This devotional was originally published on January 26, 2018.

When you know that you’ve hurt someone, do you apologize? Most people would say, “yes.” However, if you have been hurt by someone, do you wait for them to say, “I’m sorry,” or attempt to make things right before you forgive?

Forgiveness was provided for me long before I existed. It’s definitely not something that I deserve or have earned. God, in his sovereignty, knew it was needed, necessary and non-negotiable. He made the impossible possible through Jesus. The Lord’s provision is always complete, and it’s always where my need begins, even if I am unaware of that need. My salvation was made complete the very moment I became aware that I needed forgiveness and accepted the gracious, unfathomable, sacrificial gift of Jesus’ atonement for my sins. He did not wait until I did something wrong to forgive me. He knew the choices I would make, and that knowledge alone was enough to provide forgiveness and relationship for me. I simply had to say yes to him.

I am not sure when the turning point actually took place, but over time, I’ve come to understand that forgiving others is something I too must make every effort to do the moment that I feel hurt, disappointed or wronged by someone. It isn’t contingent upon anything else. It definitely isn’t easy, but God commands us to forgive just as he forgives. I am held accountable for me, and I long to live a place of peace where my joy is complete. That can only happen when I am striving to honor the Lord by following his commands and seeking him. It’s not in my power to make it all okay. It’s up to me to take Jesus to the wound, and allow him to heal and restore.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
— Ephesians 4:32