It was such a blessing to hear from Joni Eareckson Tada tonight at True Woman ’12. At the request of Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Joni came prepared with a message on a very important topic…
Joni Eareckson Tada on Forgiveness
How should we respond to God when we’re hurt?
It is natural to think that God is unjust when he lets evil people run roughshod over us. Some suggest we need to forgive God in such situations. This concept is entirely unbiblical. God is never guilty of wrongdoing and never requires our forgiveness.
2 Samuel 11—In the case of David’s grievous sins against Uriah the Hittite, it could easily appear that God let David off the hook, but He did not. He ensured that justice was done and David’s sins were punished when Christ died on the cross.
How should we think about our own sin?
It is important to remember that no one has ever offended you more than you have offended God. On the cross, the apple of God’s eye turned brown with the rot of your sin. You and I have been forgiven so much.
Matthew 18—the unforgiving servant could see the speck in the other man’s eye, but could not see the plank in his own. We often do the exact same thing with those who sin against us.
Let God be the one to hand out consequences for the wrongs committed against you. True revival will not come in your life apart from your willingness to receive God’s mercy and extend it to others.
All things in this life are definitely not equal. The good die young. The innocent suffer. The wicked prosper. This life is not equal or fair. If it were, Christ never would have died in our place.
When we say, “Christ would have died for me even if I were the only person on earth, our statement speaks less of our specialness and more of the specialness of God’s grace. It highlights the gravity of our sin—that our sins alone would require the death of Christ.
How should we respond when we’re wounded by others?
Joni’s friend Vicky suffered terribly at the hands of an evil man who nearly killed her and left her paralyzed for life. She shared this advice with Joni regarding forgiveness:
Forgiveness brings me closer to Jesus than anything else. It gives me a spiritual bath. Most importantly, it gives me freedom.
- Release the offense
- Forgive the person
- Forget it
- Love the person
- Go on with living
Forgiveness frees us to come purely before the throne of our wonderful Savior.
It took the most unfair act in history to satisfy divine wrath. Jesus’ death on the cross made it possible for the least deserving of all people, you and me, to gain an undeserved eternity of happiness.
Would you let the offenses committed against you go, will you love that person, and then, will you go on with living?
Lord Jesus, I will not be bitter and I will not retaliate. Instead, I will marvel at the sacrifice of Christ on the cross in my behalf. For the sake of Him, I will forgive.