Tonight even your cozy bed can’t swallow up the feelings vying for your attention. They’re strong feelings, powerful and passionate. To sum it up, you’re harboring unforgiveness toward someone, and it feels good to let your anger simmer over time, stewing in your frustration and putting the lid on any grace.
Friend, we have all been there. We have all lain awake in the night, too riled up to hear the Lord’s call to forgiveness and rest. Forgiving does not come naturally in this fallen world. It feels easier and better to resent someone than love them, especially if they have wronged us to a degree that cuts deep in our heart, never to be forgotten. But, be warned — every simmering pot of unforgiveness eventually boils over, and the poison seeps into your life, affecting your body and spirit, your family and relationships, your moods and emotions, and even your health.
Be assured that when refusing to forgive someone, it’s not affecting him or her — it’s affecting you.
Even now you’re losing precious sleep. Instead of greeting the morning feeling refreshed and renewed, you’ll face the day tired, exhausted, and bitter. It’s not worth it, beloved.
Grace shown to others is difficult to grasp because it doesn’t feel fair. We are a society that wants everything to be fair. We want equality. And we don’t want to be wronged. Often, forgiveness requires us to be humble enough to step back from the world’s ways and submit to God’s ways.
Although forgiveness is difficult, it’s truly worth extending. Forgiveness equals freedom. Unforgiveness equals bondage. Be freed tonight. You are precious in the sight of the Lord, and He longs for nothing more than to see the bondage of unforgiveness fall off your shoulders. Utter a small prayer of forgiveness, even if it’s just asking the Lord for strength to forgive. That’s a step. It’s a step toward wholeness, a step toward the Lord, and a huge leap in the direction God wants you to go. Just as unforgiveness can keep you up at night, forgiveness can bring a peace that helps you sleep deeply, gladly, soundly. Do you want that type of rest? Go to the Lord who readily forgives our sins. He will help you. He offers healing in the wounds we think are too deep to touch, too painful to heal.
Start on the path of forgiveness tonight, beloved — you will begin to feel transformed in the best possible way. Be brave, be bold, and see beauty unfold in your life.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. — Colossians 3:13
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” — Matthew 18:21–22
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. — Colossians 1:13-14
Heavenly Father, it is so hard for me to forgive others. Right now, I feel so much frustration and resentment in my heart and it’s hard for me to fall asleep. Please remind me of Your own forgiveness toward me and how You paid the ultimate atonement for my sins — through Your very own son. Walk with me along the path of forgiveness and give me strength in each step.
May each step toward forgiveness bring you closer to freedom. May the Lord bring renewal to your mind and heart as you submit to His ways and His will, and may you find liberty and great joy in practicing forgiveness daily.
I praise You, Father, for the forgiveness You show to me each and every day. Thank You for the strength You give in helping me forgive others who have wronged me.
Excerpted with permission from God’s Peace for When You Can’t Sleep, copyright Thomas Nelson.
* * *
Have you struggled with sleep while wrestling with unforgiveness? Who do you need to let off the proverbial hook today? Maybe it’s a small issue and you’ve just been chewing on it over pettiness. That’s easy — just let it go! Maybe it’s a much more intense, painful, and unfair wrong done against you. That’s much more challenging — but Jesus commanded us to forgive for our own sake. Who do you need to forgive? And what might happen in your soul when you do? Come share with us on our blog! We want to hear from you about forgiveness! ~ Devotionals Daily