“The LORD is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.”
Psalms 103:8-13 NASB
Our world is in bondage to the taskmaster called unforgiveness. We are trapped and bound to the bitterness that knows no satisfaction. It is like an all consuming fire that is searching for more and more offense to fuel it, and destroy the very fabric of our culture. As the threads are torn asunder, we are driven apart and weakened. None of us can survive with out the others, as all have contributed to this, the greatest nation on earth.
I can remember holding grudges. What I got was much stress of having to maintain the hate. It took so much energy and made any forward progress impossible. I was chained to the past.
When I consider God’s grace and His forgiving my sins, I am thrilled that He has not only laid aside my sin, but done away with any memory of it. Looking back, I see so much darkness, so many things I have done that I feel deep shame and guilt. These feelings do not come from God, but the evil one, the accuser of the brethren. In the truth of God’s word, I know that I am forgiven. I am so thankful that God is the righteous judge. He has chosen to forget my sins.
“FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES, AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE.””
Hebrews 8:12 NASB
In Him, I am not cancelled.
Our world needs a dose of that grace. We are pulling down statues of the past, reminders of our common history, the good and the bad. There is no wisdom in the tearing down, just an emotional desire to destroy anything that we THINK might be racist. Even the statues of abolitionists have not been spared. Now they are going after the statues of Jesus. The irony is overwhelming. The God/Man who went to the cross and died for our sins, whose great salvation is the only thing that can unite us and bring peace.
There is coming a day when God will be the canceller as He will cancel all of history and reign for a thousand years. He will then cancel the earth.
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.”
2 Peter 3:10 NASB
For now, there is grace and forgiveness, a cancellation of sins, a new life free from condemnation. I am glad that God has forgotten my sins, and that my future has not been cancelled. Now is a time for grace, for a choice to forget the wrongs of the past and create the dialogue that will create a brighter future. It is to be done one by one, people coming together in the quiet of the conversation, seeking the common ground. This is the only way.
I find that common ground by praying for people. I take them to the Lord, and ask for the opportunity to share. I ask ask God to change me. I remember years ago I had a white supervisor who did not like me. I was sophomore at Iowa and had a job in the dorm foodservice at Burge Hall. She rode me hard. At some point I started to change me. I dressed more professionally, I cleaned up my foul tongue, and sought to respect her. The transformation in that relationship was amazing. By the end of the term we had become friends. That change came through my will. Imagine what the Holy Spirit could have done.
Believers, ask the Lord to search you.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.”
Psalms 139:23-24 NASB
Lasting change begins in the heart of each of us, whether we be oppressor or victim. In reality we all deserve to be cancelled. Our sin, our guilt brought about the greatest injustice of all, as God’s Son Jesus went to the cross for our sins. He paid a sin debt He did not owe, for we who owed a debt we could not pay. In His grace, He gives us all the treasure without demand for reparations, but instead, gives us access to the Kingdom of Heaven.
He has canceled our sin and death.
Pray that you be like Jesus today. Ask Him to give you the ability to forgive, the opportunity to communicate, and the power to overcome differences. Those who call upon the Lord must lead. We have no excuse. We have been forgiven.
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!