More About Forgiveness

Psalm 130 v4 – “But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.”

Colossians 3 v13 – “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Forgiveness is awesome! That is what Psalm 130 tells us. The word ‘feared’ here is better translated “to be held in awe” or, as one version puts it “to be reverently worshipped”. God’s willingness and ability to forgive is awe-inspiring. Forgiveness is part of God’s nature. Exodus 34 v6-7 says that the Lord God “is merciful and gracious, patient and abundant in mercy and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgressions and sins”.

I have been reading a small book I picked up for 50p at a charity bookstall. It is called “Why Forgive?”. It contains the true stories of people who had suffered at the hands of others and how they eventually were able to forgive. It tells how forgiveness released them from pain and bitterness, even when the person that caused their pain had not asked for it!  One of the examples is of Gordon Wilson whose daughter was killed in a terrorist bomb attack in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland in 1987. I remember reading about in the news at that time. Forgiveness did not come easily; it was a battle. He did not say that the bombers should not be brought to justice, but he realised that he could not live with bitterness and hatred in his heart.

Praise God for his forgiveness, and that he makes it possible for it to flow through our lives. You may not have heard of John Mosey. He is a friend of mine. We were together on the World Missions Council of Assemblies of God way back in the ’80s. John is visiting us at New Life on the weekend of 28th and 29th of September. John’s daughter Helga was on PanAm Flight 103 from Heathrow to New York when it was blown up by a planted bomb over the small Scottish town of Lockerby on December 21st 1988. Helga was among the 243 passengers who were killed.

John’s story of how he and his family not only forgave the terrorists who planted the bomb, but also how he worked to bless the countries that were thought to be responsible is a testimony to the power of forgiveness. John Mosey now travels extensively; his testimony and teaching on forgiveness have transformed hundreds of lives.

Jesus said “Freely you have received, freely give” Matthew 10 v8. That also applies to forgiveness.

Be blessed by the joy of being forgiven.

Eddie.

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