FORGIVENESS CAN BRING HEALING AND RESTORATION


STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM

FORGIVENESS CAN BRING HEALING AND RESTORATION
=============================================
“You have heard
that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that
you may be
children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the
evil and
the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
Matthew
5:43-45

The literal meaning of the word “forgiveness” in the New
Testament is “to
release; to hurl away; to free yourself.” The only way to
break the chain or
cycle of hurtfulness is to stop and ask forgiveness. This
allows a
relationship to start over and begin anew. The Russian writer,
Solzhenitsyn,
believed forgiveness is what truly makes us different from
animals. Only
humans can perform the most unnatural act of forgiveness that
transcends the
relentless law of nature.

A young Iranian lady, we’ll
call Fatima, was full of hatred towards her
mother-in-law. For fifteen years
her mother-in law was her enemy and there was
a great deal of enmity in the
family.

Several times Fatima had even tried to kill her mother-in-law.
Once she put
poison in her soup hoping to kill her. The mother-in-law felt
very sick after
that and was taken to the hospital. The doctors took the
poison out of her
stomach and were able to save her life. On another occasion
she had beaten her
mother-in-law so badly that the ambulance took her to the
hospital and again
her life was saved. Other times she tried to kill her
mother-in-law, but every
time her life was saved miraculously.

The
main reason for the hatred between Fatima and her mother-in-law was
Fatima’s
marriage to her son. The mother-in-law had even gone so far as to
contact
different witches in order to bring a curse on the life of Fatima.

One
day Fatima got hold of the JESUS DVD and watched it. The love of Jesus had
a
great impact on her life. When she heard one of Jesus’ teachings that
says:
“Love your enemies and bless those who curse you,” she was deeply
moved. She
was especially touched by the fact that Jesus died on the cross
for the sake
of His enemies and even asked God to forgive them. At that
moment Fatima fell
on her knees and asked Jesus to come into her heart and
change her. She turned
over her entire life to Jesus. After that she sensed
this deep love in her
heart towards her mother-in-law.

After that
experience, Fatima visited her mother-in-law taking flowers and
sweets for
her. She fell on her knees in front of her and asked for her
forgiveness for
all the bad things she had done against her. Fatima told her
that her life
was changed and Jesus had created a new love in her heart
towards her. The
mother-in-law in turn asked Fatima to forgive her for all the
curses she had
tried to bring into her life. She also gave her life to Jesus
as the result
of her daughter-in-law’s evangelism. They entered into a
beautiful
relationship with one another from that moment onwards.

RESPONSE: Today I
will ask forgiveness—as Jesus said—of people I have hated
and treated
poorly.

PRAYER: Thank You Father for Your example in loving the just and
the unjust.
Help me to practice this as Your son or daughter.

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