Lift up your face and look to God, because His mercies are new every morning. Trust God and trust His Word, because in Him we have redemption. He knows the messy and the ugly parts; He has seen the brokenness and hurt in your heart. Bring all of you to Him; the good and the bad, the weak and the weary. Thank Him for His goodness. Thank Him for His faithfulness. He is here with you, and He is making you new.
“I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble.” (Psalm 142:2)
That place where the world collapses, where your heart has been wounded, where words have cut deep, where your soul aches deeply because of a circumstance not changing. That place where for one reason or another, a murmuring rises up from inside of you and words of bitterness fill your mind — where all you can mutter are words of complaint, of discontentment.
I have been there many times. I am sure you have as well.
We can pour out our complaints and declare our troubles before Him, not so that He might see them but that even in them, we might see Him. When we pour out our complaints before Him, we truly see them for what they are as we set our thoughts in order — and that is when His glorious light can break in.
His scandalous grace can weave into our thoughts and we see much of our problems vanish in this glorious light. When we set our troubles at the foot of the Cross, the terror and troubling soon start vanishing when the Love that died for us, takes hold of us.
“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.” (Isaiah 43:25)
However, we need to be careful of this: we can complain to God, but we cannot complain about Him. The Lord knows our sin-marred hearts and our messy lives. He knows these thoughts of ours that are less than beautiful. He knows, and He can handle them; though surely thoughts of love and joy are more pleasant to Him, and to us as well. We should complain before God only, and not before men.
So this week, let us leave our troubles, our worries and complaints at the foot of the Cross and trust Jesus to work out His best in our lives. This week, let us take all these words that are not true, noble, or pure, and bring them before the Lord, and then ask for His forgiveness, and for His grace to work miracles in our hearts.
“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” (Psalm 145:8-9)
This week my friend, you can be sure that when you bring all these sin-stained words and attitudes before our God, they are at that moment forgiven as the blood of Jesus Christ washes over your sins. He will not leave you, nor forsake you. He gives us a new heart, and a new spirit within us. You can leave the past behind, and watch as God makes all things new (Isaiah 43:18-19).
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So we can hold on to that precious promise that when we cry out to the Lord, He hears us. And when the Lord hears our prayers, surely He will answer them as well. We only need to use our voice to make our supplications, to cry out to Him — and then we wait for His answer, knowing with surety that it will come.
“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:7,9)
Friend, I come to you today with these words heavy on my heart, wanting to share these words that I have been thinking about and carrying with me for some time now. I wanted to tell you that I am just like others at times, holding on to unforgiveness or anger or dislike or wrong attitudes — just because I think it too difficult a job to change my way of thinking. But the truth is — forgiveness holds such an important place in our lives.
Forgiveness is like that cord that holds us together; that binds together the broken, loose pieces and offers something to hold on to, to take hold of. Forgiveness allows growth in us messy and wounded people, bringing us that one breath closer to the One who loves us in the midst of our brokenness. Most of all, forgiveness gives meaning to the mess that we make.
“To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him.” (Daniel 9:9)
Mercy and forgiveness belong to the Lord. I know you know this one, dear one. You have felt His glorious grace lavishing you with His forgiveness time and time again. His new mercies have met you every morning, over and over again. We might rebel and fight against and stubbornly refuse His grace, and yet we will never be beyond the reach of His forgiveness — and that is why your forgiveness matters.
Our forgiveness matters because when we forgive others no matter what wrong was done against us, we are in that moment the most like God.
When we forgive others, we better learn that unconditional love of God that loved us while we were yet sinners. This same love reaches us even now. When we forgive others, we learn to extend this glorious grace and so tell the other what we know deep in our bones — that I am no better than you are. That we are just the same.
“If each man or woman could understand that every other human life is as full of sorrows, or joys, or base temptations, of heartaches and of remorse as his own … how much kinder, how much gentler he would be.” (William Allen White)
Bitterness that comes with unforgiveness, is the kind that roots itself deep into our cores. Bitterness has a way of steeping into our thoughts and slowly take hold of our hearts, eventually controlling our lives on a daily basis. And yet, I have learned this one thing — I am certain I have never been worthy of being forgiven the wrongs I have done to others myself. I would say the same for all of us.
Dear friend — your forgiveness matters. Forgiveness pours that much needed grace into our hearts, and allows us to grow in our mistakes and shortcomings. Forgiveness lifts up with love that heart in desperate need of radical love that breaks through walls and chains. Forgiveness shines that wondrous love into the dark of the night.
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