God’s Plans

Jeremiah 29.pngFor I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.                                     Jeremiah 29:11-13

You and I will try as hard as we can to plan for our future, all along thinking we know what is best for us, guess what we are wrong. Just as much for whatever anyone is going through right at this very second that we long things to be different. Not knowing all along that God has a plan for his children and his plan is perfect each and every time, and whatever anyone is going through in your own life right now God will change it all for his glorification  in his own time. God can fix everything into his majestic plan for good, including the things we wish were different. How you or I long to see that all embracing pattern and if God would show it to us we truly would not understand it. Your current situation feels like a gigantic mistake to you, something you should have been able to prevent. God wants you not to indulge in obsessing about what you could have done differently. The past is something you or I cannot change and our future belongs in the hands of God. Right now is the only place to begin anew. It’s the unique intersection of time and space location where I intend you or I to live. Some things and for that matter many things maybe beyond us, but we can live joyfully knowing that God is in control and His plans are always better than our own. Instead of worry about what tomorrow will bring let us just put all of our worries and concerns in God’s hands and believe me what I say this for when  we do we will never be disappointed.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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God Remembers Your Sins No More!

Isaiah 43.pngWash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Through your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; through they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.                       Isaiah 1:16-18

I enjoy reading many books by Max Lucado a Christian author, and I have been reading his one book called “God Came Near” during this advent season. In the one chapter that I have read which is called “He Forgot” it made be think of the words from the book of Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my won sake, and remember your sins no more. Wow, Now that is something to talk about, God doesn’t just forgive us for our sins, he forgets them, he erases the board, he destroys the evidence. He doesn’t remember our mistakes. ( I can say thank goodness). For all the things he does do, this is one thing he refuses to do. He refuses to keep a list of our wrongs. When we ask for forgiveness, he doesn’t pull out a clipboard and say,” But I’ve already forgiven you for that at least a hundred times.” He doesn’t remember. ” As far as the east is from the west, so far he has removed our transgressions from us. Psalms 103:12 Do you think God is the voice that reminds you of the putridness of your past? Do you think God was teasing when he said “I remember your sins no more? Do you actually believe he would make a statement like ” I will not hold their in iniquities against them” and then rub our noses in them whenever we ask for help? Of course you don’t. You and I just need an occasional reminder of God’s nature, his forgetful nature. Think about this for a moment, if he didn’t forget our sins, how could we pray to him, or better yet worship him and sing praises to him, God is the “Great I Am”.  Let us remember the scriptures I shared with you as well as another from Hebrews 8:12 For I will forgive their wickedness, and will remember their sins no more.”

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Why Should I Forgive

Colossians 3 F.jpgTherefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.                                                              (Colossians 3:12-13)

This has been a difficult thing for all humans to do is to forgive someone after being hurt, and more important to forgive ourselves for any and all of our short comings, and when we did something wrong. As I was reading a post from rethink church they share the following words, of why we should forgive. By forgiving someone we are choosing to let go of our pain in which we do carry and sometimes we carry that pain a long time. It is never easy to forgive anyone however when we ask Christ to help us to forgive the person that hurt us it becomes a lot easy to do. And if Jesus can forgive our sins shouldn’t we do the same?

Before the act of forgiveness can begin, there is the inward struggle of addressing the topic. Because letting go of pain and forgiving the responsible party involves both examining the wound and summoning the desire to move past anguish. Beyond even that, there is the seductive tinge of self-righteousness that comes with carrying a grudge (You hurt me. You should beg for my grace.) Rather than forgiving those who unjustly convicted him as Jesus did just before he died on a cross, the injured party would rather cry out to God, ““Forgive them not, Father, for they knew what they did!”

To live out our faith and confront our own suffering, we have to look in the mirror and ask hard questions…

Do we actually want to forgive? If not, why?

These questions form the root of the problem. As with all matters of the self, the ability to admit an issue comes first. Does a victim of bullying even want to forgive the bully? The injured party will likely feel this is unnecessary work since s/he isn’t at fault. Shouldn’t the bully apologize? The natural answer would be yes, but what if the apology never happens? The victim of the slight has his/her own decision to make. Even though time can heal a wound, the scar remains.

Maintaining a grudge requires a certain energy and a desire to indulge the pain. And the urge to engage in long-lasting self-pity may appear surprisingly attractive. That same self-pity can lock us into our current state, denying us the chance to grow spiritually and emotionally. Beyond that, bearing a grudge prevents us from experiencing greater strength and peace.

What does it say about us if we truly can move past this pain? And if we choose not to?

Forgiving does not mean forgetting. A trauma did occur, and that memory will not vanish. Yet we have control over our reaction to pain. Choosing to move past anguish draws upon a strength we often don’t know we have. In making that choice, we frequently surprise ourselves by developing a reservoir of resilience. When we forgive once, we’re more likely to summon the spiritual strength to forgive again.

What do we gain from forgiveness?

In a word, closure. Again, this does not mean erasing the memory. Rather, this is an opportunity to exercise one’s freedom and spiritual maturity and discover a lasting peace. Without releasing the pain, we can become its perpetual victim and rob ourselves of growth. Forgiveness also declares that the grace and mercy that Jesus showed on the cross is alive in us. An added benefit of forgiveness is gaining the ability to help others experience the same outcome.

Do”Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written. “It is mine to avenge, I will repay says the Lord.                       (Romans 12:17-19)

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends