2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
The Bible reveals to us God's will concerning many things. Here we see that His great desire, His will, is that none would perish. If we live in a place of unforgiveness, sin continues to reign in our lives and we are perishing. But if we receive the forgiveness God so freely offers in Christ, if we come to repentance of our sin, which means that we acknowledge our sin, bring it to the cross of Christ, and turn from it, we come into the freedom of Christ from sin. We can then experience the life of Christ. And so, we experience our life BC (before Christ) and AD (after Christ).
Memory is a powerful thing. It can be good or it can be bad. God makes a powerful, wonderful statement concerning His memory in Isaiah 43:25, "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." Wow! We know that God is all-knowing. There is nothing hidden from Him. But here He tells us that He can choose to remember our sins no more. Remembering, and what we remember, is something we can choose, with God's help as we renew our minds to our new life in Christ (Romans 12:1, 2). Instead of remembering our sin, God remembers His covenant, which blotted out our sin.
The Hebrew word for remember is zakar. Strong's says this of this word: " a prim. root; prop. to mark (so as to be recognized), i.e., to remember; by impl. to mention . . . (make) mention of, be mindful, recount, record (-er), remember, make to be remembered, bring (call, come, keep, put) to (in) remembrance, . . think on." We are marked by God as forgiven!!!
Now let's look at this in regards to forgiving others. What do we remember about them? If we choose to stay in unforgiveness toward them, we are choosing to remember and rehearse in our minds their offense over and over, to hold on to that vision of them. But if we choose to instead look at the finished work of Christ for them on His cross and see them in the light of the love of Christ, realizing that we, too, have been forgiven, we can focus on a different view of them. We can choose to see them differently, as a person forgiven by God. We can think on this, instead of their offense. Forgiving does not begin with our feelings in the matter; it begins with our will, our choosing to forgive them. And, really, as we have already stated previously, it really begins in our spirit man, where we realize that we are forgiven and therefore forgive.
The battle that we are fighting in this spiritual warfare in which we can use the weapon of forgiveness is actually in our minds. As we recall, 2 Corinthians 10 speaks of demolishing strongholds. Verse 5 says this, We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Philippians 4:8 instructs us: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Yes, the offense was real. But God's truth trumps all the facts in the matter. He moves us to a higher plane.
And one final observation, as one of our readers has pointed out to me: It is sometimes ourselves that we must choose to forgive. Doing so, focuses on what God is doing in our lives rather than what we have done in the past. The past can be a terrible prison. Today is the day of salvation.
What will you remember today--of yourself, of others, of your God?