A Devotional by Cheryl Zelenka
“When you blow it, God doesn’t turn away from you; He turns to you. His grace is looking for you.” Unknown
“Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” Romans 5:20 (NKJV)
“He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. “ Psalm 103:12 (NKJV)
Grace occurs when we get something we don’t deserve. It is unmerited favor.
If you have deeply wounded someone in your life, you may think your relationship with him or her is over. However, there is always hope when you have Jesus on your side. Through grace, the wounded party may choose to give you something that you don’t deserve, their forgiveness and a renewed hand of friendship. Only God’s empowerment can enable someone to extend this hand of unmerited favor.
If you find yourself desperate to be forgiven, first pray that God softens the heart of the one you wounded. Ask God to prepare their heart not only to hear your confession of sorrow and regret, but also to accept it. You must lay aside all excuses and accept responsibility for your part. Bringing up their flaws and their possible part in the conflict is not wise; it will only widen the gap. God will convict them, in His time, for their part in the matter.
The grace you long for may not occur immediately and you may have to wait for some time, even years. Don’t loose hope and remain diligent in your prayers for the afflicted one. Be patient, for you serve a God who daily works miracles.
Be watchful that you don’t give the enemy a foothold either. He will try to convince you that your action is beyond forgiveness. Remember, Satan is a skilled manipulator and liar. God forgave you the minute your sin was confessed. Please find comfort in this fact. He has tossed your sin as far as the east is from the west.
If you have done all you can possibly do to repair the relationship, and it still remains broken, you must let God work things out. Release all control to God and have faith in His power to heal. It is very possible that He is purifying the one you wounded through this experience. You may have started the matter, but maybe there is a root He wanted to expose in the one you afflicted and wronged.
Pain often blinds our reason and hardens our hearts. An attempt to self-protect and ward off any future suffering is human nature. We try to barricade ourselves behind things or habits. If we are too busy for others, how then can they hurt us in the future? If we find comfort in food or objects, we won’t need to let people in who will eventually disappoint and maim us.
But as children of God, we must fight this natural tendency to self-protect. Love hurts and is costly, but its worth is beyond measure. We must daily dress ourselves in His garments of unconditional love. This love will always put the needs of others first; their comfort, their growth, their healing.
Our suffering must be set aside. God not only knows the details of every circumstance, but the motives behind the actions as well. You don’t have to rehash the details over and over with Him. He knows your wrongs, and theirs as well. He is the judge and will hand out justice as He sees fit. His goal however is to purify, heal, and reconcile through the power of love.
Once some time has passed, defenses will come down and God will get to work. He knew the one you wounded required time to lick their wounds and gain back strength. He is the Great Physician and knows how to heal physical, spiritual, and emotional injuries.
Humans must wrestle with their flesh, pride, and self-will. We all long for justice. When somebody has wronged us, we may decide to play judge and jury without considering all the evidence or circumstances. We are led by our pain and will look for a quick way to put things to an end. If God does not work things out the way we imagine they should go, we decide give Him a hand.
God does not need our help to right a matter.
Dear One, If you have wronged someone, you are in good company. Did not Peter wrong Jesus when he denied Him three times? Was he not forgiven? His own brothers wronged Joseph, for they sold him into slavery? Yet they too found forgiveness, and were given his help so many years later. We must learn to turn the other cheek. Non-believers may have a harder time doing this, but there are many Christians unable to forgive as well.
The one you have wronged may be wronging you right back out of retribution or pain. Pray that God heals and brings you reconciliation. Until this happens, may the peace that transcends all understanding guard your heart and mind and protect you from all bitterness, anger, and hate.
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NKJV)
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16 (NKJV)
Grace is different from mercy. Mercy means you do not get the punishment or consequence you deserve.
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