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The Power of Forgiveness

Today's Devotional

You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Psalm 86:5

A 2021 news reports told of seventeen missionaries that had been kidnapped by a gang. The gang threatened to kill the group (including children) if their ransom demands weren’t met. Incredibly, all the missionaries were either released or escaped to freedom. On reaching safety, they sent a message to their captors: “Jesus taught us by word and by His own example that the power of forgiving love is stronger than the hate of violent force. Therefore, we extend forgiveness to you.”

Jesus made it clear that forgiveness is powerful. He said, “If you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matthew 6:14). Later, in answering Peter, Christ told how often we should forgive: “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times” (18:22; see vv. 21–35). And on the cross, He demonstrated godly forgiveness when He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).  

Forgiveness at its fullest can be realized when both parties move toward healing and reconciliation. And while it doesn’t remove the effects of harm done or the need to be discerning in how to address painful or unhealthy relationships, it can lead to restored ones—testifying to God’s love and power. Let’s look for ways to “extend forgiveness” for His honor.

When is forgiveness hardest? How can you trust the Holy Spirit to help you forgive?

Jesus, help me to reach out to those who need me to forgive them as a testimony of Your power and goodness.

Learn more about how to forgive yourself and others.


“To err is human, to forgive, divine,” wrote poet Alexander Pope. Indeed, it is divine. We tend to fall into one of two traps with forgiveness. The first is the belief that what we do doesn’t matter because we can ask for forgiveness later. The second is that we limit God’s forgiveness. The point of the parable in Matthew 18:23–35 is that God forgives lavishly and infinitely, yet we must accept His forgiveness and behave accordingly. We’re to forgive others as we’ve been forgiven. True forgiveness is unnatural to us. Only through Jesus can we truly forgive.

By |2023-04-22T02:33:13-04:00April 22nd, 2023|
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