How to Believe in Forgiveness

Out of one of the most violent acts that can be done against any person, God provided the simplest way for us to have eternal life with him. However, as seen over and over again, it doesn’t seem to be as easy as it sounds.

God says by grace you will be saved because of your FAITH and not because of the good things you do (Ephesians 2:8-9).  That faith is based on the belief that Jesus was put to death on a cross to take the punishment for our sins so we don’t have to take that punishment ourselves.  But why do we struggle to believe that it is that simple?  And that we need to follow good practices in order to earn our way into heaven?  Since we feel as though we need to do something to earn acceptance with God, the simplest solution – to just believe – is difficult to put into practice.

No matter how hard we try not to, we all do things that are offensive and most of the time we struggle to accept the fact that forgiveness could just wipe away those offenses and still earn us the right to eternal heavenly peace. How do we understand and accept God’s free offer of forgiveness and then release ourselves from feeling as though we still owe a debt? And then, how do we grasp the concept of a gracious God that would save us even though we falter in our behavior every day?

The best analogy is the parent-child relationship. The love that a parent has for a child has to be the deepest love I have ever encountered. There is nothing my daughters could do that would make me stop loving them. This is manifested in the fact that I would lay down my life for them or give anything to take away their pain.

God’s love is so much more than we could ever express through these mortal bodies. So imagine a love greater than our earthly parent-child relationship coming from God who describes Himself as our Heavenly Father. He uses the parent-child analogy by telling us that He would not give us a scorpion if we ask for an egg, or He would not give us a snake if we ask for a fish (Luke 11:11-12). So, as our Father, why wouldn’t He extend grace towards us if we ask for forgiveness?! If that’s not enough, He is a Father who created us and knew us before we were even born! (Psalm 139:13-16). Wouldn’t you take special care of something you created?

Meditate and take hold of the fact that God is your Father and believe that He will love and forgive you — no matter what.  All you truly need to do is believe that He will forgive you because Jesus already paid that debt on the cross!

 

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jessica Bruzek
    Aug 20, 2014 @ 10:30:24

    Julene, thank you for this wonderful blog about forgiveness! I too have struggled with accepting God’s grace and forgiveness. I do have a question though; if God forgives us for our sins and we are too be renewed in his likeness, why are there so many “laws and commandments” to follow in the Bible and how are we supposed to be more like Jesus then in following his example for all he’s done for us as well?
    Jessica Bruzek

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  2. juleene
    Aug 20, 2014 @ 11:55:38

    That is a great question Jessica and you are correct. The Bible is full of verses that make it clear that we are supposed to read God’s Word and follow His commands. That, however, is only possible with the help of the Holy Spirit after accepting forgiveness through Jesus. When we have that faith and God sends the Spirit into our hearts, He overwhelms our hearts to the point that we desire to know Him and, out of this love, start searching for how we can follow him. aka live like Jesus.

    The Spirit opens our eyes, shows us who God is, what His Will is/commands are, and gives us the strength to resist temptation and do what is right. However, we also need to make sure we are reading the Word so the Spirit can help us discern the truth about who God is and what we are supposed to do because there are a lot of false messages out there.

    It is unfortunate for those who ignore and try to quench that fire as a child of God. Many times we get so confused and busy that we can go through seasons of unrest not realizing that God is using the Spirit to try to get our attention (conscience) because He desires for us to know Him and, thus, follow His commands (Galatians 4:9).

    We are still not perfect but at least we know we are free from sin and can take a better path in doing what is right (Galatians 3:22).

    Thanks for the question Jessica. I was actually thinking about doing a post about this. I just wanted to keep it separated from the fact that – before we can talk about living righteously – we need to believe in and accept the only one who can help us do that which, by the way, is a life-long process.

    God bless,
    julene

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    • Jessica Bruzek
      Aug 20, 2014 @ 19:33:05

      Julene, Thank you for the reply so quickly! I was wondering if I may ask another question about raising children and feeling like I’m stuck? I used to be a student in Tae Kwon Do, very active in my church and youth group, and did a missions trip and many other fun things. Now, I cannot do all those things because my husband and I have two kids and we have been married for seven and a half years now, but known each other for ten. I know that I was destined for so much more. I wanted to join the navy or air force, or get back into Tae Kwon Do, and go to college as well. I cannot do that either. I tried online schools, but I could not concentrate, let alone grasp the concept of math, so I just feel stuck now because we have no gas and my husband is now going to school for auto mechanic and works at Pine City Walmart in the tire and lube express department. I did not get a full education, I did graduate from high school, but I was not able to take the necessary classes I needed to prepare me for the “real world.” I’m trying to be supportive of my husband and pick up the slack of the house chores, making and keeping appts. and get our son ready for kindegarden now. I am still jealous and feel like I’m not a good mother, don’t get along well with our neighbors anymore, and cannot make any new friends, because I’m not the most likeable person, plus my temper gets the best of me most of the time. I have struggled so much with this and my husband does his best to reassure me, but I just cannot move past this. I feel all alone with no one to talk to.
      And now my mom is mad at us because we asked her not to call after 9pm. I knew she was going to take it the wrong way. And both my parents put my husband down and I don’t appreciate it. Unfortunately, there is not much else I can say or explain to them, they just have to let God and Jesus into their hearts fully and truly, so they can truly see how good of a person he really is. He is everything I’ve always wanted to be. But, I’m not him and I’m not like my husband. Can you help me with these issues or point me in the right direction please and thank you?
      God Bless!
      Jessica B.
      P.S. I do love my kids, my husband, my parents, and everybody else! It’s just been hard dealing with my depression and anger. And things of that sort!

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  3. juleene
    Aug 22, 2014 @ 10:58:59

    Hi Jessica. Sorry I couldn’t get back to you sooner. I recommend that you read my life’s story under the “my story” category. You will see that I had to struggle through quite a few things as well. That is why my faith is so strong because I can see how God brought me through it all. He is there. We just need to be patient and trust that if we follow His Word, He will deliver us in the end better than we could have planned for ourselves.

    One of the biggest things satan — the deceiver and liar — tries to do is make us discontented. You say you were destined for greater things. Why do you not think that God has you in a place to do great things for your family and where you are at now? You are doing one of the most important things in the world. Forming human lives! See my post on “Wrestling with Contentment.” Don’t try to define greater things by what the world says. Those things are empty in the end. And be careful to not build your worldview on what you see on TV. If you are home during the day, turn off the TV. It will just confuse you. There are plenty of things to do with the family. That being said, also see my post on “Hope for a Young Mother.”

    When you see life through God’s eyes and are content by realizing your blessings, a lot of the symptoms you described will go away. Anger and frustration usually come about because we feel we are not getting our way. (James 3:16 and Luke 9:23)

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