Peace in Forgiveness
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
When I think about peace, I think of the many different ways you can apply it in your life… peace when you make the right decisions, peace with where you are in your life, and so on. One area that we probably don’t think about having peace is in moments of forgiveness. When someone has wronged us, we know we are supposed to forgive them; but why? Forgiveness is not for the benefit of the other person, it is for you.
We should forgive others – not because they deserve it, but because Scripture commands us to. We cannot be at peace while having an unforgiving heart. Everything else in your life may be going perfectly, but if you have not resolved to be forgiving, you cannot have the true peace of an untroubled heart.
In forgiving those who have wronged us, we are putting that situation and hurt into God’s hands so He can replace it with peace. It’s an act of trust. Webster’s defines peace as “freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.” We can take comfort and rest in the fact that God has substituted our disturbance for peace.
God wants peace for us. John 16:33 tells us that we can have peace in spite of the persecution we face as Christians, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” God wants to give us peace, but we have to take the first step of forgiveness in order to have it. Harboring a bitter and unforgiving heart toward those who persecute us robs us of the peace He desires for us.
Put your trust in the Lord, settle in your heart to forgive, and take rest in the peace He wants you to have.
Lord, when I consider the ultimate forgiveness you have shown me for my sins, I recognize my own need to be forgiving. Please help me to gain your peace by letting go of any hurt that I hold onto and replace it with forgiveness. I know I need to put my trust in You, and I ask that you free me from any disturbances that keep me from having a forgiving heart. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.