“At just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:6-8
Kristi was only four years old when her father began molesting her. She felt so scared and alone. Alcohol was heavy on his breath, and her small self could not say no, but in her heart she suffered a thousand silent rebellions. The agony grew heavy, because her childhood years were stolen to physical and mental abuse. When she was 14 years old, finally the hate became equal with the fear and she was ready to begin fighting. One decade of howling abuse had swept over her soul, and she didn’t know how, she just knew “No More!” It didn’t matter to Kristi if she killed her father or if she killed herself, either way the torment had to stop.
Kristi’s story is true. One day, in her early twenties, when Jesus asked her to forgive her father, there was only one answer, “No!!! How can I forgive that man?”
Your own suffering might be similar to hers or maybe some other trauma that has dug a deep scar in your heart. In your mind, you know forgiveness is the right thing, but in your heart you wrestle with the wounds of the injustice. Here are some steps the Lord led Kristi through, and these also may help you find peace and healing through forgiveness.
- First bring your broken heart to Jesus. (John 6:37)
- Begin to write your most painful experiences down on a piece of paper.
- Ask the Lord how He feels about what you have suffered.
- Picture His Cross of suffering and bring your sorrows to Him. Begin to tell God about your pain. What happened. How it affected you. Your sadness and anger. Let it all out before the Lord. (Isaiah 53:3-4)
- When you are ready, take your list and picture yourself nailing it to His Cross. Releasing your burden of agony into His suffering arms. He wants to lift this yoke of affliction off of you. He alone can heal your heartache and despair.
- Ask the Lord for His Presence. Express your need for His help to forgive. Realize God is angry with the wicked everyday, and no one escapes a final reckoning for their sins. Then think about how much Jesus has forgiven you. For a moment, don’t see yourself as a victim, just see yourself as a sinner who has received His mercy. Now as a sinner, can you look at your abuser who is also a sinner, and forgive that person/or persons?
Jesus Himself will hold your hand and walk with you through the pain. He will heal, and make all things new. He loves you. It may not happen overnight, but just keep your heart open to Him because He will do it. “The Lord is close the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. ‘He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed.’” -1 Peter 2:23-24
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” -Isaiah 61:1-3
“The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.” -Psalm 103
“Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” -Isaiah 30:18