Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. — Psalm 4:4 ESV
“Be angry, yet do not sin.” Do not let the sun set upon your anger.
What if forgiveness is what’s been missing in all the relational chaos that we’re all just so worn out from dealing with in our lives? ~ Lysa TerKeurst
Hi, friends! Welcome to week one of the Forgiving What You Can’t Forget OBS with our wonderful friend and teacher, Lysa TerKeurst! The FaithGateway OBS team has been waiting with excitement for this study for a long time. Not for the subject so to speak… but for Lysa’s teaching and for the Spirit’s leading and the healing He will bring to all of us through studying, praying about, and putting forgiveness into practice in our lives.
If you’re new to FaithGateway Online Bible Studies, I’m so glad you’re here! I’m Laurie McClure, editor at FaithGateway and one of your OBS leaders. And I’m all-in for Jesus! I’m a writer, a single mama after being married for a long time, a lover of all beaches, and my home is often filled with friends and lots of food. I wish we could gather together in person so I could feed you and study God’s Word face-to-face, but we get to meet virtually instead, and I will send you weekly check-ins on Wednesdays!
I’ll start off by saying that my life is 80% wonderful, 15% completely normal-life hard, and 5% really ridiculously painful. Forgiveness in that small 5% area of my life… well, it often feels utterly impossible. At least not on my own. I realized recently that it’s like I’ve put the hurt that’s too cavernously deep to deal with in a metaphorical box and sealed it up tight so that I can cope and live happily… but it’s still there. There’s a lot I still need to address, clearly.
Unfairness, abuse, and trauma feel too hard to put in the forgiveness category.
What seriously started tripping me up when I started studying what the Bible teaches about forgiveness was my sudden realization of how my need for fairness makes me so resistant to this idea of forgiveness. Forgiveness sounds so nice and spiritually mature until you’re the one that has to give it. ~ Lysa
Forgiveness just feels unfair, right? It takes holy sweat.
Being unoffendable in the face of unrepentance? Hard.
Having hope in the messiest and most hopeless situations? Harder.
So, ‘fess up, friends, who else is resistant to forgiveness? *raises hand* I’ll start with me. And yet…
Forgiveness is one of the most crucial and beneficial gifts from God. ~ Lysa
Who are you, right now in this moment, refusing to forgive? I have a list, too.
Do we want to self-protect? Yes. Do we want to hold onto bitterness? Maybe so. Do we have questions about what forgiveness entails? Doubtless. But, let’s not stop here. Answers come when we get into God’s Word and walk with Him.
Something that confused me until well into adulthood was that forgiveness and reconciliation are not a package deal. They are separate. Forgiveness is a command from God and it’s something He will help us with. But, reconciliation isn’t always up to us because it requires someone else’s cooperation with Him.
Even when I cannot be reconciled to a person, I still must forgive them. And, it’s not for their sake, but for mine. I’ve suffered enough from being hurt and I certainly don’t want that hurt to turn into hate. Forgiveness is the very thing God designed to help heal the hurting human heart. ~ Lysa
Forgiveness doesn’t make sense when we try to process it with our feelings and our thoughts. ~ Lysa
Forgiveness is making peace in our heart with what is truly true, eternally true — what’s been done, what’s been said, what has hurt, along with God’s character, His control, His wisdom, His ability to make things right in His timing, and so much more… And, forgiveness gives us a future that isn’t as heavy as the present pain we’re carrying.
I don’t know much, but I know that sounds good to me. Are you in?
Friends, I’m walking through this study with you and will try to lead as best as I can… just know I’m preaching to myself and this is going to be hard. And the only way I can get through it is with Jesus.
Let’s turn our eyes to Jesus. Focus on Him. His beauty. His grace. His love. His freedom. His righteousness. His peace. Himself. Him!
Week One Statement:
Forgiveness is not made possible by our determination. Forgiveness is made possible by our cooperation with what God has already done for us.
This week in your study:
- Then, watch the video for session one of Forgiving What You Can’t Forget on our study home and take notes in your study guide on pages 10-18 and stick around to go through the questions afterward!
- Grab your Bible and enjoy your personal study this week on pages 19-37.
- Join the conversations about this week’s teaching and get to know our community in our private Facebook group.
Scriptures this Week
Matthew 5:42, Matthew 5:44 MSG
Prayer for the Week
Jesus, we love You! This is hard stuff. Forgiveness is easy when offenses are small, but when they’ve piled up or the injuries are fierce, it just feels so unfair and wrong. Help us to trust You. Help us to remember that we’ve been forgiven for so much. Help us to remember that we don’t have to struggle all by ourselves but that You, Holy Spirit, are with us and will come alongside and breathe life into us if we just give You our willing hearts. We look to You, God. We love You. Amen.