A misery too great to bear?

By Dave Henning / February 23, 2021

“Forgiveness is not adding on top of your pain a misery too great to bear.  It is exchanging bound-up resentment for a life-giving freedom, thus making the mystery of the workings of God too great to deny.”- Lysa TerKeurst

Lysa TerKeurst concludes Chapter 2 of Forgiving What You Can’t Forget as she talks about the complexities of forgiveness.  Because forgiveness spans the range of offense from inconvenience to horrendous crime, there’s on way to position forgiveness as simple.  Certainly, the cost of one offense is miniscule in comparison to the magnitude of the other.  Yet, God’s invitation to cooperate with His forgiveness spans across them both.

Hence, Lysa advises, at some point you must ask yourself this question: “Am I processing life through the lens of the way I want it to be or the way it actually is?”

Above all, coping mechanisms like an overly positive nature or acting hyperspiritual fail to provide long-term answers.  As Lysa astutely observes, it’s impossible to live in an alternate reality and expect your current situation to improve.  Therefore, healing only begins when what you’re willing to acknowledge is real.  Consequently, Lysa admits:

“I’m both terrified of the stripped-down version of my reality and slightly intrigued by the uncluttered nature of being able to see what’s really there.  Then I can better assess what state I’m really in and decide with great intentionality what parts of my hear still need healing before I can truly move on.”

Most significantly, the words I forgive carry great impact.  For in the split second that follows that utterance, evil is arrested.  Heaven touches earth.  And the richest evidence of the gospel reverberates – not only that day, but for many generations.  Lysa concludes:

“While salvation is what brings the flesh of a human into perfect alignment with the Spirit of God, forgiveness is the greatest evidence that the truth of God lives in us.  And no one who sees this can walk away unaffected.”

Today’s question: What Scriptures help counter the feeling that forgiveness adds to your pain a misery too great to bear?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Hopeless pursuits vs. hope-filled possibilities”

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Dave Henning

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