Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 37:8 – Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret — it only causes harm. (NKJV)
As longer days of warming sun return to the north, the melt begins. Drip, drop, splash, crash — the sounds of spring as snow and ice melt and drizzle or slide with a slap from the roofs. How wonderful to envision green sprouts, still blanketed in snow, rising from their dormant state as the spring melt commences to water and nourish them.
Likewise, when we choose to forgive others, we, too, undergo a type of melting and regeneration process. When we elect in our hearts to forgive the trespasses of others against us, we lay down the desire and the need to hurt them for hurting us. The decision to forgive begins to melt the hardness of anger and hate residing in our hearts and allows the goodness of God's love to sprout and bloom within us again, much like the sun melts the snow and rejuvenates the land.
Negative emotions, such as destructive anger, wrath, and fretting, harm us more than they hurt those who trespass against us. Such emotions may easily freeze the power of God's love seeking to flow through us, hardening our hearts to His will and way.
Though forgiving others can be difficult — sometimes next to impossible — all things are possible in Christ, when we turn to Him for aid, for He is the One who laid down His life for the sin of the world: past, present, and future.
Yes, anger, wrath, and fretting lead only to harm, but forgiveness melts a hardened heart and rejuvenates the life-giving power of Christ within. Which will we choose this day?
Prayer: Lord God and wonderful Father, thank You for loving us enough to send Your Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer and die upon a lowly cross on Calvary's hill, that we might not only be forgiven but also have the power to forgive those who trespass against us. As Your people, may we always choose forgiveness over anger, wrath, and fretting, that the rejuvenating power of love might flow wide and far through Your worldwide church, bringing healing to the nations. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.