Among the memories than can negatively affect us, the sins and wrongs of others against us often provide the greatest challenge.
This is especially true of those closest to us. “And one shall say unto Him, What are these wounds in Thine hands? And He shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends” (Zechariah 13:6). The Lord Jesus Christ Himself suffered and died by the instigation of His own people, the children of Israel. In similar manner, family and friends often bear the sharpest, most painful sword whereby we suffer wounds that do not easily heal.
As referenced in yesterday’s message, God does not determine the sins of others against us. Thus, believers may view wrongs committed against us as real in the human sense. Wrong is wrong, and it is justifiable to believe that our offenders have sinned against God and ourselves. We can discuss the matter, and forthrightly tell where we believe we were wronged. We must also forgive in the spirit – and by the Spirit – of our Lord’s command: “Bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).
More importantly, however, we must choose to believe that God anticipated sins against us according to His infinite foreknowledge and understanding (Psalm 147:5). He did not cause them to happen. He is, nevertheless, perfectly prepared to coordinate them into the good of His ultimate purposes for us, namely, conformity to the image of the Lord Jesus (Romans 8:28-29). The greatest truth about the wrongs of others involves the confidence that God can redeem them for our benefit to the degree that lingering pains provide opportunity to trust God, and to thank Him for His working all things together for our good.
From minor slights or oversights to the most egregious sins, our Heavenly Father weaves the wrongs of others into His loving purposes for us. We must establish this truth as paramount regarding hurtful memories of wrongs committed against us. Upon this basis of truth and faith, peace fills our hearts rather than debilitating sadness, resentment and bitterness. We find ourselves enabled to love our offenders, even as Christ loves us. Indeed, let us recall that our very faith began when the only perfectly innocent Person who ever lived was tortured to death by offenders who represented not only themselves, but also you and me. From this most horrible of sins, God brought forth the very best thing, namely, our eternal salvation. He is able and willing to do the same with those far lesser sins committed against us, and peace awaits us when we recall that the greatest truth about a painful past was a Lord prepared to weave all into His good for us.
“And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him, and delivered him out of all his afflictions.”