3. Forgiveness is ~ Allowing God To Be King.
I know that I am not a citizen of earth, but, of heaven. I know that God is my ultimate authority. I know that life here is flawed and the kingdom of heaven runs perfectly. So why do I look for the affairs of earth to go fairly? Why do I fear God has failed me if a court case doesn’t go my way, or if I’m passed over for a promotion, or if betrayal has become a familiar bedfellow? I should know better than to be rocked by earth’s imperfections. I should know better than to blame God. I live with hope deferred ~ realizing that while sometimes God intervenes and causes justice to prevail here, much of the time, it doesn’t. I am to live yearning for my future home where nothing is corrupted.
When life is unfair, I remember that God is my King. Authorities here are not always going to see things from God’s perspective. Did Jesus have to battle the discrepancies between earth and heaven? Yes. Peter revealed how he handled it.
Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while they hurled insults at Him, He did not insult in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to His Father who judges righteously. I Peter 2:1-23
I’m struck by the verb tense in the last sentence. Jesus kept entrusting Himself to His Father. Since He was tempted in every way as you and I are tempted, He experienced similar thoughts of taking revenge and exacting some kind of immediate justice. But being sinless, He stopped, restrained Himself, and left ruling the universe to His Father. He did this at every moment of pain and injustice. Peter enumerates them. If He had to make this his kind of lifestyle, so do I. He didn’t just decide to forgive at age twelve and then never struggle with it again. When his family called him crazy, he had to stop and entrust Himself to His father. When Judas betrayed Him, He had to stop and entrust Himself to His father again. At every turn, the same decision was made over and over.
Allowing God to be King of my life is a moment by moment choice. I decide to lay down my rights to take revenge. I abdicate my rights to decide when someone deserves to be forgiven, or when they’re sorry enough.
Jesus, who knew God’s redemptive plan, didn’t believe He was exempt from suffering. He anticipated it and needed grace, as I do, to withstand the trials that come with living here on a broken planet, with broken people.
Father, just as You infused Your Son with supernatural power to forgive others, even when on the cross, I count on that today in my many disappointments. Amen