“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots” (Luke 23:34).
One of the most overlooked aspects of learning to forgive the people who have offended us is to view them as those that God has specially chosen to accomplish His purpose in our lives.
Job was a wealthy, respectable businessman, but one day his enemies made a surprise attack and stole his herds of cattle and donkeys and killed his servants. It would have been very easy for Job to have been bitter at his enemies; but instead, he said, “The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). Notice that Job didn’t say that his “enemies hath taken away.” Job was able to view his enemies as tools in God’s hands that God was using to accomplish His plan and purpose which was greater and higher than anything Job could ever begin to imagine.
Joseph was sold as a slave by his brothers. He was taken into Egypt where he was falsely accused and put into prison and forgotten about. It would have been very easy for Joseph to become bitter toward his brothers, but instead he saw them as instruments in the hands of God. Years later when Joseph is reunited with his brothers, he is able to show them forgiveness. He said, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive” (Genesis 50:20). Joseph was able to view his brothers as tools in God’s hands that God was using to accomplish His plan and purpose.
As Jesus was looking at the very people that were nailing Him to that cross, He was able to forgive them. He saw that God was even using them to accomplish His Divine purposes because if Jesus hadn’t gone to the cross, there would have been no salvation for you and me.
Instead of getting angry and bitter toward the people that hurt us, we need to see them as tools in God’s hands that He is using to build and shape in each one of us the character of Jesus Christ. God even uses the tests and trials that come into our lives to accomplish His purposes. He wants us to respond to those that wrong us with the kindness and forgiveness of Christ.
Morris Hull – Home Life Ministries