STEPS TO RESTORATION: FORGIVE
“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm…….and my people shall never be ashamed”. Joel 2:25-26 KJV
“When Job prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes. In fact, the LORD gave him twice as much as before!.”.. Job 42:10 NLT
The International Standard Version says The LORD restored Job’s prosperity after he prayed for his friends. You must forgive, if you have anything against any.
Why is forgiveness necessary for restoration? It is restoration that makes the act of forgiveness complete. What God does is that in you forgiving the person that hurts you, he recompenses you, he restores something to you and so when you do not forgive, you hold yourself back from God restoring to you, restoring you, putting back into you or bringing something back to you.
When you do not forgive, you hold yourself back so the process of restoration cannot begin, neither can it be completed. For you to forgive, it means that you set yourself up for restoration. It is restoration that enables healing in that situation. That is why you have to forgive.
Restoration and forgiveness go hand in hand; because another word for restoration is recompense. The bible says “Vengeance is mine, I will recompense says the Lord” so you cannot be a candidate for restoration when you are in unforgiveness, when you hold back from forgiving people.
Do you know that even when a thief still steals from you, you have to forgive the thief? I am not talking about the thief – the devil, I am talking about when human thieves (robbers) steal from you, you still have to forgive them if you want God to bring back to you.
You Say what? Yes… you cannot hold the thief in unforgiveness. You may say I do not know them, Yes you may not, but you know somebody stole from you, stole from your house; as much as it hurts you need to say Lord I forgive this thief.
That is a tough pill to swallow, sow that thing as a seed into that person’s life – a seed towards salvation. That is how you set yourself up for the blessing of God to be restored.
In 1 Sam 30, David met this person and gave him bread and gave him drink, tending to his infirmity; this is one of the people that participated in raiding his village, taking away his wife and children, burning down his property but he fed him and took care of him. Some people say he did not know at first Yes. But after he knew he still did not kill him. You may also say ‘Well David needed him’ I tell you David could still locate those people sooner or later because God told him to Go after the enemies…God will lead him there but the instrument he was going to use was part of the enemy and you need to forgive that enemy. Sometimes; the people God will use to restore you are people who have hurt you.
If you do not learn to forgive people who hurt you, they may be the very instrument that God wants to use to restore you but because you are holding them in unforgiveness, they are in prison in your heart and you yourself are in a prison, they cannot be used to restore you.
You may say ‘I want to show him’… ‘Who are you showing’? It is yourself. You are just holding yourself back from what the Lord wants to do. The Bible says ‘Follow peace with all men … do you know that word ‘Follow’ is same as ‘Pursue’ as a hunter does?
To walk in forgiveness is what you decide once and for all. Of course some people are going to try you in it or at it but you just have to make up your mind that as far as I am concerned I am going to walk in forgiveness. I am going to walk in love and I decide it now!