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Forgiveness, Prayer and Freedom

January 26th, 2016

Forgiveness is so much more than saying, “I’m sorry” or “It’s ok, I forgive you.” Forgiveness is freedom. Forgiveness is that heavenly Kingdom key liberating us from the bondage to hurts caused by offenses. How do we get “unstuck” from the residue of an offense enough to forgive? Good question! Maybe Job gives us a key to being free to forgive.

Job knew God in the secret place. We read in Job 19 about the agony of his losses and the pain he endured. Yet in the middle of his discourse on the severity of his suffering, he raised his voice in worship and declared, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” Job 19:25–27

Job did not use his suffering as an excuse to turn from God. Instead, his suffering drove him deeper into the treasury of God in the secret place. Job also did not use his suffering as an excuse to hold an offense against his friends.

The only good thing about Job’s friends—who were not very good friends—is that they visited him frequently. But instead of offering encouragement, comfort or help, they added to his torment with endless questions, accusations and judgments against him. Finally, near the end of Job’s story, God confronted those friends. He told them that He was angry with them and that they needed to ask Job to pray for them. Only then, perhaps, would He receive their sacrifices and forgive them (see Job 42:7–9).

Once again a godly man faced the need to forgive. Something had to happen in Job’s heart to enable him to pray sincerely for his friends. He had to forgive them, too. When Job prayed for his friends, they were released from the guilt of the offenses they had caused. When Job prayed for his friends, Job was freed to step out of his pain and into his renewal. Job’s losses were restored through the grace of forgiveness: “The LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.” Job 42:10 (Italics added.)

Thank You, Lord. Your forgiveness has made me free – free to pray, free to love, free to forgive.

(Adapted from Prayer – Heaven’s Open Door, Chapter 9 by Nancy McDaniel)

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  1. Lydia McCroskey
    February 10th, 2016 at 23:41 | #1

    Beautifully spoken!

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