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I cannot count the number of sermons I have preached on forgiveness.  I recognize how hard it is to forgive. Let me be clear—forgiveness is not easy, particularly when we have been hurt, wounded, or have had to bear that awful pain that comes from someone saying or doing something hurtful. But I do believe that when we turn to God and ask Him for the strength to forgive, He will grant it to us. No matter how hard we try, we cannot forgive in the flesh. The devil will always remind us of the hurt that has been done to us. But if we look at how many times God has forgiven us, then we really don’t have a reason not to forgive others. Not only do we need to forgive others, but we also need to forgive ourselves. We need to free ourselves from those invisible chains that keep us in bondage. There is a blessing in forgiveness. God will give us the power to forgive. In James 3:17, we find these words:

See the source image“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.”

James writes about wisdom that is a gift from God. This gift of wisdom gives us the ability to forgive. James notes that wisdom is full of mercy and it grants a harvest of righteousness. It removes bitterness and anger and grants us the capacity to love and forgive. I close out this devotion with these simple words: “Forgiving is hard.  Rely on the wisdom and power of God to forgive.”