Tuesday, November 23

Faith and forgiveness

Scripture: Job 20-21, Proverbs 27, Luke 23

Observation

Two things:

First, look at the verbs directed toward Jesus, how they treated Him: falsely accused, ridiculed, mocked, crucified, sneered at, mocked (again), insulted.  This list doesn’t include other abuses such as the scourging.

And yet Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.”  

Second, one of the insurrectionists crucified with Jesus insulted Him; the other believed in Him, and said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into Your kingdom.”  What an incredible thing to say to someone hanging on a cross!  

Application

Two things:

First, Jesus is our example of forgiveness.  I’ve never been mistreated at the level Jesus endured—and forgave.  I’m asking Him to help me be as forgiving as He is.  I know that I must forgive as the Lord has forgiven me (Ephesians 4:32).  And I know that I must do it for my sake—refusing to forgive only hurts me.  Hanging on to my hurt and bitterness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.  Forgive!  Let it go!

Second, I want my faith to continue to grow.  Faith is the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).  This dying insurrectionist had faith in Jesus even when there was no visible evidence that He was a king.  I want to trust Jesus even when I can’t see anything happening…or what is happening seems contrary to my expectations.  Faith isn’t just believing because you get what you expect; it’s trusting God even when you don’t get what you want!

Prayer: Lord, faith and forgiveness—two of the basics—help me grow in both!