We Stand Forgiven by Cathy Bryant

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We Stand Forgiven

After a week of teaching music at Vacation Bible School, my head is continually re-playing the songs like a cassette tape player on rewind. One in particular stands out in my brain, a song called “We Stand Forgiven.” What a benediction of peace in those three simple words. We. Stand. Forgiven. Wow!

Forgiveness has been on my mind a lot over the past several months, mainly because of writing a novel on the theme of forgiveness (A BRIDGE UNBROKEN) and then following it up with a companion Bible study booklet on the same topic (THE FRAGRANCE OF CRUSHED VIOLETS).

As I researched the topic in preparation for writing the books, I realized how much the world’s definition of forgiveness has subtly made its way into even Christian circles. Things like “forgiveness is something you do for yourself” and “forgive, but only if…” In truth, there are benefits to forgiving others, but we don’t do it for ourselves so much as in obedience to God’s Word. And yes, it would be awesome if our offenders expressed regret or remorse, but we’re to forgive despite their attitude and behavior.

Then there’s the realization of all we’ve been forgiven. God accepted Christ’s atoning sacrifice on our behalf that we might stand with our lives wiped clean once and for all. In spite of all we’ve been forgiven, our natural and fleshly tendency in the face of an offense isn’t forgiveness. Instead, we hurt and get angry. We want justice. We want the other person to straighten up and do the right thing. Only through the power of God’s Holy Spirit can we forgive. You see, forgiveness isn’t natural; it’s supernatural.

Because of all we’ve been forgiven, we must forgive. How can we accept the gift of God’s forgiveness and then turn around and refuse it to our fellow man? I’ve heard it said that we’re most like God when we love someone who’s difficult to love. To take it a step further (and since forgiveness is motivated by the purest love), I believe we’re most Christ-like when we forgive someone who’s difficult to forgive. And in addition to forgiving our fellow man, we must also forgive ourselves. Sometimes we even carry grudges against God, usually because our lives took a turn we didn’t expect. Forgiveness of others, ourselves, and even God is crucial and central to our faith.

But how do we forgive someone for the inexcusable? How do we move past the hurt, anger, bitterness, and resentment–especially when the offense continues and the offender seems unaffected by what they’re putting us through? The things that have helped me are prayer for myself and the offender, faith that God can handle the situation better than I can, obedience to God’s Word in spite of how I feel, and humility in the face of all I’ve been forgiven.

Through these things, I’m able to reach a place of forgiveness. A place of peace with the situation. A place of sincere love and goodwill for the offender. A place that allows for reconciliation, provided both parties are willing. My prayer for all of us as we journey through this earthly life is that we fully comprehend this truth: through the work of Christ on the cross we stand forgiven. I also pray we’ll apply Biblical principles to those situations which call for our forgiveness of others. What a perfect picture to share with the lost world of all Jesus did for each of us.

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A Bridge Unbroken

A BRIDGE UNBROKEN

Christian Romantic Suspense

 

Letting go to build a bridge…

Dakota Kelly wants her painful past to disappear. A plan to start afresh is derailed when she co-inherits her late grandfather’s farm with Chance Johnson, the man responsible for the scars on her heart. But Chance isn’t the only ghost from the past. Someone else is out to get her and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Will Chance and Dakota lay aside their grudges to restore the old farmhouse and bridge, or will evil forces sabotage their attempt at forgiveness?

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The Fragrance of Crushed Violets: Forgiving the Inexcusable

Bible Study Booklet on the Topic of Forgiveness

Cathy Bryant

The Fragrance of Crushed Violets

What do we do when a loved one, boss, co-worker, friend, or enemy seem determined to bring us down through an attack? How do we handle it when their assault is personal, public, deep, unjust, unfair, and unfounded? In short, how do we move past the hurt and anger to a place of forgiveness?

Join us as we examine relevant scriptures about forgiveness and come away with a scriptural understanding of:

  • what forgiveness is and what it isn’t
  • God’s role in the process of forgiveness
  • what Jesus did at the cross for each of us
  • our mandate to forgive as we’ve been forgiven
  • what gets in the way of forgiving others
  • how to truly forgive
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  1. Thoughts From My Week at VBS Cathy Bryant
  2. Thoughts From My Week at VBS - Cathy Bryant

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