Unlocking the Door

Monday, February 20, 2017

Today, I’m going to bring up a very delicate and difficult subject.  I know that many of you have experienced loss through the rejection, in one form or another, by a loved one. It is painful and our hearts ache.  We feel incredible, deep grief.  Anger and bitterness often takes us over.  And through our pain we retreat into a dark space where we feel no one can hurt us again.  That is an awful place to be.  It is lonely and fraught with despair.  Like a cold, dark prison, with high walls and no escape, one could even call it “hell on earth.” And, the worst part is, being there doesn’t make us feel any better.  If anything, when we are imprisoned because of our pain, our wound is deeper than when first injured.

So, what can we do to be free?  How do we break the chains, unlock the door and escape this prison in our heart?  God gives us an answer that is pretty scary – we are told to forgive. 

“If you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 6:14

Now, I know what you are thinking! “But, how can I forgive this person? You don’t know what they did!” or “The pain is too deep”, or “This person doesn’t deserve forgiveness!”   Those are all absolutely valid reasons, and I understand, really I do.  But, what I have learned by choosing to forgive the person who has hurt me so deeply, is that she no longer has control over me and even if I never see her again, I am free to move forward.

I love how Corrie Ten Boom put it following her imprisonment in Ravensbruck concentration camp during World War II - “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”  Corrie was in pain.  She had suffered greatly, but she chose to forgive her captors even though she was grieving, and in turn, triumphed over her suffering.

When we forgive someone, it doesn’t mean that we accept his or her abuse.  It doesn’t mean they are “off the hook”.  Rather, it means that we have entrusted them into our Father’s hands.  He is the Good Judge, and we can trust that He will work perfectly in every situation.

“Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22

Let’s cast our cares on Him and be sustained by the Lord!

Trusting His righteousness, 
Joan

“Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realizing you were the prisoner.” Unknown.

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20 comments

  1. Wonderful post, Joan. Forgiveness saved my life...

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    1. Thanks, Shelby! Forgiveness gives life, that is an absolute! Just think of what God did when He forgave us? Amazing!

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  2. Great post!! The thing that I learned that really stayed in my heart years ago, was that if God can forgive me for all that I've done...I shouldn't have a problem forgiving for one thing. It's hard, but we have to do it! :)

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    1. Agreed! I'm so thankful for what God has done for me...and now, through His forgiveness, He enables me to do the same!

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  3. I love the Corrie Ten Boom quote, and so true- forgiveness is not easy but it is much better for us than holding onto bitterness.

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    1. Absolutely! I think that bitterness hinders us in sharing Christ's love and light. What better witness could there be than to be one free of bitterness and full of love and mercy? Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. A wonderful post, Joan. Rejection is so difficult and painful, especially when it comes from those we love most. And, yet, forgiveness really is the answer to being free. Thank you for sharing this with us at this week's Encouraging Hearts & Home blog hop.

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    1. Yes, it can be a hard thing to do...but, when we choose to forgive, we are free to move forward and be at peace. Blessings!

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  5. Hi Joan, I can so relate to the keeping myself all locked up in a prison of my own making. It is so much better in the light, God's light. And forgiveness is a big part of that. I was reminded yesterday that we are to continue to forgive. There is no cut off amount of times. So, yes, forgiveness is an act of your will and one day, you realise that not only is your will saying so, your heart feels and believes that forgiveness. Great post Joan. Good to see you blogging again.
    God bless my friend
    Tracy

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  6. Yes, we need to continually forgive. I've found that it can be a process. But, if each day I surrender what I a feeling to God, each day He gives me the grace to forgive. Thanks for stopping by, Tracy!! Blessings, Joan

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  7. I have a friend I am disappointed I have tried to call her and she will not answer will you pray for us. Life is so short to be angry at some now that is almost over I am learning this. I have enjoyed reading you blog you have a very sweet look.

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    1. Hi Juanita! You are so right... life is too short to be angry. Even if your friend will not answer your calls, I encourage you to bring that situation to the Lord. I'll be praying that God gives you both comfort and peace and the reconciliation (or at least the opportunity to talk) that you desire. Blessings to you!

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  8. Forgiveness brings such freedom. I loved what you shared here. Corrie Ten Boom's story is such an inspiration and that's a great quote from her that you included. Thank you for sharing this with Grace and Truth last week. I would love to feature this post tomorrow.

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    1. Thank you, Dawn! I'd be honored to have you feature my post :) What a blessing!

      Yes, forgiveness brings such freedom. It can be difficult to do sometimes, but when we rely on God for our strength, He unlocks the door!

      Blessings, Joan

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  9. "The will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart."
    This truth is PRICELESS, Joan. Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Yes, forgiveness is a choice. We can accomplish it when we rely on God for our strength! Blessings, Joan

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  10. Joan- such truth! I finally forgave some loved ones after years of keeping it within. For me, it wasn't a one time thing, but daily forgiving. It is freeing and liberating! Wonderful post!
    #Grace&Truth

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    1. Hi Julie! I've found that forgiveness can often come in the way you explained... daily forgiving. Each time the person comes to my mind who has wronged me, I lift them up to the Lord, and then gain strength to forgive again. When we forgive, we are truly releasing the person to the Lord and trusting Him in the situation!

      Blessings, Joan

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