(I know, I know; I didn’t list forgiving in my original post. Oh, well; I’m covering it anyway because it ties in here.) Over and over and over in the Bible it is mentioned that God is faithful; if anyone wants some of these verses, feel free to ask, because I’m not going to use them all here. One verse I do want to focus on is 2 Timothy 2:13
“If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for he cannot disown Himself.”
I know I’ve been hurt. I know we all have. But I want you to think for a moment. When you were hurt or betrayed by someone, how did you react? I lash out. I go out with the intention of punishing this person for the hurt they’ve made me feel. But this isn’t what God did. As he was dying on the cross, one of the most painful deaths a person can experience, Jesus doesn’t shout out curses or ask for God’s wrath to descend upon the perpetrators of his agony. He cries “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) Do you have any idea of the strength it would take to look beyond that much suffering and pray forgiveness upon those causing you to suffer? I can’t even comprehend that.
Not only is God forgiving beyond comprehension, but He is faithful no matter what. Go back to the verse I mentioned earlier. Not only has He forgiven us completely, but when we walk away He stands and waits for us to come back. Isn’t that amazing?
Think about a time when you felt you were betrayed or hurt by someone close to you. I’m willing to bet you weren’t friends afterward. But that’s exactly how God treats us, and how we are then supposed to treat other people. It takes an amazing amount of willpower to look betrayal in the face, say “Father, forgive them”, and then to wipe the slate clean and continue to love them and reach out to them, even if they hurt you again and again. Seven times seventy times.