Barriers To Experiencing God’s Forgiveness
When we gain access to the real power behind forgiveness, we discover it is the doorway to a new beginning, offering us the way to be set free from every issue of sin and shame in our lives. Only forgiveness gives us the opportunity to be emotionally and spiritually healed and made whole. It can undo and repair the damage done and restore what was lost. It can turn our broken pieces into masterpieces.
But there are barriers that cause some of us find it difficult to receive this type of love:
- We are angry with God and blame Him for allowing things into our lives.
- We feel unworthy to receive forgiveness for our own wrongdoings.
- We believe we don’t need forgiveness since we aren’t that bad.
- We believe it is “someone else’s fault.”
Anger at God
If God is so powerful and really loves us the way the Bible says He does, why are there so many terrible things in our lives? Many people ask this very question. In essence, some people are bitter toward God, as if He was the one who deliberately willed those things to happen. God’s being all-powerful doesn’t make Him directly responsible for the behaviors of sinful mankind and the evil in the world. Anything that is not perfect in this world is a byproduct of the reality of the fallen world and fallen mankind, not an act of God’s doing. God is the author of free will. He allows people the freedom to make choices, even if they are wrong. We can be victimized by people and circumstances that are unfair. We can have painful childhoods. God knows this. And we can rest assured, it hurts Him too. At the same time, God will use all things together for good.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them” (Romans 8:28 NLT).
Prayer to Overcome Anger at God
Father God, I admit that I’m angry and disappointed by You. I don’t understand why You allowed me to suffer. I don’t understand why You allowed these circumstances in my life. At the same time, I know You are a God of love, grace, and redemption. This means that my struggle with anger is something I need to deal with, and it is based on a lie that I’ve believed about Your character. Please reveal in my relationship with You and Your word how You love me and desire to restore and resolve the wounds and brokenness in my life. Please take my willing heart as the first step toward learning how to love You more and feel less angry toward You. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
We can be bound by a sense of guilt, shame, and condemnation that seems to justify why we believe we can’t be forgiven (or why we shouldn’t forgive ourselves). We need to come to understand that the very essence of forgiveness is that it is unmerited and undeserved. Although it may be difficult, we need to see Jesus’ forgiveness as a gift, and in spite of the reality of our sin, simply open and receive the gift of forgiveness He offers us. God’s forgiveness is a free gift based on His grace.
”For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).
Receiving this gift with no strings attached goes against our human nature, and especially against our identity dependent false beliefs. We are faced with a choice when we feel unworthy of forgiveness. Either the grace of Jesus is sufficient for us, or it is not. Which belief we choose to live by will determine our future. How foolish that we would reject a gift that God already bought for us, one that took something so precious as Jesus to purchase. The truth is, we aren’t worthy. God offers us His gift not because we are worthy, but because He loves us unconditionally as His children!
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