God as the source of hope – Day 13
Hope through forgiveness
Even though sin has separated us from God, He still loves us. So much so, that God offers forgiveness to us through faith in his Son who died for our sins.
The Bible makes it very clear that we are all sinners: “All of us were like sheep that were lost, each of us going his own way. But the Lord made the punishment fall on him, the punishment all of us deserved” (Isaiah 53:6).
The revelation of the gospel is that God is eager to forgive sins and his forgiveness is full, free and forever. It does not matter what you have done. The Lord says: “Now, let’s settle the matter. You are stained red with sin, but I will wash you as clean as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).
However, the Almighty, all powerful God does not forgive unrepentant sinners. Repentance means being so sorry for your sins that you stop sinning and open your heart to the Holy Spirit. Denial of the Holy Spirit is the one unforgivable sin.
Two men went to pray in the temple. The pompous Pharisee boasted about what he did. The tax collector humbly prayed: “God, have pity on me as a sinner”. “I tell you,” said Jesus, “the tax collector and not the Pharisee was in the right with God when he went home” (Luke 18:9-14).
“Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us” (Matthew 6:12). In teaching us how to pray, our Lord’s instructions are very clear. Our Father will not forgive us if we do not forgive those who have wronged us. We need to do that for our own sake.
Cherishing hatred towards those who have wronged you is understandable, but you need to put it behind you, forgive them, and move on – otherwise you remain a victim.