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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Too Hard (Insights)

Before reading these insights, I encourage you to do the study Too Hard. It contains the full text for each Scripture reference. Thanks!

I'm not sure we can study forgiveness too much. I know I often need a refresher course because injustice is part of life. 

1.Three helpful things to remember: 

One. All of us will be offended and unjustly treated at times and all of us will be tempted to remain bitter and unforgiving, but others have forgiven and so can we! 

1 Corinthians 10:13: One of the most assuring aspects of this verse is that we can do it! Truly there is no offense to forgive that is greater than the offenses other Christians have forgiven. The two examples in the introduction are awe-inspiring (i.e. Corrie Ten Boom & Robert Sadler). And the most important message of this verse is that God will do it through us...He is faithful, able, willing, and actively working to help us overcome the temptation to become bitter, through His power, not our own. 

Jeremiah 32:17: Nothing!! 

Philippians 4:13: Everything! (in His strength) 

Three. Forgiveness doesn’t mean we approve or excuse our offenders sin. It means we give up our desire to get even, and we give up bitter thoughts. 

This is probably the greatest misunderstanding about forgiveness. Somehow we think that if we forgive we are condoning, approving or excusing the offense. 

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Joseph had a forgiving spirit toward his brothers, but he spoke about the offense honestly: "Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them." (Genesis 50:19-21) 

Romans 12:9-21: These verses ask us to do things beyond our own strength, impossible for us, but possible as we depend on God.  
Being patient in affliction 
Blessing those who persecute us 
Meeting our enemies needs 
Overcoming evil with good 

2. Since God asks us commands us to forgive, what confidence can we have? 

1 John 5:3: Forgiving need not be a burden if we do it in Christ's strength, not our own.

2 Peter 1:3,4:   In Christ we have all the strength we need to forgive. 

2 Corinthians 10:4,5:  People who offend us are often used by Satan in an attempt to derail our faith. When we remain bitter, we hurt ourselves more than our offender. We can't maintain a healthy relationship with God and remain bitter. It helps to remember we are fighting the plans of Satan when we forgive.

I'd love to have you share ways that God has helped you forgive offenses. 

copyright 2013, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com 
All Scripture NIV unless otherwise noted

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