I’m not sure if any of us doubt that sometimes it takes a great deal of emotional strength to forgive, besides times when God miraculously graces us with that power.
I would suggest that that strength is faith.
Faith, as an action-oriented word, requires us to go forward on our vision, on a hope which remains invisible, in this case to forgive someone for something they have done against us or someone or something we love. Such a task as faith, in the gracious realm of forgiveness, seems a big risk.
But if we don’t take that risk we can’t please God, for God is pleased when the act in faith (Hebrews 11:6). When we make the leap toward reconciliation, even if that doesn’t transpire, we know we have done our bit. We have extended our grace. And reconciliation is not cut off because of us.
This is the faith in forgiveness—to go ahead in seeking a settlement without needing the other person to make a move. This takes the magnificence of sacrificial courage.
The Basis of Our Faith
Faith seems hard at this point. It seems action-oriented against the backdrop of an invisible hope. It’s not an attractive option given that most of the faithless seem to get their own way.
But we forget the basis of our faith is the Lord Jesus Christ. We don’t envisage our action being done for anyone but Jesus. When we obey God, by acting for the audience of One in this way, we find that the faith to forgive is much easier.
It’s no good that we make life harder for ourselves than it needs to be.
We too easily forget to run our forgiveness through the filter of grace, so the bitter dregs will be left behind. We can only do this through a conscious submission before God.
Faith and God go hand in hand. We cannot show true faith—that which is ‘good’ and etched in truth—unless we draw upon God’s power and that requires us to surrender our power.
When we remember the basis of our faith, our faith is easier to practice. It is impossible otherwise. Faith cannot work without God.
The secret to a good life is faith. Faith and God go hand in hand. Therefore, if we wish to have the good life, a forgiving life, we need faith and we need God.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.