Archive | August 2016

THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS (Guest Post)

“One behalf of the company and personally I apologize for what we have done to you. We know and totally realize that we have done disservice you not only materially but rather to morally. We will officially make a press conference to clarify our statement and we are ready to accept any legal consequences from you and your company.”

My dear readers, first of all I want to say thank you for your support and prayer of my problem that I have shared some time ago. I am grateful God not only strengthen me in facing the problem but amazingly He solved my problem. After quite long investigation process, the government finally could find no charge at all. All of the business processes that our company did clearly did not infringe the clauses of the law.The authorities that conduct an investigation didn’t find any indication I did bribe to the some government officer in order to won the project tender. The statement above was from one of VIP of the company that became our competitor. With some others he came to my office to apologize because they have slandered me. Then I said: “I am grateful to God and thank you for willing to meet me personally. I really appreciate it.  I think this problem has been finished and you don’t need to make a press conference to clarify your statement.With the great honor happily I accept your apology. I hope and pray that in the future we could work together to make a better achievement”

After that moment, one of my staff come to me and said, “How you could easily forgive them and as if you already forget all that they have done to us?  Surprisingly, you even hope in the future could be working with them! Did you forget we’ve got moral losses?”

Beloved readers, this is about forgiveness. I really realize that sometimes we are very difficult to forgive those who have done wrong to us. To be honest, it’s not easy to forgive someone who already slandered and tried to spoil my reputation without any evidence at all. There was a struggle in my heart.

My post this time will be quite long. Sister Sella wrote this beautifully and completely detailed. I hope you will be patient read this post.

 

the power of forgiveness

Forgiveness is a sacrifice that containing a great grace of liberation.

Forgiveness could reconnect a broken rope of love, could mend a broken relationship, even able to liberate someone from death penalty.

We all know that forgive is a noble nature. Even more as Christ follower we could understand that forgiving is deign and pleasing God. God commanded to us to not repay evil for evil, love our enemies, and forgive someone who persecutes us, even up to seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22). Just because we know to forgive are God’s command and will, then whether we could easily to do that thing? Not at all!

I am so blessed after read Karina’s post “They Could Find No Charge”. When she was slandered and had to undergo investigations for an accusation that she never did, I really know indeed Karina has a power and chance to take revenge and sue them back for justice. But the thing that inspired me is that she did not use her power, but chose to forgive and surrender everything to God. It was the same as someone who intentionally did not use his hands to hit back when was hitting and it wasn’t easy.

Struggle in releasing forgiveness is real in everyday life. Nobody is immune to anger, disappointment, and hurt. Deliberately or not, sometime someone hurt and harm us. Though many people knows that forgiveness is a necessary but still isn’t easy to do. That is why forgiveness is so expensive.  No one could do it easily unless they enabled by the power beyond themselves: LOVE!

 

LOVE IS FORGIVENESS

Our Father sacrificed His begotten Son to die for us. Why God was willing and able to do it? Because He is love! God isn’t only has love, but God is love itself! We will not be able to forgive if love (God) doesn’t control our lives, because true forgiveness always based and driven by love.

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8 NKJV)

Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins. (Proverbs 10:12 NKJV)

Forgiving is one of the real form of God’s love. Holy Spirit has been poured out God’s love in our heart. As just as we accept the grace of forgiveness from God, we must give compassion and mercy to those who have wronged us

 

FORGIVING IS REFLECT OF HUMILITY

For the sake of us The Lord Jesus left Heaven where He reigns as King of kings with all His greatness. He came down to the world as a servant. Instead of prostration and honor that’s always devoted to the Angel, He accepts humiliation and abuse from those who crucified Him. Instead of Glory and mightiness, He was being an object of spectacle and stained. God’s word says that for a little while made lower than the angel (Hebrews 2:9).  He was willing to bear all it for the sake of atoned our sins. That is humility.

Without humility we will not be able to forgive. Humility means not hold our position and also don’t require others to recognize “who” we are. A humble man doesn’t ask to being respected and appreciated instead putting others than himself. In Matthew 11:29 Jesus said, “…..learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart …..”.  Let’s learn from the Lord Jesus who humbled himself to give forgiveness for us. Let us also humbles ourselves to forgive our neighbor.

 

FORGIVENESS BRINGS LIBERATION

There is a story in Matthew 18:21-35. There was a servant who should be punished because he cannot pay off the debt of 10 thousand talents. By the mercy of the king he was released and the debts abolished. After his release, he met his friend who was unable to pay debts amounting to 100 denarii to him. His friend begged him for mercy but he just entering his friend to the prison.

The servant had received forgiveness of big debt that will never be able to repay, but he would not give forgiveness to his friend who owed him the amount of debt is much smaller than his debt to the king. Finally the king wrathful and punish him until he is able to pay off the entire debt.

Forgiving is not only frees people from the “debt”, but to forgive also means freeing ourselves. Although we have been redeemed from sin and death, but us always need forgiveness from God because in everyday life we can still fall into the sin. If we want to be forgiven by God, we must be willing to forgive our neighbor.

 

FORGIVENESS IS A DOOR TO MIRACLE

In Mark 11:20-26 Jesus teach His disciples  about prayer. We have power to move the mountain if we believe (Verse 24). But there is an important thing to do before praying: “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” (Verse 25-26)

Hatred, anger, resentment, bitterness, and all the negative feelings that we save is a sin. Sin is a barrier the answer of prayer! Therefore, God wants us to forgive. Not merely for the sake of those who have wronged us, but in fact for the sake of ourselves! We will not be able to worship God and have firm faith if we keep the hatred or anger to someone, because only those who are clean and pure in heart shall see God (Psalms 24:3-4 and Matthew 11:8).

Not willing to forgive is the same as putting a barrier between us and God, which means blocking the answers of prayer that we expect. If we expect a miracle from God, we must forgive.

 

FORGIVENESS RID OF THE DARKNESS

“But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” (1 John 2:11 NKJV) 

Hatred is like the darkness that blinding our spiritual eyes. Hatred makes us couldn’t hear God’s voice and couldn’t catch His word. It is the meaning with placing us in the darkness because we don’t even know our direction. Release forgiveness as God commanded to us so our spiritual eyes will be open again because God’s word is the light that shines our path.

 

FORGIVING MEANS RELINQUISH THE RIGHT

Several years ago at the office where I work there was an incident the microwave burned due to the negligence of someone. We cannot know and find out who did it because the position of pantry not covered by CCTV. A few months later the leader rebuked me because someone said that I am the culprit. Which made me disappointed was, someone who slandered me is a trusted worship leader. Actually I want to meet her and confront the wrong accusation but for the some reason my leader didn’t allow me to do it. After the accident, it was so hard for me to enjoy the God’s presence when she led the praise and worship. Then I realized if I always in that bad situation I will lose. I cannot pray, I could not be joyful, and always filled with hatred to her. Finally I decided to forgive and let what she did to me go! May God knows I didn’t do thing that accused by her. After that, I can pray again and even made a friendship with her without demanding any explanation.

You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:18 NKJV)

Forgiveness needs our willingness to relinquish the right.  Relinquish the rights to take vengeance, the right to sue a justice, the right to self-defense, and so on. And it all isn’t so easy to do just because involves our ego. However, once we are willing to do it, in fact we are allowing God to scrape the flesh and bring us to the higher spiritual maturity level.

 

FORGIVENESS BRINGS JOY AND PEACE

As human being it is normal if we cannot easily accept when harmed or hurt in any form. We want to take revenge so they feel what we feel. But forgive oblige us to let “the feeling” go. Many of us cannot forgive because not willing to liberate our enemies from our “punishment”. But in fact, what happened is opposite! When we don’t want to forgive, indeed we ourselves will suffer. Our mind and feeling tempestuous even often we will get health problems, while those who we hate maybe just fine and probably not even aware of his mistake.

On one side forgive seemed to benefit other people and harm us. But on the other hand, real forgiveness brings relief, peace and joy for us. With forgive then we are freed from the burden and the shackles of hatred, anger, disappointment, bitterness, resentment, and emotional wounds. Forgiving bring relief to our hearts and minds so that we can rejoice again. Even in the many testimonies I heard, forgiveness brings miraculous physical healing!

 

FORGIVING MEANS LOVE GOD

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (1 John 4:20 NKJV)

We often say that we love God, but at the same time we hate our brethren. The Word of God insists that we cannot love God if in our hearts there is hatred. In other words, if we truly love God, then we will not stay in hatred. We must be willing to forgive and even with the power of God we can love our enemies.

 

FORGIVING MEANS TRUST AND SURRENDER TO GOD

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19 NKJV)

God is righteous and His is our protector. Forgiving means to recognize God’s power that able to defend us. Forgiving means believe that God will act and we feel safe in His protection. But how can we submit to Him if we don’t know Him? Therefore we must build the altar of prayer every day and have intimate fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Keep reading the God’s word so our faith will be grow. Without faith it’s impossible we could surrender to Him. Our ability to forgive will go hand in hand with spiritual maturity and growth of our faith. Conversely, if we refuse to forgive our spiritual growth and faith will be hampered.

 

FORGIVING IS A PERSONAL MATTER WITH GOD

There are no exceptions in forgiveness. No matter big or small case, ordinary anger or deep wounds, minor crimes or big betrayal: our position and our status as children of God oblige us to be willing to forgive.

Forgiving is God’s character. If God’s spirit within us so we also definitely have heart that willing to forgive. Not instantly and automatically because forgiveness is about heart and feeling. Everyone needs different time to could overcome it. It is all about how we could let our heart to be processed by God

I must admit that sometimes we couldn’t accept why people are hurt and harm us as if his life was fine while we have to suffer because of his actions. But in forgiveness, God does not deal with other people’s hearts. God was dealing with our hearts. Hearts of others is their own affairs with God.

“I, the Lord, probe into people’s minds. I examine people’s hearts. I deal with each person according to how he has behaved. I give them what they deserve based on what they have done.” (Jeremiah 17:10 NET)

Whatever the case, who are guilty, those who were hurt, forgiveness is a private matter of each person with God.

 

GOD ENABLED

God is not God who gave the command to His children without giving the ability to carry out His orders. If God commands us to forgive means that He has provided everything we need to do. God give us strength, patience, joy, comfort, peace, rescue and defense of His perfect. There is a blessing of forgiveness.

Forgiving isn’t easy but isn’t impossible.  The key is we must be willing to cooperate with God because nothing impossible before God and for all those who believe in Him. God is love and God’s love is never fails. We must live in His love and filled with His love by always doing His Word.

“But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.” (1 John 2:5 (NKJV) 

Right now, please allow me to encourage all of you to make commitment to always do God’s word so God’s power of love will work in us and finally we will be able to forgive.

Let us always open our hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to correct, form, and turn us into a person who meek and obedient. Forgiving is painful for our flesh, but if we are willing to obey and surrender then we will become more beautiful and like Christ, our Redeemer.

Forgiving is a process that takes time and sacrifice. But at the end of painful process, we are the one who will reap the results, receive blessings, and enjoy life in His glory.

 

AMEN

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Image Source: Google Images

(edit with pixlr app)

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He Is The Answer

HE IS THE ANSWER - Karina's Thought

 

Almost every day before go to the office I always hear a live piano music that played by my little foster sister, Sandra. One day, I spent more time to watch her plays her beloved white grand piano. I am amaze watch her fingers sprightly pressing each piano keys. While I enjoying a beautiful piece of a classical music,  my eyes stared to a series of piano strings that hit by small and soft hammers. To could produce beautiful notes, piano strings must be hit. There are times the strings hit one by one but also there are times some strings hit at the same time. There are times the strings hit softly but often hit very hard.

Don’t know why when I saw the piano strings, suddenly I am thinking about  my personal life that recently  is like piano strings .  Lately I hit by some serious problems that come at the same time. One of my big problem was that I have shared in my previous post (They Could Find no Charge) I feel being in a situation like a tangled thread that very difficult to disentangle, also it seems I am walking in the endless dark tunnel that there’s no light at all.

Yesterday evening, after we read the bible and prayer together, my husband asked me to once again to open our bible and read 1 Samuel 30:1-25. This Bible passage tells the story of David facing very difficult situation but successfully came out as a winner in the very short time. At the time David and his troops reached Ziklag that had attacked and burned by the Amalekites. Although no one was killed, but the women and everyone else both young and old being captivate by the Amalekites. The problem wasn’t stop there. It is written that David was greatly distressed for the people spoke of stoning him, because the all people were grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. (Verse 6a-b) My husband asked me to imagine David’s situation at the time. Not only the afraid of seeing the whole town burned down, not just sad to see women and children taken captive even his two wives, but he also had to face the people who are ready to kill him by stoning because they anger the enemies deprived their wives and children. David had to face the entire hard situation in the moment. Then my husband said, “Maybe David’s situation was similar with your current situation but let’s see what David’s reaction was and what he did to handle his problems. I strongly believe you will get something.”  It turns out David wasn’t discouraged and faltered at all. He wasn’t disappointed to God though what he faced was extremely hard and didn’t know how to solve it all if he relying on his own strength. The bible very clearly says what David’s reaction was and what he did.

But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. (Verse 6c)

That was the choice made by David as his reaction to all the problems he faced.

What happened next was very incredible. From the dusk till the evening he was destroying the Amalekites. Except four hundred young men who fled by camel, there was no one of them escaped. Then all had carried away by Amalekites recovered successfully by David also rescued his two wives. (Verse 17-20) David was successful overcome the problems that came insistently.  My husband asked me again to think deeper about what was David’s successful key. Then I got one big thing that made David successful overcome his problems. Although David was the king with many troops, he still realized that as human being he had many limitations and then he took the right decision. He decided to not rely on his own ability but he simply relies on God who has power above of all. He fully understood and believed that God’s power is able to overcome everything and he also was sure that there is nothing impossible with God. David strengthens his faith and belief to God.

Indeed the Bible doesn’t describe in detail how David strengthens his faith and belief in God but at least from this story we could know David had a life style  that always totally cling to God and we could know that he always rely on God not on his own strength and ability. David said:

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:2)

This clearly illustrates how strong David relies on God and how much his trust and hope to God. In the other verse he also said:

For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? (Psalm 18:31)

His life experiences formed him in such a way to have a very strong faith and really know exactly who is God.

My beloved friends, maybe this time you have very hard time like me. Maybe our lives today is like “piano strings” and maybe it makes us disappointed, upset, frantic, angry, and confused. To digest the situation has been so difficult let alone to thinking about the solution. This evening please allow me to encourage all of us to always remember that we have God who really loves us.  We have God as a place to rely on, always be with us, and will never allow us to suffer alone. Heavier the burden we face, harder the storm hit us it means we should be more aware to build relationship that hold strong in God. My problems not been completed and maybe so it is with you now. Maybe now we haven’t seen the answer of our prayers, but I encourage all of us to always remember and embed in the deepest of our heart that there is always answer from God and He will surely answer our cry.

When we say: “God, I am really afraid to live this life”, God reminds us: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

When we say: “I’m too tired to face life’s problems.” Jesus replied:” Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

At the moment we said: “I couldn’t possibly do this. Too hard for me” then Jesus answered: “you can. For with God nothing is impossible.” (Luke 1:37)

When we ask: “can you help to overcome my problems” He answered:  “if you can? Everything is possible for one who believes.” (Mark 9:23)

We are feeling alone and lonely facing all burdens, Gently Jesus promised: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20)

When we doubt about God’s plan in our lives, firmly God said, “For 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. (Jeremiah 29:11)

At the moment we feel that we couldn’t bear the life temptation, God said to us: “but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able…” (1Corinthians 10:13)

If we say: “God I need the light to go through this dark tunnel” Jesus said to us: “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12)

My beloved blog friend, Lauren, said that “as Christians we are not guaranteed a problem-free life.” Yes I do agree with her. There are times our lives like a piano strings that must be hit to produce a beautiful music notes. Sometime we need to be “hit” as well in order to be strong, not spoiled, not easily shaken, not easily discouraged and give up. There are times we have to face shocks in life. There are times we feel so tired even reached the lowest point in life and began to lose the spirit of life. There are times we face the storm of life and it’s all been, still, and we will remain experiencing at the certain times. But we don’t have to afraid and worry because we have God who always with us, who always help us, always hears our cry, and He also gives us the answers and ways to overcome our problems. If God help and made David successfully overcome his problems at the time, likewise with us now because God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) Let’s start to not always focus on the problems but let’s change our focus and rely on God. Don’t allow our feelings controlled by fear, anxiety, doubt, and uncertainty. From the beginning God has promised us:

And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)

  Hold this promise tightly in our lives. We just need to be patient and cast my entire burden to God as written in Psalm 55:22,

Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22)

We too must walk in unwavering faith because Jesus remains us:

“Do not be afraid; only believe.” (Mark 5:36)

Like David did, let’s make “always lean on God” become our lifestyle.  If this time we still have a lot of problems that difficult to be resolved, don’t be afraid and worry, hold our hands to God, cast all burden of life to Him, God will always be ready to lend a hand to help and guided us.  There’s always an answer in Jesus because He is the answer and like piano strings that produce a beautiful music notes, our lives will be beautiful because He has made everything beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Amen.

Karina – Living by faith

Image source: Google images