Forgive as You Have Been Forgiven

As humans, even as born again believers, it can be hard for us to understand total forgiveness because that is something most people struggle with today. 

It’s easy for us to remember things from the past and get upset again, even when we told the person who hurt us that we forgave them. Some people will go their entire lives holding a grudge against their parents, an old friend, a previous spouse, or an employer who wronged them because even though they forgave the person, they never let go of the situation or moved on from the hurt. 

This is why it can be difficult to go to God for forgiveness when we mess up – because we’re so bad at that ourselves. 

God is more forgiving, graceful, and merciful than we ever could be though! He does not reluctantly forgive us as we do at times with family and friends in our own lives, but He willingly and happily forgives us so nothing stands in the way of our fellowship with Him. 

Psalm 86:5 says, “You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.” (NIV) This verse assures us that if we call upon the Lord we will receive love and forgiveness in return. 

Remember when you’ve messed up that God wants you to call out to Him for forgiveness, and when someone hurts you remember all that you’ve been forgiven of, this will help encourage you to extend that same mercy to others. 

I challenge you to think about how good God truly is for forgiving us of our sins and to make it your aim to forgive and forget quickly!

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” ~ Ephesians 4:32 NKJV

With God, You Never Need a Backup Plan

God doesn’t do anything partially. He doesn’t give us one step of direction for His plan and then tell us to come up with the rest. He doesn’t partially heal us. He will never give you only half the finances you need. He is always fully there to love, forgive, guide, provide, and heal.

Knowing this allows us to completely put our trust in God. When you know that He will be faithful in every situation then there is no reason to not give Him our all and trust Him and His Word. 

It can be our default to come up with a backup plan even when we’ve prayed and asked God to help us. With God, you don’t need a backup plan. He will always come through for you 100%. When we proclaim His powerful Word and use the authority we have in the name of Jesus, whatever we pray about will be answered fully and on time (John 14:14). 

Our heavenly Father never wants to halfway bless us, which secures the belief in us that when we pray, God will take care of our entire need/desire, not just part of it. 

This is why we can make God our source without being fearful or doubtful. The Lord can make a way through every situation and provide us with everything we need, not only physically or financially, but also mentally and relationally. When God is our source we know we have everything we need and there is no reason for a backup plan.

Do You Know God’s Greatest Desire?

Oftentimes the perception people have about God is that He is some intimidating begin far off in the sky. We don’t know His desires, His dislikes, or really anything else. 

I am writing to tell you today that God’s deepest desire is to know you. To have a relationship with you.

God wants us to love Him because He loves us but He created us with a free will so we could choose whether to love Him back or not. It really wouldn’t be love if we were forced to do it, right? 

So God wants nothing more than to have a relationship with us, but what does He dislike?

Sin. 

God hates sin because sin is what pushes us from Him and strains our fellowship with Him. And it isn’t God that pushes away, He is always waiting with open arms to forgive us when we come to Him, but that’s the problem, a lot of the time we don’t go to Him because we’re ashamed. Instead, we let a wall be built up by guilt between us and God.

1 John 2:1-2 reveals to us that God gave us His Word so we could read and understand His commandments and not sin, but God loves us so much that next He says “BUT if you do sin… I gave you a way back to Me, I gave you Jesus Christ as your advocate in heaven.” (author’s paraphrase)

If you’ve sinned, if you’ve built up a wall of guilt or shame between you and God, go to Him today and tear it down together. He desires a relationship with you as His child. Repent and receive His forgiveness for your sins. 

He isn’t waiting for you to go to Him so He can scold you, He just wants to love you and be in fellowship with you.
“My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. 2 He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.” ~ 1 John 2:1-2 NLT

Flip the Switch From Anxious to Expectant

We never really get “there”, do we? To a place where nothing new is going on, there is nothing that we need God’s guidance or wisdom on, to place of complete contentment living our day to day lives not really anxious or excited for anything. 

Honestly, that doesn’t even sound like a place I would want to be! Yes, sometimes we wish life didn’t have so many ups and downs or unexpected twists, but isn’t that what makes things interesting and pushes us to exercise our faith in Christ?

For many of us, the unknown can be scary. We don’t like the “what-ifs” of life and it’s difficult to not silently freak out about upcoming events that you don’t know the outcome of yet. 

Whatever you’re anxious about today, whether it’s going back to school, taking the first step into what God recently spoke to you, or starting a new project in your ministry, have faith in God! Turn your anxiety into expectation by giving your situation over to the Lord and trusting Him to meet your needs, give you wisdom, new creative ideas, and peace.

Whenever you feel anxious look at it as an opportunity to flip the switch of faith on and become expectant about the Lord working on your behalf. It may not be easy, but God sees your effort and will meet you every time. When we put ourselves out there and believe in His abilities instead of our own, the results will be far better than anything we could have done without His help.

There is no place for anxiety in the Body of Christ, the Bible says God will give us wisdom (James 1:5), meet all of our needs (Phillipians 4:19), and strengthen us (Isaiah 41:10). So don’t let the unknown trap you in a cage of worry but be expectant and excited, waiting in anticipation of all that the Lord will do for you!

Stop Searching All The Wrong Places For Something God Already Provided

It may not feel like summer is coming to a close since it is still a scorching 100 degrees outside, but sure enough, September is closing in on us fast. Unfortunately, this means no more days at the lake, a whole new school year, and most likely added stress. Just the thought of the upcoming busy days makes your stomach turn, but isn’t there a way for you to be calm no matter what the future months may hold?

There is one thing that we all have in common. Whether you’re a single dad, a teenager that can’t decide where to go to college, a mom drowning in her work, or a happily married couple, we all have a desire – a need,  in the depths of our hearts. Peace. We look for it in all the wrong places and sure, there are things in this world that can satisfy our longing for peace in the moment, but nothing will fulfill that ache like the peace that only God Himself can pour out onto us. 

We can’t find it in a basement party, baseball game, a night club, or even lunch with a best friend. We have to surrender ourselves and let our caring Heavenly Father do what He does best. Provide for us. Provide His peace and comfort.

Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Did you read that? We are called to peace! Not the peace that we have been struggling to chase after but God-given peace. The verse does not stop there, it ends with “and be thankful.” this reminds me of James 1:2, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” We are also called to be thankful! Thankful for the opportunity to be faithful and let God rule in our lives, giving us His unmatchable peace.

When we turn away from our hopeless attempts to control a need in our lives that we were only ever supposed to let God give, we will reign in life no matter what chaos surrounds us. 

“Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” 

~ 2 Corinthians 13:11