God’s Word: Luke 23:26-46
God’s Message to me: (My interpretation of what God is saying in these verses)
When another causes you needless pain, physical or emotional, the last thing you think of is to forgive. Not so with Jesus. He was tormented, spit upon, hit over the head, blindfolded and jeered at. And then when his body was physically exhausted his hands and feet were nailed to a cross, along with two deserving criminals on his right and left. Dying on a cross is a very cruel and unusual punishment. The screams from the dying become so agonizing to listen to that at times they cut their tongues out. But not Jesus, the innocent one, oh no! He willingly endured this unjust punishment. Not only did submit and not scream but instead He prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they are doing.”
He left that prayer as a valuable lesson for you. Even though a person does you great harm you can still pray “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they are doing.” They may think they know what they are doing and purposefully do it, but they don’t really understand or they would not make this choice. Think of the times you have made poor choices. Don’t you wish those you harmed would pray that prayer for you? When faced with pain and trials you have a choice. You can kick and scream against the pain or you can lean into it and pray for the one harming you.
You can do it for I am with you—just as I was present with Jesus. As He endured pain on your behalf, you can endure pain on His behalf. Now if you receive pain through some fault of your own—you have nothing to justify yourself. But if you endure pain that is not deserved, take it just like Jesus did and pray for the forgiveness of the one who harms you. The heart willing to forgive will receive My forgiveness.
God’s Question: Has a lack of forgiveness built up bitterness?
God’s Promise: I can only forgive those who forgive all others.
My Prayer to God:
I Praise You for Jesus perfect example of forgiveness.
I am Sorry I so often fail to truly forgive.
Thank You for Your forgiveness though undeserved.
Please help me look for opportunities to forgive wrongs.