Forgiving God

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. —Nahum 1:7

Although we often do not see it at first—and for some it takes a longer time—all of our bitterness is ultimately traceable to a resentment of God. This may be an unconscious anger. Some "good" people would be horrified at the thought that they could be harboring bitterness toward God. But we often repress this, too; such knowledge is too painful to admit.

The truth is, our bitterness is often aimed at God. Why do we feel this way? Because deep in our hearts we believe that He is the one who allowed bad things to happen in our lives. Since He is all powerful and all knowing, couldn't He have prevented tragedies and offenses from happening? What we ultimately believe is that God is to blame for our hurt.

God does turn evil into blessing. He causes things to work together for good. God did not send His Son into the world to explain evil, but rather to save us from it and to exemplify a life of suffering. Jesus, who was and is the God man, suffered as no one else has or ever will. One day God will clear His own name from the charge of being unjust, but in the meantime, we need to trust Him and take Him at His Word that He is just and merciful.

For all of us who struggle with God's right to allow evil to exist in the world, there still must be a genuine forgiveness on our part, for any bitterness toward God grieves the Holy Spirit. He was never guilty in the first place, but because He sometimes appears to us to have been unfair, we must relinquish our bitterness and wholly forgive Him before we can move on with our lives.

Excerpted from Total Forgiveness (Charisma House, 2002).

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