Will God forgive me? Some advice from the Holy Spirit
I just had a powerful talk with somebody today that I want to share here, as I believe many today struggle with the same exact problem. The Holy Spirit began to speak to me during this conversation, and gave me revelation and insight into exactly what was holding her up from breaking free (and being healed) spiritually.
We'll call this woman Sue for the sake of her identity. Sue and I sat down, and she explained to me about how she had a number of problems spiritually. She didn't feel good about herself and suffered from addiction. When people would wrong her, feelings of anger would well up within her, and it seemed impossible to forgive them. She agreed that this was because of a deep emotional wound, but she wondered if those emotional wounds would ever be healed. She has tried again and again to be forgiving and release the feelings to the Lord, but without success. She wasn't confident with her relationship with God, and felt like maybe He was discouraged in her, or perhaps angry with her because she kept slipping up.
As we talked, the Holy Spirit gave me fresh revelation pertaining to what she was up against, and what she needed to do. The Holy Spirit kept showing me how her perception of her relationship with Him was distorted, and it was serving as a roadblock to her healing process. The reason that Satan tries to attack is with guilt and shame, is for the very purpose of destroying our confidence in our relationship with God. Once our confidence in our relationship with God is secure, the light of Christ is free to shine into the dark wounds of our emotions and begin the healing process. As long as a person feels that God is somehow angry or upset with them, it is as if there are walls about their emotional system, protecting them from further harm, and at the same time, blocking the light (and healing power) of Christ to heal those wounds.
Yes, we need to tell people to let go and release their damaged emotions to Jesus to be healed, but how can we expect them to honestly let down those vital walls of protection (which serve to block further harm, but also block the Holy Spirit from healing the wounds), if they are not confident that Jesus is going to do just what He said and heal their wounds? Satan wants them to think that for some reason God is angry with them or has given up on them, and is not eager to forgive and have mercy on them, so the idea of God healing their wounds seems like an impossibility. It is important that the person realizes that Jesus is eager to forgive, be merciful, and heal those damaged emotions.
Satan had previously tormented this person with fears of having committed the unpardonable sin, and although that wasn't an issue, they still felt like God was disappointed or even angry with them because of their repeated failures. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and said that it was not and issue of His readiness to forgive and be merciful towards her, but the question is, was she willing to give that same mercy and forgiveness which she wanted, to those who have wronged her? You see, under the surface, Satan had her questioning God's desire to forgive and be merciful towards her, and that made it difficult for her to forgive and be merciful towards others. I assured her that God was willing to forgive her of anything she's ever done, even if it was a repeated failure that happened a thousand times! God's Word tell us that God's mercy towards us is as high as the heavens are above the earth, which in other words, means that His mercy and readiness to forgive us, is practically limitless if we are prepared to forgive those who have wronged us.
For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
Jesus told Peter that we need to be prepared to forgive our brother 70 times 7, which I have heard people say that properly translated, Jesus was telling Peter to be prepared to forgive a limitless amount of times when somebody wrongs us over and over again. Let me ask you this, would God ask us to do something that He is not prepared to do for us? If not, then that would make God a hypocrite, to require something of us which He is not willing to do Himself!
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Let me assure you that when Jesus said that, He was prepared to forgive us in the same exact manner. This is by no means a license to continue to sin, but it is a big reason to feel relief if we have repeatedly failed in one or more particular areas in our lives! Jesus made it crystal clear that if we are forgiving, God will be forgiving towards us:
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
This is God's promise to us, and He is prepared to keep it! God's Word also tells us to be merciful towards others, and when we do, He will be merciful towards us. Do you want God's heart to be merciful towards you? Then you need to be merciful in your heart towards those who have wronged you.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
God's Word, therefore, promises that God's heart will be merciful towards those who's hearts are merciful. Are you merciful in your heart towards those who wrong you? Then God's promise to you, is that He will be merciful towards you!
The Holy Spirit showed me clearly that it is not a question of God's desire to forgive and be merciful to us, and restore us to right standing with Him (in a heartbeat!), but rather a question of if we are willing to be obedient to what He's asking of us. We want to receive mercy, right? Then let's be merciful! We want to be forgiven, sometimes of repeated failures or horrible things, right? Then let's forgive those who wrong us!
"But I just cannot seem to forgive or be merciful towards those who have wronged me! Now what?" That is because you don't truly believe that God is truly prepared to forgive you, and be merciful towards you. You cannot continue to give something that you are unable to receive. If you don't believe in your heart what God's Word says about His readiness and desire to forgive and be merciful towards you, then it will be very difficult to let go of what others have done towards us. This is perhaps Satan's #1 stumbling block to keep people from forgiving others, that is, an underlying feeling that God is somehow angry with them to the point where it's no longer His desire to forgive or be merciful towards them. How can you be merciful towards others in your heart, when you have no hope of God being merciful in His heart towards you? I seriously question if it's even possible!
"What happens if a person continues to wrong us, and there's nothing we can do about it? Then what?" Once you know that your in right standing with God, then forgiving those who offend us is like water rolling off a duck's back; it comes NATURALLY, because it is a petty concern for us, when we are truly confident in our relationship with God!
I am convinced that in most cases, people who have a hard time forgiving others, don't really believe in their heart that God is eager to forgive and be merciful towards them. You cannot continue to give something (forgiveness and mercy) that you do not perceive you are freely and actively receiving yourself.
In a nutshell, what was holding back the healing of Sue's emotional wounds, is the fact that Satan had convinced her that she's messed up so many times, that God no longer desired to forgive or be merciful towards her. Satan wanted her to feel like she could forgive others, but God would still be disappointed or angry with her. That is as far from the truth as it gets - this completely contradicts what God's Word tells us about how He delights in being merciful, and promises to forgive those who are forgiving, and be merciful towards those who are merciful towards others. God does not want to even remember our sins... He even wants them blotted out of His own mind!
Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
Don't tear your clothing in your grief; instead, tear your hearts." Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful. He is not easily angered. He is filled with kindness and is eager not to punish you.
I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall [will] obtain mercy.
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
It's as if the Holy Spirit said to me, "It is not about my desire or eagerness to forgive and be merciful towards her. The question is, will she believe that, and will she forgive and be merciful in her heart towards those who have wronged her? That's the issue here!" It should come as no surprise to us, that God is EAGER to have a right relationship with us, and therefore is eager to wash away our sins and be merciful towards us! Does this not line up with what God's Word says about Him being slow to anger, but full of compassion, gracious and of great mercy?
The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
After writing this article, I saw a vision of a bird cage, and the door was opened, and the bird flew away. Then the verse came to me, "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32)