Photo by Miriam G on Unsplash

Beyond Justice to Mercy

Photo by Miriam G on Unsplash
Have you ever had one of those nights where suddenly, your mind is filled with frustration as you recount all those people who have done you wrong? No? Lucky you!
Last night I had one of those nights and as I was replaying the wrongs that had been committed against me. My strong sense of justice was asking God to make them pay for what they did. Then that still small voice whispered in my ear, "Yes, you were wronged and justified to want justice for those wrongs, but mercy is what I desire to give. The same mercy I poured out to you over the years."
I lay there silenced by those words and realized my sense of justice was holding onto unforgiveness! The weight of my sin of unforgiveness pinned me to the mattress. At first, I tried to reason with God, "But God, they treated me unjustly and robbed me." In His loving kindness, I heard him say "I know, I saw it all. It doesn't excuse their poor choices, but justice is mine to give and mine to withhold. Can you trust me to be just with them as I have been just with you?"
I suddenly understood, that my sense of justice had prevented me from truly forgiving those who harmed me. I needed to let go of justice and hold onto mercy in order to make that final act of forgiving complete! I prayed and asked God to help me truly forgive them and leave the justice up to God while extending mercy to them, undeserved as it may be, but because of the undeserved mercy God poured out lavishly upon me, I needed to pour it out to them.
As I wrestled about letting go of it all, sleep evaded me and so I got up early and did my daily devotions. Funny how God knows just how to drive home his point, one of my devotions was titled "You are the worst sinner ever" and guess what it dealt with? Justice and mercy! LOL very funny God, I get the message loud and clear!
The devotion started with these words, "There are times when the people of God fall prey to judgment, either from others or in their own minds. They believe that they are the worst sinner who ever lived, then wallow in guilt and condemnation." Thank you, God, you knew where I was headed this morning - right into the old guilt and condemnation ploy of satan! But you turned it around before he had the opportunity to get his claws into my mind!
The study goes on to talk about how Jesus came into the world with the express purpose of taking away our sins! Yours and my sin are removed by the blood He shed on the cross. "Jesus didn't just forgive our sins, he took them away, never to be seen again!" The author goes on to emphasize, not only did Jesus take our sins away, but God has forgotten all our sins!
"For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more." Hebrews 8:12
Suddenly, my sleepy stupor was slapped wide awake as I realized that God's infinite mercy and grace He lavished upon me, needed to be extended and lavished upon those who did me harm! I needed to truly forgive them!
I needed to let go of the wrongs done or the money stolen and let God's mercy wash away their sins just as He had done for me! Although I had every right to hold justice against them, Jesus wants me to let go of that right and extend mercy to them, even without their repentance or care about the harm they caused me!
So, one by one, I prayed to God to help me completely forgive them for what they had done to harm me. As I prayed, God reminded me that I can trust Him to take care of those injustices and He reminded me how He took care of me in spite of their disregard for the sin they had committed against me. As I reflected on the goodness God poured out on me, how could I not extend the same mercy and grace God showed me to them - deserving or not? Thankfully, God does not require us to deserve His grace before He pours it out on us!
"His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning!" John 3:22-23
Can you relate to this? If so, ask God if there is anyone you may need to extend mercy to and forgive. Unforgiveness is a playground for satan to wreak havoc in our lives. We need to take back that ground by extending mercy, even when justice tells us it is undeserved! For none of us is deserving of the mercy God lavishes upon us! He has forgotten our sins, so how can we not forget the sins of those who sin against us?
Forgiveness is powerful because it sets the captive free - YOU! Unforgiveness keeps us in captivity to the wiles of satan and he will use every opportunity we give him to wreak havoc in our lives and distract us from our Divine purpose and destiny - to make Christ Jesus known to a lost and dying world!
Lord Jesus, thank you so much for your mercy and grace that your blood shed on that cross as it washed away our sins, erasing them completely from existence. Help us to forgive as you have forgiven us and extend mercy and grace to those who trespass against us! May we be set free from unforgiveness and rest in your mercy and grace all the days of our lives. Thank you, Jesus, that you do not hold a record of wrongs on us! Teach us to extend that same mercy to the records of wrongs we have kept against others and set us free to extend true forgiveness as you have extended to us. In Jesus' name amen!
Micah 7:18-19
Psalm 103:10-14
Romans 6:1-11; 8:1; 14:4
1 John 3:4-6
James 2:8-11
Hebrews 8:10-14
YouVersion Bible Plan - So You Think You're Not Good Enough? Day 5
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