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When God Asks The Impossible



"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you... For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?" Matthew 5:43-46 So here is the Lord asking what seems the impossible. Don't think he doesn't know how deeply our hurts can damage us, how we can so be traumatized by them, how we can be overcome by them. He knows. But the Lord does NOT ask the impossible from us. So what is he looking for in us? First, that you see your true condition, your anger, your bitterness, your desire for revenge, all of which are natural responses as we live in a fallen human nature in a fallen world. They are natural, but they are sin. He desires that you truly acknowledge your sinfulness and your inability to do what he says to do. And this is crucial. He isn't waiting for us to be able to do as he said, he is waiting for us to acknowledge that we can't do it ...and then to ask for his motivating grace which is the only thing that makes us able. If we know that what he asks is impossible, then we understand that the only way to obey his command to forgive and to forego vengeance is to go to him, confess our inability, our anger, our pain, our self-pity, our desire for revenge, and ASK for the grace, the enabling, the ability, to forgive from the heart. You CANNOT do it in your strength, only with his enabling can you satisfy the requirement. "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16 Jesus said that one who does not forgive is turned over to "the torturers" (Matthew 18:34-35). When I first saw this I was shocked. The torturers? Yes. If there has been a pattern of great suffering in your life, it could be due to unforgiveness. If unforgiveness results in being handed over to the torturers, obviously the only way out is through forgiving "from the heart" and yes, that is humanly impossible. Those who know from the Word of God that we are required to forgive, will say "I do forgive" in order to satisfy the requirement, but most of the time we are not forgiving "from the heart" so we are not satisfying the requirement. How then? It will require spending time before the Lord, seeking his enabling to do what you cannot do on your own. Don't cry that "it's not fair." Friends, when we become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ we give up all "rights." HE takes over, HE is Lord over our lives. But God WILL settle things. Not now, we'll have to wait for it, but he WILL. "...it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you..." 2nd Thessalonians 1:6 In the meantime, leave it with him and seek to cleanse your heart from bitterness. Bitterness is poison. It's torture. Friends, we have been forgiven SO MUCH. Let us therefore forgive from the heart all who have hurt us. Release them into the Father's hands. He can better deal with them than your bitterness can. And he will! Let it go, leave it to him. Consider the reasons the hateful person became the way he/she is. What brought them to be so miserable? They live in a fallen human nature just as we do and as such the stories of their lives have molded them to be what they are, and to hurt others in the process. Let them go - relinquish them into their miserable lives, forgiving the fallenness in them just as we need to be forgiven the fallenness in ourselves. No, he doesn't ask the impossible, because IN HIM all things are possible. Take the TIME to spend before the Lord confessing your inability to forgive, and ASK for the ability that only he can give. In the natural it is totally impossible because we are victims of our heavy emotions. But in the Lord nothing is impossible. Go to the Throne of Grace and pray to be enabled to truly let them go, and pray it until you are empowered to relinquish them. In the process, you too will be set free. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; FOR WITHOUT ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING." John 15:5