FAITH – FORGIVENESS – TRUST


Forgiveness
Faith, Forgiveness, Trust

For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more (Hebrews 8:12).

In recent months we have heard a lot about the Duggar Family. For those who may not know, the Duggars, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar have 19 children. They became well known some years ago when their reality TV show began on TLC (The Learning Channel). At that time they had 14 children. They now have 19. In May of 2015 their show was taken off the air when sexual abuse involving their oldest son Josh toward his sisters and several others came to light.
I have always respected Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar for their faith in God and their courage to stand up for what they believe in. It is easy to see that the Lord has truly blessed them and provided them with the means to care for their big family.
I happened to tune in to an interview with Jessa Duggar Seawald and Jill Duggar Dillard after the show went off the air. The two sisters had been innocent victims of their brother’s abuse several years previous. At the end of the interview Jill was asked; do you forgive your brother, and if so were you ever able to trust him again after this incident?
Her answer to this question pleasantly surprised me. It revealed a strong background of knowledge, based on truth, learned from Scripture. I may not have it worded exactly as she said it, but Jill answered; forgiveness and trust are not one and the same. We all need to forgive as Jesus has forgiven us, but trust has to be earned.
Is there someone in your life who has sinned against you? Have you forgiven that person? If not you should. The apostle Paul tells us; Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3: 13, 14).
It is always easier to forgive than it is to forget the incident ever happened. Sin leaves scars on our hearts and because we are human we can never completely forget. Scars do heal however, and through faith and Prayer God is able to help us forgive and move forward even as the scars remain.
Isn’t it a comfort though, to know that our God does forget!? He promises the repentant sinner that He will remember their sins no more. Our God is an awesome God!
As for the Duggars, no family is perfect. There are problems in the best of families, but when we trust in the Lord and stay connected to Him by faith through His Word and sacraments we are covered by the blood of Jesus. The debt of sin we owe to God has been paid and we are holy in His eyes. So never hesitate to forgive. If it is hard for you to do so, then pray. Ask God to give you the strength to move forward and leave the past behind.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times (Matthew 18: 21, 22).
And remember that trust and forgiveness are two different things. It is okay to forgive, and still remain cautious regarding the behavior of that person who sinned against you. Ask the Lord to guide you into building a new trust with that person. And even if that trust is never regained, the forgiveness should remain true.
Faith, Forgiveness, Trust – Faith in Jesus and a knowledge of what He did for us leads us to forgive others, and forgiveness allows us to build trust.

Gloria Dei!

duggars-01-800The Duggars

Duggar Statement:

We are so thankful for the outpouring of love, care and prayers for our family during this most difficult situation with Josh. As parents we are so deeply grieved by our son’s decisions and actions. His wrong choices have deeply hurt his precious wife and children and have negatively affected so many others. He has also brought great insult to the values and faith we hold dear. Yesterday (August 26, 2015) Josh checked himself into a long-term treatment center. For him it will be a long journey toward wholeness and recovery. We pray that in this he comes to complete repentance and sincere change. In the meantime, we will be offering our love, care and devoted support to Anna and our grandchildren as she also receives counsel and help for her own heart and future. During this time we continue to look to God—He is our rock and comfort. We ask for your continued prayers for our entire family.
(Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar)

A Lifetime of Regret


Precious child
Precious child

A man tormented by the guilt of murder will be a fugitive till death. (Proverbs 28:17)

Over the past years as a counselor for women in crisis pregnancies, I have talked with many who are pregnant and contemplating abortion. I have also talked with those who have had one abortion or more. The following are some of the excuses/reasons they have given for aborting their child.

  • I am (was) too young.
  • I don’t have time for a baby right now.
  • What will my parents say?
  • What about my career?
  • What about college and the scholarship I have received?
  • I can’t afford a child.
  • This child is the result of a rape. I don’t want it.
  • I already have my two children and don’t want anymore.
  • We just had a house built with a bedroom for each of our two children. Where would we put another child? Besides that fact we can’t afford a baby with our house payment being $1000 per month!

So many young women think that abortion is a “Quick Fix”, a way out without anyone knowing. Little do they realize the emotional trauma they will be undergoing. They don’t understand until it is too late that they will think about the child they destroyed everyday thereafter and wonder; was it boy or a girl? What would she/he have looked like? They will remember that child each year on the day he or she would have been due to be born. They will suffer from a feeling of guilt and remorse that will never go away.

Some years ago a young woman came to me about a half-hour before we were scheduled to close the counseling center for the evening. We talked for two hours. She had just moved here from out of state and wasn’t even settled in a permanent home yet. She was married and had two children, a two year old and a six month old baby. She had informed me earlier on the phone that she was looking for a support group in the area for women suffering from PAS (Post Abortion Syndrome).

As she sat down and we began to talk, I realized that she was very desperate. She informed me that she had had an abortion nine years earlier. She had been engaged to be married at the time. She and her fiance had so many plans and such a bright future together, but there was one hitch. She had just found out she was pregnant.

She didn’t have time for a baby and couldn’t afford a child right now. She still had to finish school. What would her parents who were strong Catholics say? She was ashamed to tell them that she hadn’t waited for marriage. She informed her fiance that she wanted an abortion and that was it. She wasn’t having this baby.

Now, nine years later, she was still suffering from that hasty decision she had made. She and her then fiance were now married and have two beautiful children together, but her heart still aches for that child she didn’t have time for. She also informed me that she had given birth to a still born infant five years after her abortion, but that she had come to terms with the loss of that child.

She had attended several different support groups in cities where they had lived. She knew that Jesus died for her and she was forgiven for the bad choice she had made. Still her comment to me was; I am stuck! Each morning when I awaken the first thought that comes to my mind is that precious little life that I destroyed. I know that I have been truly blessed. I have two beautiful children and a husband who loves me and takes good care of us. I want to be happy, but I can’t forget. It just won’t go away.

I believe that she was able to accept the loss of her still born child because it had been God’s will. She was unable to put the abortion behind her because it had been her will. She had taken matters into her own hands instead of trusting in the Lord. She wished she could go back and change what happened, but it’s there forever. She will always regret even though she knows and understands that Jesus loves her unconditionally and that he forgives all sins.

Sin leaves scars on our hearts. Scars heal, but never go away. Our government says it’s not against the law to abort our children. We will not go to jail, be fined, or be punished for it physically, but it is morally wrong and against God’s law. God grants the gift of life and only God has the right to take a life. In Deuteronomy 32:39 God tells us, See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver from my hand.

I wish that everyone who is contemplating abortion could talk to this young woman or others like her (there are many). I have had no further contact with her, but when she left she gave me a hug of thanks. She finally understood that she would never be able to forget, but life would go on and she would be thankful for the two precious children God had given her since that day so long ago.

This devotional article is written in memory of the millions of baby’s who have never seen life outside the womb. If you are one of the many women suffering from Post Abortion Syndrome and need someone to talk to. Please feel free to email me at grandmapoz@yahoo.com.

Gloria Dei!

by Christine