“Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”   ~ Ephesians 4:32

We talked about forgiveness in Bible study this week.  The question was asked, “When/how do you know when God has forgiven you?”  We said that sometimes forgiveness seems immediate.  Other times we have to go through a process of thoughts, feelings, and consequences before we feel forgiven. 

I thought about times when I’ve gone to God seeking forgiveness.  There were times I prayed and felt forgiven at that time.  Other times it’s been days or weeks before I felt a feeling of forgiveness in my heart. 

The Bible says that Jesus gave of Himself as the sacrificial Lamb to pay for our sins.  Until that time, God’s people were required to make sacrifices at the altar to pay for their sins.  God accepted Jesus as the perfect sacrifice to cover our sins, so through the blood of  Jesus  we’re already forgiven.  We don’t have to ASK God for forgiveness.  We can CLAIM it.  Forgiveness is a truth and a promise from the Bible. 

We do ask for forgiveness from God, though, because our shame makes us feel like we need to.   Then we wait for the knowing in our heart that tells us we’re forgiven.  I went through this recently.  It took a few weeks before I felt God had forgiven me.  However, since God had already forgiven me, what I needed to do was CLAIM His forgiveness in the name of Jesus Christ.  Could it be that the feeling of ‘knowing I was forgiven’ came when I finally forgave myself?

We’re often asked if we’re harboring grudges against others, if there are people we need to forgive.  Maybe we need to also ask, “Is there anything for which I need to forgive myself?”   If so, please prayerfully give those things to God so you can forgive yourself and move on in a healthy and positive way.   “…just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”  – Ephesians 4:32

May the blessings of the Lord be upon you.   (Psalm 129:8)