Peace & Forgiveness

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For me, one of the hardest things I ever had to do is forgive someone who lied. I’m not taking about some small white lie.  Forgiveness seemed impossible to me when this lie  changed my life, future, finances and reputation.

Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude, lets go of negative emotions as being vengeful, with a desire to wish the offender well.

WOW???  Could I ever think like that?  For a long time, I would have said, NO WAY!  But God had other plans for me, life changing plans for me.

I believe God has given us all our own journey in life.  He gives us the Bible (aka: Book of Life) for this reason.  It’s up to all of us to learn from His Word, this Book of Life.  The Bible tells us LIFE HAS SEASONS.  No one escapes these seasons of life.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8   To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;  A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;  A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;  A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

When I read all that Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes I tried to relate this to my life. Born, death, plant, pluck up, kill, heal, healing, break down, build up, weep, laugh, mourn, dance, cast away stones, gather stones, embrace, refrain from embracing, get, lose, keep, cast away, rend, sew, keep silence, speak, love, hate, war and peace.  Yes, I had seen all these at least once or twice in my own personal journey. But now I felt as if I lived in a season of break down, weep, lose and hate. As I thought about that,  I noticed peace was the last season mentioned.  I realized no matter what season you are in right now, peace will come. Had I ever really taken the time to be in the season of peace?   As of right now, peace was not included in this anger, revenge, get even attitude I was living in.

I had certainly been through seasons where everything was going great, but was that peace?  Peace is freedom from disturbance.  Even in my seasons of build up, plant and embrace there had been disturbance.  So maybe, I really had never taken the time to understand what God was saying about peace.  How could that be?  Had I become a Christian taking God’s word for granted and not really acting on what he says?

Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

I studied this verse over and over in my head.  I had done a lot of things in my life that I had to ask forgiveness for.  But, I had never gone on a mission to tell a lie that ripped someone’s life apart. Did God expect me to just say “Oh, that’s OK, I forgive you?”  I wanted VENGEANCE and I wanted it now.  Was I wrong?  So began my study of every scripture about forgiveness and peace that I could find.  I don’t mean just reading each one.  I was hungry to understand Gods meaning in every word He spoke.

Romans 3:10  As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;

Romans 12:19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

Matthew 6:14-15  For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

After weeks and weeks of study, from that wonderful Book of Life.  I had a profound awaking.  God judges sin, I don’t, we all are guilty.  God will deliver vengeance as he sees the need, it is not my place to pass judgement. When I read Matthew 6:14-15, then I knew if I wanted God to forgive me, I had to forgive.

I wish I could tell you, POOF!! I forgave, everything became a bed of roses.   But no, it didn’t happen that fast. It took me 4 years of praying, studying God’s Word to get me where I am today. It took Christian friends, telling me their life journey and how God pulled them through.   It took God TRANSFORMING me into the person I am today. It didn’t happen overnight, if it had I would not be the person I am now. God’s timing is PERFECTION.  He knew exactly, how to bring me to this point that I can say:” I forgive, I truly forgive and pray God’s blessings for you.”

My seasons are changing now. My seasons are becoming Born, Plant, Pluck up, Heal, healing, build up, laugh, dance, cast away stones, gather stones, embrace, get, speak, love, and peace.  Yes, Peace is last.  Did I find it?

Psalms 29:11   The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.

Psalms 37:37   Consider the blameless, observe the upright, a future awaits those who seek peace.

Isaiah 9:6  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsel, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, PRINCE OF PEACE!

Peace has been here since the birth of Christ. Once I forgave, peace flooded over me like I was diving into water. Christ being the water of life, poured His peace over me.  Yes, I found a peace I had never known.  Don’t for one minute think just because I’m a Christian I still don’t have a lot to learn.  I’m still learning from God’s spoken Word.  Even though the world is in complete turmoil around me, I know God has a plan.   God’s timing is PERFECTION.  I set out trying to learn how God would provide justice and convincing myself, it was OK for me not to forgive.   But I learned, I had to forgive to find peace and justice belongs to God.  This journey was about God teaching me peace is found through forgiveness. This small act of forgiving taught me a beautiful lesson.

Whatever season you are in, study the Word of God.  You will be amazed at your transformation in forgiveness, calm, quite, stillness, tranquilly, serenity, composure, contentment, relaxation, sympathy which all lead to peace, Glorious Peace.

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that prisoner was you.- L.B. Smedes

All Glory goes to God,

Lavender & Armour

 

 

 

 

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