I Forgive You

cropped-summer-sun-yellow-photography5.jpg    I Forgive You. These are just three words, but they can be the hardest for us to say. I think it could be our human nature interfering again. As long as we stay mad or hurt, we still have the option of seeking revenge, or getting even. It’s like we tuck that anger into a coat pocket and carry it around, just waiting for the right time to bring it out.

I have known people who live their life just waiting to get revenge. It’s like it is a game to them. They believe in the idiom “what goes around, comes around”. They are waiting for that person to get what they deserve. Forgive them? No way.

The Bible is clear that we shouldn’t seek revenge. Revenge isn’t ours, it belongs to God. Matthew 5:38-42 tells us we shouldn’t seek an ‘eye for an eye, and tooth for tooth’. If someone slaps us on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.

Romans 12:18-19  says “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord”. God’s wrath will be much, much greater than any revenge we could inflict on someone.

Our Father forgives us when we sin. When we refuse to forgive others, we deny that we are sinners, in need of God’s forgiveness. Matthew 6:14-15 tells us “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”. Think about that for a minute. Our Father will not forgive our sins, if we don’t forgive others.

In the Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor in Matthew 18:21-22, Peter asked Jesus “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, I tell you not seven times, but seventy-seven times”. Seventy-seven times. Many of us can’t forgive someone once, much less seventy-seven.

When our Savior was being hung on a cross to die for our sins,  Jesus asked forgiveness for his murderers. In Luke 23:34,  Jesus said “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. Jesus asked forgiveness for his murderers, and we can’t forgive someone who cuts us off in traffic.

I recall seeing in the news, more than once, family members forgiving a person who murdered their loved one. How in the world can someone do that? It comes from us accepting God’s grace and mercy. When we have repented and accepted His grace and mercy, we are able to give that to others.

Are their people in your life you should forgive? Perhaps a co-worker, who spread gossip about you. Or maybe it is a family member who needs your forgiveness. It seems the ones who hurt us the deepest are the ones we love the deepest. Angry words can tear families apart. A spouse may say something, and the more you think about it, the deeper the hurt becomes.

We are supposed to forgive others, because God tells us we should. However, there is a peace that comes with forgiving someone who has hurt us or sinned against us. We don’t have to worry about getting revenge, God’s going to do that. We just need to forgive them. I’m not saying this will be easy, but when we pray and ask God to help us, anything is possible. We can forgive, with God’s help. We no longer carry around the weight of that anger. That burden is lifted and we are free to move on and leave that hurt behind us. When we say those three words, I Forgive You.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Blink

cropped-summer-sun-yellow-photography5.jpg  It is that time of year again, when Social Media is full of tiny faces, smiling because it is the first day of Kindergarten. Their mommy has written their name and the date in chalk on a board, and they are smiling proudly for the camera. The mother posts in the comment section, that she just can’t believe they are old enough to go to Kindergarten. It seems like only yesterday they were newborns; now, in the blink of an eye, they are starting school.

Families are packing their cars and taking their teenagers to college for the first time. For some, this is their first experience with a child leaving home. They take pictures outside on the front porch at home, for one last time. The car is packed to the roof, and they head east or west on Interstate 40, taking their son or daughter to their destination. As they are driving away from the college, the parents both state they can’t believe their child is old enough to go to college. It seems like only yesterday they were starting Kindergarten; now, in the blink of an eye, they are starting college.

The “blink of an eye” can actually be several years, several minutes, or even several seconds. In life, we have the predictable things, such as a child starting Kindergarten, or a teenager starting college. We also have the unpredictable occurrences, such as a having a relative killed in a car accident, or lost to a deadly disease. Regardless of how it occurs, the “blink of an eye” can leave a hole in our hearts.

It truly does seem that time flies, that it passes in the “blink of an eye”. We can get so busy with our daily routine, that we fail to look at what truly matters, our family and close friends. We can be so busy trying to “get ahead” at work, that we fail to spend time with our family. The truth is, if we died tonight, our employer would clean out our desk and have someone in our place before we were cold.

I believe it would be fair to say that no one on their death bed wishes they had spent more time at work. They are probably thinking “if only”. If only I had seen more of my son’s baseball game. If only I had gone to more of my daughter’s dance recitals. If only I had taken my wife on that vacation she wanted.

It might be a really good idea for all of us to slow down a little and to spend more time with what really matters. God places people in our life. Our family and friends are a special gift from God. In the “blink of an eye” life can change. We should all be intentional about loving those under our own roof.

 

 

 

Alone in a Crowd

Have you ever felt like you were entirely alone, even in a crowd of people?  There could be a million people around you, and you still felt alone. If you are a “one” in a “plus one” society, you might have felt this way, probably more than once.

This is in no way a slam on marriage, or married couples. Married couples comprise a large part of the population. However, there are those who are married, but their spouse is not under the same roof. There are also those who have been married, but are now divorced or widowed. Then there are those who have never been married. These people are part of the “one” segment of society; and, they are often the ones who feel alone in a crowd.

It is very important for the “ones” to remember they fulfill some very important roles. The Bible gives examples of some “ones” who were faithful and fulfilled the mission that God gave them.

Anna, a prophet, was married for seven years, and then  a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, and spent her time praying and fasting. Mary and Joseph brought the eight-day old Jesus to the temple to be circumcised. Anna was one of the first people to see the Messiah. She saw him as a baby in Mary’s arms and knew he was the Messiah! Anna understood that God can make any stage of life meaningful.  Anna, a widow, a “one”,  was among the first to see our Messiah.

Jeremiah a prophet, was called by God to deliver his message to Judah. Jeremiah was obedient and delivered the message, often to people who refused to listen. He was rejected by his family, friends, kings, and his audience. God also told him he should never marry. This “one” was obedient and faithful to God’s call on his life.

Mary, Lazarus’s sister, poured expensive perfume on Jesus, and washed his feet with her hair. The disciples were upset that she had wasted the expensive perfume. They said the perfume could have been sold at a high price. Jesus asked why they were bothering Mary.  This “one” was preparing his body for burial.

Jesus, who never married, faced several times when he must have felt alone. In the beginning of his ministry, his own brothers did not believe in him. The night before he was crucified, his disciples couldn’t stay awake long enough to pray. On the day he was crucified, he cried out from the cross “My God, My God, Why hast Thou forsaken me?”  Crowds were there to watch, but he felt alone as he died on the cross.

So, if you are going through life alone, remember that you are important to God. Some people have had to make the decision to place a spouse in a skilled facility. Others have had to say good-bye as their spouse entered into eternity. They are still around the same friends, same Sunday School class, same family, but without their spouse. This must be an incredibly difficult adjustment.

Some people face the life altering situation caused by divorce. They are now the head of the household and are responsible for all of the bills, house repairs, car repairs, and everything else that can occur on a daily basis. They have to discipline the children, only to have them go to the other parent’s house and be allowed to do as they wish.

You may be a “one” because you haven’t gotten married. Family and friends try to introduce you to someone “really nice”. There are the constant questions asking when you are going to “settle down”, as if being single means you can be settled on your own.

Regardless of how or why you are a “one”, you are never alone. Our Heavenly Father is always there for us. In Hebrews 13:5, He tells us “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” He sent his Son to die on the cross for all of us. We are all important to Him, and he wants all of us to use our spiritual gifts.

Lonely,Widow,Divorced,Single,Plus One,God’s love

Worry Much?

Worry is one of those emotions that can often make us feel overwhelmed. It can be one of the most difficult emotions. We are facing a problem, and worrying may be our first instinct for handling the problem.

For some of us, worry can be an everyday occurrence.  Like when you are exhausted from work and don’t feel like cooking. You really just want to zip through a “fast” food lane and go home. However, the electric bill is due soon, and you have been trying to stay within a budget and not spend any extra money. You have solved the food problem, but there is still that electric bill.

It could be you are facing some important life decisions, such as whether to change jobs, whether to buy a new house or car, whether to go back to college, or when to retire. Life decisions can certainly cause more than their share of worry.

There are times in our life when we are faced with some very difficult situations, and worrying can kick into overdrive. Maybe you or a loved one is facing a serious illness.  Maybe you have lost part, or all, of your income.  Maybe your teenager or young adult is making some choices that can lead down a dead-end path. Maybe you have some difficult decisions to make about an aging parent or spouse.

It doesn’t matter if our worries are small, or the life threatening kind that can send a cold chill down our spine. We have a Father who loves us and who wants us to trust Him with those worries.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells us just how important we are to him and why we shouldn’t become overwhelmed with worry. Matthew 6:25-27 tells us “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body not more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

So, in the midst of our worrying, our Heavenly Father want us to remember that He loves us and will take care of us. We can pray and leave our worries with Him.  Even the small worries, and especially the super-sized worries.

 

worry,anxious,emotion,prayer,Jesus,Heavenly Father

 

Coming July 5, 2016!!

Welcome to awhisperofhope.com! I am so excited you are here.

I have felt the call to write a blog for quite some time. This blog is the result of much prayer and discernment over several months. Through this blog, I hope to provide an encouraging word to those facing difficult situations, or the problems of every day life. The most encouraging words I find each day come from God’s word. I plan to share His words with you. I hope you find encouragement and peace.

The blog will be published on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. The first blog will be published on July 5, 2016. Please feel free to share the blog with others.

Our e-mail address is awhisperofhope@outlook.com. You can leave a comment on the blog, or complete the Contact Form located in the menu at the top of the page. I look forward to hearing from you!