The Power of Forgiveness – A True Story – By Thomas Koester

“Reconciliation Starts Here – Forgiveness Starts Here …This is Why it is Such A Powerful Weapon.”

Christ came to reconcile our past and future so that we may live real and abundant lives in the present. Time and forgetfulness cannot heal old wounds; this is why Christ announced his anointing through the reading of Isaiah 61:

“The Sovereign Lord is upon me and has anointed me to preach good news to the spiritually poor and impoverished, to heal the brokenhearted, setting captives free, and proclaiming release for the imprisoned.”

Yes, he came for our salvation, but he also came for our healing, to release us from our captivities, and to set us free from our bondages. All of these things are from our past. The above list is most often what has happened to us, and Christ is ready to go there with you.

I was the guest speaker at a men’s retreat a few years ago for a men’s group from a Church that I had not visited or was familiar with. At the opening of the retreat, I was introduced to all the men in the group, and one of the men was familiar to me. I introduced myself to this gentleman, and I immediately recalled that this man had molested me as a child some forty-seven years earlier.

What ended up happening was nothing short of a miracle and the beauty of the Kingdom of God — peace between the lion and the lamb was about to occur.

God had given me the message of reconciliation and forgiveness a few days before the retreat. But before God would allow me to preach on it, he asked me to reconcile with this man now and at that moment and to forgive him before I do anything else.

So, with God’s grace and power, I cooperated with His Spirit of forgiveness and mercy. I had kept this man’s offense to myself and proceeded with the rest of the retreat. I walked with God into my past. Christ Jesus brought us peace, healing, freedom, and release. Chains fell off that weekend, and a new friendship was born.

Later I learned that this man had become a Christian shortly after he had molested me so many decades ago. But, until I had forgiven him, I was buried under a mountain of shame and hatred.

Through Christ Jesus, God reconciles the world back to Himself, including our past. Sometimes his Spirit of Grace brings us backward to negotiate past hurts, captivities, and imprisonments. Whether it’s us behind the bars of hatred and unforgiveness or whether we’re the jailer holding the keys to someone else’s past offenses. We have divine weapons against fear, hatred, and unforgiveness, but we must use them.

Through the Men’s Retreat, God had shown me that we could only stumble over our past if it is left in a state of unforgiveness and left unreconciled. Because God is eternal, the Alpha and Omega, he exists in our past, present, and future. The works of Christ, destroying the works of the Devil in all the areas and seasons of our lives, are both completed and ongoing in a multidimensional way, unhindered by time and place.

All governments are upon his shoulders. The expanse of his Kingdom shall know no end. He is the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Wonderful Counselor, and the Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6. He is there all the time and in every area of our lives, past, present, and future, but you must believe and obey Him and listen to His voice.

I cannot stress how significant the voice of the Lord is and how important it is to listen, follow, and obey. Read the Bible as though it is written to you first before anyone else. You’ll then know what to do and how to do it.

“He has shown you, O child, what is good; and what the Lord requires of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” Micah 6:8

We can enter into our future with triumph because Jesus Christ has triumphed over our past. If we work with him, he will bring us to forgiveness, even forgiveness for our past enemies, abusers, and those who’ve betrayed our hearts. It worked out for me, and it can work out for you too!

Forgiveness is such a powerful weapon for good. It “liberates the soul.”

God presented me with the opportunity at that retreat — God did not force me to forgive; he set up the circumstances. I could’ve gone on hating the perpetrator, exposing him to public shame, condemnation, and ridicule. But hatred, condemnation, shame, and self-ridicule were the same mountains on top of me.

God softened my heart, and Jesus gently led me to the cross, and there, at His cross, miraculously, both of our mountains were removed, our hearts softened, and forgiveness was granted to us both.

Journey with God as he leads you, and do not dismiss your past, but have the courage and faith to follow Him wherever he leads you.

Maybe the circumstance that you’re presented with here and now is your opportunity also to give and receive forgiveness.

I can promise you this when you forgive; it’s because God is already there, showing you the way; he wants you to be free.

“Reconciliation Starts Here – Forgiveness Starts Here …This is Why it is Such A Powerful Weapon.”

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