“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires… Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes” (Psa. 37:4, 7).
In both of these verses, a person is being asked to be enthusiastically involved with God, to persevere and endure over time while maintaining an active relationship with God. In so doing, they will learn what is the heart of God and their own heart’s desires will align with His.
They will learn that God loves them unconditionally and that He forgives them over and over again and it will become the desire of their heart to forgive others when they have been wronged. Jesus wants us to repent of unforgiveness, not because the person deserves to be forgiven, but simply because you have been told by God to forgive. It works like this: if you don’t forgive them, your own sins are not forgiven.
I meet people all the time who can’t forgive someone for something that person did to them. This has the effect of a person remaining in bondage to the sin that was used against them. The person will stay afflicted, unhappy, unfulfilled and stunted and every relationship around them will suffer. They are allowing bitterness, hate and revenge to destroy their lives even further.
I have been monumentally betrayed more times than I care to think about. The first time I really struggled for a year to forgive the person. The next time it took less time. The next time took even less time and so on until a betrayal a couple of weeks ago, I struggled for a few days. I’m not saying it was easy but I am saying that forgiving others when they wrong you will become easier.
As I delight myself in God more and more, the act of forgiveness will become less and less a painful process. As I increasingly commit my ways to God and rest in Him, I won’t worry or fret about the person who wronged me. As I grow to be more like Jesus my forgiveness will become spontaneous.
*All quotes from NLT.