God's limitless forgiveness

The greater the hurt someone has caused you, the more difficult is becomes to forgive. But when you see your enemies in a totally new light by seeking God’s strength, forgiveness becomes possible.

Corrie Ten Boom lived in the Netherlands during the Second World War. When Adolf Hitler began his reign of terror, rounding up Jews in the Netherlands for the death camps, Corries’ family began helping many of them. Word went out and the Nazi soldier threw Corrie and her sister in the treacherous Ravensbruck camp.

After the war, only Corrie survived. Her sister Betsy was killed. Deeply wounded, Corrie began a mission of preaching forgiveness and reconciliation across Europe.
 After a talk at Munich, a man walked up to her to thank her for the ‘forgiveness and reconciliation’ talk. Corrie was shell-shocked. He was the Nazi soldier who stood guard where her sister was killed.

She was engulfed with the horrible memories of torture and deaths at the camp. Her hand froze with revulsion and resentment in her mind. She just preached forgiveness, but struggled to render a handshake with him. As she held her breath she whispered, “God, I cannot forgive this man. Give me your forgiveness.” An unusual power came upon her and she shook his hand in forgiveness.

When you find it hard to forgive, there are three things you could do. Resign yourself to God’s grace to help you forgive. Recall the several times God has forgiven you. See your enemies in new light as being imperfect, sinful and hurting as you are.

 When Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times (Mathew 18:21-22) implying forgiveness should be as limitless as God’s own forgiveness upon us.

In the inspiring novel, ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’, there is an account of a war raging between the French and Germans. A German soldier jumps into a shell-hole to take cover from artillery fire. Strangely, a young French soldier jumps into the same shell hole. The German begins stabbing him. But as he sees the French soldier dying miserably, his heart is stirred with compassion. He takes out his water flask and lets him drink from it. After the soldier dies, the German finds a family photo in his pocket. He was struck with remorse after seeing his enemy in a new light.

The dead man was a father and a husband. He was no enemy. He had a life to live.In his most gruesome and dying moments on the cross, Jesus forgave his executioners: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). 

Forgiveness is our greatest need and God’s limitless forgiveness is His greatest achievement.

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