Journal Entry // January 27, 2021
So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”Matthew 18:35 ESV
Forgiveness is not just a recommendation from the Lord because it is a healthy choice for good mental health in this modern world. No, forgiveness is required because the Lord Jesus has purchased forgiveness for me with his very precious blood. The cost of this purchase was tremendous in that Jesus humbled himself by being made like a man, suffering temptation, being despised and hated, betrayed, deserted, convicted, and killed. The one who should have been celebrated at his arrival was mistreated and delivered up for death. His mercy is boundless. His mercy is free. His mercy has covered over a multitude of sin in my heart.
With so great a foundation of forgiveness in my own life, I am thankful that I am allowed the opportunity to participate in this forgiveness as I extend it to others. Jesus doesn’t want me to just forgive when it’s easy and makes sense. He wants me to forgive even in the midst of the hurt and pain. Even when your friend betrays you with a kiss. Even when your friend deserts you in the greatest moment of need. Even when your friend denies that he knows you. Even in the midst of your world being turned upside down. Jesus wants me to forgive. To look upon the cross and see the full measure of his forgiveness and truly understand the importance of extending mercy and forgiveness to those around me, even when they don’t ask for it or provide an opportunity to say the words. Forgiveness starts in my heart and extends out to those who have hurt me.
I need to forgive myself. This is actually the one that I am struggling with the most. I can understand and extend forgiveness outward to the ones I feel that have hurt me, but I struggle with extending forgiveness inwardly to my own heart. I know and understand all the logic I previously stated about the forgiveness of Christ and how it applies even to myself. More so to myself to be accurate. I struggle with repentance being real because the temptation does not go away. The desires that led me down that wrong path are still present. There are times where I don’t see or feel the necessary change that I want to see and have in my life. There are times when I feel the pull and weight of sin calling out to me. It feels like sin is seducing my heart. A quiet small whisper in my mind that encourages me to engage my senses and indulge in the fruit of sin. And with all my understanding and all my desire to seek Christ, I still want that rotten fruit. I still keep wanting to go back to wickedness. Because it is comfortable. Isn’t that odd? As much as I understand about the nature of sin and what it’s doing to me, the pull that causes me to stumble most is familiarity.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”Psalm 16:11 ESV
I need to Cultivate Delight in my heart. God has revealed his true and right path to me, I need to trust and obey. Fullness of joy is only found in him. Not temporary fleeting joy, but true joy. And pleasure? Eternal pleasure is found in him alone. Life – Joy – Pleasure. The three things sin promises and fails to deliver are only found in Christ. He is my true delight. If I will cultivate my relationship with him and dive into the deep water of his love and mercy and grace, I will find that all that my heart desires will be there in abundance. For in his presence is the fullness of joy.