Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. God gives us the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, our feet fitted with readiness, and the shield of faith. We have the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
If you are unwilling to forgive others, how can you expect God to forgive you?
From Seventh Dimension – The Door, a Young Adult Christian Fantasy:
“I hate you, God—you hear me? You send me broken toys and take away my best friend, give me parents that don’t understand me and teachers that hate me. That’s fine. I can take it. You hear me? Then you tease me with a dog I can’t have.” The bare walls were silent and I buried my face in my arms and sobbed.
—Shale Snyder, chapter four
There is only one person whom hate completely destroys. The person who hates. Hate is so all‑consuming that it drives people to do horrific things they wouldn’t normally do.
Hitler hated the Jews, and as a result, over six million Jews were slaughtered during World War II. 1.6 million Russians died when Lenin came to power. How many people died under Stalin’s regime? At least 20 million people were killed.
This is hate at its worst. When hateful men are in positions of power, they are capable of inflicting the most horrid and despicable acts on others. Many of those victims were flogged, beaten, raped, maimed, and mutilated for no reason—just because of hate.
You may not have done something as horrid as one of these men, but whenever you hate, you’re giving the devil a foothold into your heart. Hate robs you of joy. It steals from you the blessings of God. Remember, the devil wants all of you—including your soul.
Jesus said to Peter, “Satan has asked to sift you as wheat (Luke 22:31).”
These words by Jesus are astonishing. First, they reassure me that Satan has no power except that which God allows him to have. Second, they remind me that the battle I fight is a spiritual one—a battle that I can’t win without Jesus coming to my aid. While we are human, Satan is a real spiritual being with immense power. Our only protection from him is to arm ourselves with the spiritual weapons of war.
Dear Jesus, even when I don’t feel like forgiving, help me to forgive anyway. Even when the world says I have my rights, help me to forgive anyway. Even when I can’t forgive in my own strength, help me to forgive anyway. Even when the person whom I have forgiven doesn’t recognize the cost, help me to live in forgiveness anyway.