“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
God’s forgiveness is final. He removes our sins far away from us in order to restore our relationship with Him. I embrace His forgiveness and look to receive it daily for I stumble often.
I am also learning to apply this same verse to my forgiveness of others.
Several years ago, I went through a difficult period of depression. As God was leading me out, He showed me where I was holding onto unforgiveness. I thought I had forgiven age-old offenses, but it turns out I had buried them and was standing on the mound I had built.
I discovered that rather than being “over it,” I was dying on a hill of my own making. Using the forgive but don’t forget method, I had put these offenses in a time vault. Securely stored and buried were items labeled “When I was right and they were wrong” or “When they hurt me and I’m never going to let it happen again.”
I decided that wasn’t the hill I wanted to die on. I got my shovel out and began unearthing old wounds and handing them over to God. One by one I sifted through hurt feelings, the pain of betrayal, broken trust, and soul-scarring moments. Tears were shed as my heart ached once again with each revitalized memory. But those tears of pain were transformed into tears of healing as I turned them over to Jesus and whispered, “I forgive them, God help me really forgive this time.”
I confess that some hurts required more rounds of the “I forgive them” prayer. But God was faithful to work His healing in my heart as I gained freedom from the past. I had chained myself to that hill of unforgiveness and bound myself to the offenders. Until I forgave them, I was a prisoner. God set me free with each heartfelt prayer.
This process was one key to my release from depression and anxiety. If you are struggling through a similar season, let me encourage you to be brave and turn those painful moments over to our loving God. Let Him set you free from your past.
We demonstrate grace and mercy by offering forgiveness to those who have hurt us. Jesus freely offers us grace, mercy, and forgiveness; we should do the same.
“Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”
Hebrews 12:15 NLT
Don’t bury your pain and stand proudly upon the hill. Give it to God and ask Him to remove transgressions against you as far away as the east is from the west. Trust me, you don’t want to hold those hurts close. You don’t want the memories nearby where they can send out deadly roots of bitterness, anger, and distrust into your life. You want them as far away from you as possible.
Only God can carry them to distant lands where they lose their power to harm you or others. As you wave goodbye to them, God will free your mind from the tangle of painful memories. Your heart will begin to heal, and you will feel renewed and revived. You will awaken to liberty.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean we forget the lessons we learned. God wants us to be wise in who we allow into our inner circle of trusted friends. He wants us to listen when He whispers a word of warning. He wants our identity to be found only in Him. We can remember what we learned without holding to the pain of how we learned it.
We can still choose to recall those memories when needed to offer comfort or guidance to others, but they will lose their power to debilitate us with their pain. They will no longer be able to sneak up and blindside us in moments of weakness. They will be too far removed to be powerful beyond the lessons they imparted.
Forgiveness is freedom. Forgiveness is healing. Forgiveness is wisdom in action. So cast those cares upon Christ, and let Him carry them to the furthest reaches of the earth.
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I want to follow Jesus! How do I get started?
“This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.
1 John 4:13-15
If you are ready to join the family of God, simply believe and ask. You can choose your own words or pray the prayer below. God hears your heart, simply confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and let the Spirit lead you.
“Father, I want to be yours. I believe that you sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sins. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and thank you for the gift of salvation through Him. I invite the Holy Spirit into my heart and surrender my life to You. In Jesus name, Amen.”
Feel free to spend time just talking to God and sharing your heart with Him. Let Him speak to you and listen as He leads you forward into new life. Welcome to the family.
Need to talk or have questions? Feel free to reach out and contact me.