When life comes at you in a way that you did not expect, how do you handle it?
I stop everything and talk to God. I lay out all the facts before Him and how I feel about them. Then I ask God to guide my thoughts and then send me in the direction that He wants me to go. He usually gives me a few Bible stories to read that relate to my situation.
A crisis arose in my life for which I thought I was prepared. I was soon to find out that I was not.
After praying, God directed me to read the story of Joseph.
Sibling rivalry over the father’s love caused what should have been an unforgivable offence toward Joseph, but Joseph’s heart was prepared by God from the beginning. There was a plan in place for his journey and for what would take place in the future his family.
When a famine came about, Joseph was given the opportunity to be restored to his family. He chose to forgive the horrific thing that they did to him and that allowed them to be restored as a family and go on to fulfill the plans that God had for them (see: Genesis chapters 37 to 45).
My understanding of forgiveness from God’s perspective is summed up in the word LIFE, because without forgiveness you cannot have the life that God intended for you.
The second story is about the Prodigal Son. After realizing the error of his ways, he hoped that his father would accept him back, even if he had to be a servant.
He knew that he had sinned against his father and needed to be forgiven. However, he did not have the assurance that he would be forgiven. The scene that unfolded upon the father seeing his son was abundantly more than he had hoped.
His father forgave him and welcomed him back into his family. The scripture never says that the father rehearsed his sins or punished him for them. The son was restored (Luke 15:11–32).
Our Heavenly Father does the same whenever we come to Him for forgiveness. Whenever sin separates from God and we repent, He is there with open arms, welcoming us back to where we belong—with Him. We are restored because of the price that was paid by our Savior, Jesus Christ.
I had a situation in my family where very unfortunate circumstances separated me from my family. It took the absolute grace of God and His love that allowed forgiveness to flow.
We have been restored in God’s eyes.
Dysfunctional families are very prevalent throughout the whole Bible and forgiveness was always needed for restoration. And it is not any different today.
Do not revisit the past. You have to make the decision that in order to have life, you must live in forgiveness every day.
“And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32).