Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Trust and Forgiveness--01/20/11

You know, most of the time I truly do believe that if God wants me somewhere, He'll provide the way. Most of the time I really expect that God will call someone to help create that way. Most of the time I believe that God will provide for all of my financial needs, and if His people don't obey Him when He says to donate money then He'll cause the money to fall from the sky or grow on trees or mysteriously appear in an envelope in my mailbox. I've realized that's because most of the time I have faith like a child, meaning that I don't question or doubt God. I simply say "Okay, I trust You, God!" and wait expectantly, excitedly for God to move. Whether it's by something miraculous and showy or simple and practical, it's always--okay, usually--so pleasurable just to see how God unveils His plans. It's like reading a book and enjoying its climax or sitting on the edge of my seat during a movie or admiring an artist while his painting is in progress. But sometimes I become quite frustrated. I get impatient because I want to know the ending of the book or what is so mysterious in the movie or what the artist is trying to express. During those times, I say, "Hey! God, what's going on? You told me to do this thing, but why aren't my funds in? Why do I have to wait? What are You doing?" And then I become more frustrated because He is silent, and supposedly I don't know why. Except that I do.

I am a wicked being, and without God I would be a slave to my sin.

"Jesus replied, 'Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.'"
John 8:34

"For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that our body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin." Romans 6:6 (also, I accidentally made a typo here and wrote "slaves" as "salves." We shouldn't be salves to sin, either, for that matter).

Since I sometimes deny His trustworthiness, I sometimes sin, and I am sometimes a slave. Lately I've really been struggling with forgiveness. I keep holding some amount of bitterness in my heart, and the longer I hold on or the more stubborn I become to keep it, the more difficult it is to let go. This is a sin I used to struggle with that I thought I would never release; but, at some point, God did give me freedom from this sin. Some part of me latched back on recently, and now I am feeling the battle again to cave in or let go of this addiction. As a good friend of mine once wrote me,

"Sometimes our reasons all become hazy.

It is then we're simply faced with the choice, then that we just have to decide to live in the freedom we're given... But He helps us with the 'command' repeated through Scripture...


"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
Matthew 5:43-44

"But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you."
Luke 6:27

"But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked."
Luke 6:35

I need to hand over my burdens and let God take care of them. Until I forgive, I cannot be forgiven, and aside from that, I want to honor Him--whether I receive a reward or not--for HE is holy, and I am created from the dust of the ground. He has been so good and merciful to me--a sinner. Who am I to hold a single sin against a fellow brother or sister in Christ?

Yet, I am human. So I will daily pray for help to trust Him more, and I will daily pray for help to forgive those who persecute me, cause me to stumble, treat me unfairly, or hold my own sins against me.

Who am I to know the mind of God? And who am I to understand His ways?

~just another sinner saved by grace

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