Oh, what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sins are put out of sight.
– ROMANS 4:7 NLT
It’s so easy to get angry and frustrated. It’s so easy for people to say or do things that cause our spirits to turn sour. Sometimes we get so consumed by these feelings that it blocks out everything else. Everything begins to take a downward turn.
This week I felt this way.
I felt a spirit of negativity, anger and impatience seep into me. I started getting angry at the smallest things and I found it harder and harder to keep an open mind and a soft heart. People I normally wouldn’t get upset with were the ones who were suddenly affecting me greatly. I found it harder to forgive those who hurt me.
I just wanted to fight back.
But at the same time, I was filled with a deep sadness and a sense of emptiness. I couldn’t understand it because I had begun to seek God more in prayer, worship and reading His word. I was letting those negative feelings consume me and I knew this was the reason for my feeling of separation. The moments where I should’ve been able to connect with Him and feel His presence were moments where I just felt nothing. I felt frustrated instead. My heart of worship had begun to fade.
You know, I realised the damaging power that anger and bitterness have on one’s spirit. The Devil longs to come in and consume us with those so that he can harden our hearts, steal our joy, our peace, our love from us.
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
– EPHESIANS 4:31-32 NKJV
I’ve been doing a few devotionals every morning this week, along with the Alpha course and one of the keywords that have stuck out to me is FORGIVENESS. There is power in forgiveness; in forgiving someone. Jesus was sentenced to a criminal’s death on the cross, he was torn and separated from his Father. He bore the agonising pain, for us.
For sinners like us who take God for granted, who get distracted by worldly things and prioritise other things over Him.
I don’t know about you, but that’s such an amazing love that was given to us. An amazing act of forgiveness. God let his perfect, blameless Son be killed by sinners just so that those sinners – and us – could be free and forgiven of our sins.
When we seek to show the forgiveness and love that Jesus had for us, it changes everything. It heals us and restores us, just as it does for the other person. It brings us closer to Him.