Summary: A message concerning true forgiveness and restoration.
7 And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, even the veil which is stretched over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death for all time, And the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces, And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; For the LORD has spoken. 9 And it will be said in that day, "Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation." (ISAIAH 25:7-9)
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them,
4 and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away."
IN THE NEW HEAVENS AND EARTH, WE WILL FINALLY BE REDEEMED FROM:
THE SUFFERING FROM THE FALL (Matthew 5:4)
THE SHAME FROM THE FALL (Isaiah 5:20-24)
Indy Star this week where all that we have tried to do as a people is seek to be light in an area of darkness (most murders per capita) and we
THE SHACKLES OF THE FALL (Romans 7:14-25)
We will no longer buy into the sentimental notion that there is nobility without Christ or that corruption can be overcome without the Cross.
GOD HIMSELF WILL WIPE AWAY THE TEARS FROM YOUR FACE.
NO ANGEL COULD EVER SAY, “I KNOW YOUR PAIN.”
BUT THE FATHER CAN RELATE TO THE PARENT WHO LOST HER ONLY CHILD.
CHRIST CAN UNDERSTAND THE PAIN OF BEING BRUTALLY BEATEN.
JESUS CAN RELATE TO THE PAIN OF BEING REJECTED AND MALIGNED.
THE HANDS THAT TOUCH OUR FACE WILL NOT ONLY BE TENDER HANDS, THERE WILL BE HEART OF EMPATHY AND UNDERSTANDING.
THE PRESENT HEAVEN HAS NOT BEEN FREED FROM TEARS AND SORROW:
THE MARTYRS FEEL FRUSTRATION. (REV. 6:10)
WE DO NOT FORGET WHO WE WERE OR WHERE WE CAME FROM. (Matthew 25:44-45)
THE FINAL JUDGMENT HAS NOT YET CLARIFIED IT ALL FOR US. (Rev. 20:14-15)
WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW?
FACE YOUR OWN PART IN THE SUFFERING AROUND YOU.
1. ADMIT YOUR SELFISH NATURE.
2. RECOGNIZE THAT EVERYONE (INCLUDING YOU) SUFFERS HURT.
3. DON’T USE YOUR TEARS TO HURT OTHERS AND FUEL EXCESSIVE OR EVIL BEHAVIORS.
4. STOP BLAMING CIRCUMSTANCES AND OTHERS FOR YOUR PROBLEMS AND FAILURES.
5. ASK GOD FOR A TENDER HEART. (Matt. 5:9)
6. SEEK HEALING FROM GOD. (Isaiah 42:3)
CHOOSE TO FORGIVE THOSE WHO HURT YOU. (Matthew 6:14-15)
Despite the awful conditions at Ravensbruck, Corrie led Bible studies and prayer meetings. She even shared scarce food and much-needed medical supplies with the other prisoners. Then miraculously, Corrie was released from Ravensbruck on a clerical error—one week before the rest of the women in her age group were exterminated.
After the war ended, Corrie went back to Ravensbruck to share the gospel with the people responsible for her pain and horror. She spoke of God’s forgiveness, encouraging the people to accept God’s gift. After she had finished speaking at one meeting, she found herself face to face with one of the guards from Ravensbruck.
The man had been one of the most despicable and cruel people she had encountered in the camp. He extended his hand to Corrie, seeking the forgiveness she talked about and offered.
“It could not have been many seconds that he stood there,” Corrie recalled. “But to me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I ever had to do.” While wrestling with her pain and remembering the loss of her sister, she prayed. Then Corrie forced her hand into the hand of the guard. And Jesus gave her the strength to forgive. She began to feel overwhelmed with joy and freedom as she said, “I do forgive you, brother. With all my heart.”
(Adapted from More Than Conquerors: Portraits of Believers From All Walks of Life,
edited by John Woodbridge, and Hero Tales, Volume 2: A Family Treasury of
True Stories From the Lives of Christian Heroes, by Dave and Neta Jackson.)
After the encounter a friend asked her how she could have touched the man. Didn’t Corrie remember all the evil things he had done? Corrie responded, “I distinctly remember… forgetting.”
Some of you think forgiving is burying the hatchet, but it is not if you keep digging it up. True forgiveness is letting it go into the see of forgetfulness and embracing others as Christ embraced you rather than being consumed by bitterness.