pray for those who’ve hurt us, I’m convinced our prayers are as much for ourselves as they are for the offender. Making that choice to forgive (even if the process takes years) is huge. It can’t be done flippantly or lightly, most notably because it just won’t stick.  You can fake it with the person and others, but you’ll never fool yourself or God.

I also like this statement Mr. Groeschel made referring to a very personal story about the man who molested his sister. He said, “Nothing in me felt like forgiving, but I still made the choice to try.”

God will honor that and work with that honesty. It’s not about feeling like it or some kind of ooey-gooey emotional response. Sometimes, it’s just getting yourself to where Jesus is and allowing Him to do the miracle.

Just as Jesus said many times, “your faith has made you whole.” Jesus was the catalyst that brought the miracle to the person, but their faith brought them in the first place and finished the job. The same is true with forgiveness.

It may seem impossible for this miracle to happen in your life, but the process can start today. The limitations of blind and lame beggars kept them from living the fullest life (especially in those days). If there is any unforgiveness in our hearts, we may be very comfortable with it if we’ve had it for a long time, but guaranteed, it is keeping us from the true depth of God’s promises and life.

I’m not saying it’s easy, but I’ll try to be a friend who would cut a whole in a roof to get you what you need. You and I need forgiveness and we need to walk and exercise forgiveness with others. It’s a miracle that we can’t afford to live without.

What do you think? Have you believed in God, but thought this or that was unforgivable? Do you or would you choose to make a step toward forgiveness?


This post is reworked from a discussion on Craig Groeschel’s book, The Christian Atheist, covering ‘When you believe in God, but won’t forgive.’ Thanks for sharing your insights!

14 Comments

  1. It’s amazing to me that we let ourselves grow accustomed to the pain, and sometimes we see it as being out of necessity. I’ve definitely been guilty of harboring unforgiveness, and I have been right in mine and other’s eyes in doing so. But that “justification” only leads to more pain inside. God help us to see how bound and in need of liberation we are sometimes/ all times. I know that if I truly want to walk in His freedom, I need His miracles to change things in every aspect of my life including walking in forgivness no matter what. Thanks for this much needed word today.
    Philip recently posted..I’m ClumsyMy Profile

    • I wish I could say this is something that I heard from God and then “got” it, but I need these same reminders. I’ve recently experienced the power of forgiveness in my heart and it does indeed change us (even if the situation doesn’t change). It’s the opportunity to display the Father’s heart once again. Thanks so much, Philip.

  2. I’m in the process of living through that forgiveness. Thank God it’s mostly in business related situations. I find that the acts committed by others aren’t really about us usually, it is about their weaknesses and fears. They are trapped in a world where they are lost and relying on themselves for protection and provision or they are trapped in a world of just weak flesh. Either way, when they harm others it’s about what they lack in God… And we’re called to be strong and lean on the power of our Father… and pray for the weak… because that is what they are, especially if they’re trying to prove they aren’t.

    Good post, great thoughts.

    • Great perspective, Floyd. We have access to strength that others don’t so when we forgive we are showing off that grace at work within us. Great thoughts. Thanks!

  3. My human nature struggles with forgiveness. It tells me there are some things that should not be forgiven…

    And yet, I was forgiven of them. It took God to do forgive me. Nothing I could do would have been enough.

    So, I should forgive ‘them’, the ones who have hurt me in such a way as to seem unforgivable. It will take God. Nothing I can do or try on my own is sufficient.
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..The Highway HomeMy Profile

    • I agree completely. With man it’s not possible, but nothing is impossible with God. Thank you, Dusty.

  4. Forgiveness is a daily challenge for all of us for sure. Forgiving my father for all those years of abuse was probably my toughest challenge. Yet, I think every opportunity we have to forgive creates rescue moments…where the mercy of God meets us and we participate in this wonderful exchange of grace. That’s freedom…pure sweet freedom.
    Jay Cookingham recently posted..One of Daddy’s GirlsMy Profile

    • I love that: “rescue moments.” Wonderful way to put it! So thankful for that freedom that rushes in as we yield to His Spirit and love. Thanks so much, Jay.

  5. I lived with unforgiveness/bitterness in my heart for a number years after my mom got remarried. When I finally dealt with the bitterness it was like taking a 200 pound weight off my back.
    Kevin Martineau recently posted..How do we get beyond being anxious?My Profile

    • Isn’t that incredible? For me, I was having constant back pain--morning, noon, and night. I didn’t even realize there was unforgiveness until God pointed it out. Thankful for His leading! Thanks Kevin.

  6. I had to walk through a lot of forgiveness when I started dealing with the issues with my dad. It wasn’t easy and there were times I thought I would never fully forgive him. But the closer I got to Christ, the more my heart changed and the deeper the level of forgiveness I was able to step into.
    Jason Vana recently posted..Stepping Stone SeasonsMy Profile

    • Totally agree. Amazing how many things get resolved as we draw near to Jesus. Thanks Jason.

  7. Thank you for this! I find forgiveness easier said than done as the emotional pain one can go through is almost unbearable that it is not easy to just forget. The bible teaches that it is important to forgive no matter now traumatic it is and so ive been following 5 steps I found whilst reading a book called forgiveness made easy. 1. Analyse the offender (is he fully aware of the implications of his actions as sometimes people are oblivious). 2. Analyse your past sins (gal 6:1 – considering your past sins makes you realise that you are not any better. 3. Analyse the outcome (its becomes easy to forgive when you think about the way things will turn out if you don’t forgive). 4. See the disadvantages of unforgiveness (God will not forgive you for any of your sins and you wont have any prayers answered). 5. See the advantages of forgiveness and 6. I hope this blesses you too. http://www.daghewardmills.org

    • Good steps to follow. Thanks do much for adding to the conversation!