“So, Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, FORGIVE him, that your Father in heaven may also FORGIVE you your trespasses. But if you do not FORGIVE, neither will your Father in heaven FORGIVE your trespasses.”– Mark 11:22-26 New King James Version.

“Jesus said, “Father, FORGIVE them, because they don’t know what they are doing.” The soldiers threw lots [similar to dice] to decide who would get His clothes [Ps. 22:18].” – Luke 23:34 Expanded Bible.

“FORGIVENESS is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” – Corrie Ten Boom.

Mahatma Gandhi, an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India’s independence from British rule is a household name not only in India but all around the world! He inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. One of his greatest quotes is on FORGIVENESS and it said, “The weak can never FORGIVE. FORGIVENESS is the attribute of the strong.”

Forgiveness has been wrongly perceived as a weakness and not a strength. This error in thinking and perception has made it hard for many to forgive those who hurt them but Lewis Benedictus Smedes (August 20, 1921 – December 19, 2002) a renowned Christian author, ethicist, and theologian in the Reformed tradition has a different and healthy perspective about forgiveness and he opined that “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”

After the Lord Jesus urged His disciples to HAVE FAITH IN GOD which many bible scholars believed to mean, HAVE THE GOD KIND OF FAITH, He emphasizes strongly on the need for His disciples [including every one of us alive today] to forgive anyone they have anything against because THE GOD KIND OF FAITH [PERSISTENT FAITH] that get its desired result without fail cannot work in an UNFORGIVING HEART! [Please see Mark 11:22-26 New King James Version].

An unforgiving heart is quite common in our world today and it has been well described in the Word of God as an EVIL HEART of UNBELIEF which makes people to depart from the LIVING GOD! [see Hebrews 3:12]. God`s Word described Stephen, one of the seven deacons appointed in the sixth chapter of the book of ACTS, as a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost [Acts 6:5] and we saw his PERSISTENT FAITH IN GOD COUPLED WITH FORGIVENESS even in the face of an agonizing death as he was stoned to death. 

Acts 7:59-60 Message Bible says, “As the rocks rained down, Stephen prayed, “Master Jesus, take my life.” Then he knelt down, praying loud enough for everyone to hear, “Master, don’t blame them for this sin”—his last words. Then he died. Saul was right there, congratulating the killers.” The Lord Jesus was not an exemption as recorded in Luke 23:34, “Jesus said, “Father, FORGIVE them, because they don’t know what they are doing.” [Expanded Bible].

UNFORGIVENESS TOLERATED IS PERSISTENT FAITH CONTAMINATED! As strong as PERSISTENT FAITH [THE GOD KIND OF FAITH], it will never deliver its intended result without us walking intentionally in FORGIVENESS because FORGIVENESS is an ACT of PERSISTENT FAITH, and FAITH without a CORRESPONDING ACTION [WORKS] is dead! [James 2:17-26].

Corrie Ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker and later a Christian writer and public speaker, who collaborated with her father, Casper Ten Boom, her sister Betsie Ten Boom and other family members to help many Jewish people escape from the Nazis during the Holocaust in World War II by hiding them in her home. They were caught, and she was arrested and sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp. Her most famous book, The Hiding Place, is a biography that recounts the story of her family’s efforts and how she found and shared hope in God while she was imprisoned at the concentration camp.

From the time she was released from Ravensbruck concentration till the time of her death, Corrie Ten Boom reached millions of people throughout the world with the message of the gospel. The Hiding Place remains a popular and impactful book, and Ten Boom’s teachings on forgiveness continue to resonate. Her family home in the Netherlands is now a museum dedicated to remembering the Holocaust. Corrie Ten Boom said, “FORGIVENESS is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”

Treasured friends, we need to pay attention to Christ`s emphasis on FORGIVENESS as it relates to THE GOD KIND OF FAITH [PERSISTENT FAITH, TENACIOUS FAITH] as recorded in Mark 11:22-26. FORGIVENESS is God`s command and not a suggestion! 

Famous American Humor Writer and Author, Henry Wheeler Shaw whose pen name is Josh Billings said, “There is no revenge so complete as FORGIVENESS.” No matter what anyone might have done to you beloved, it is in your past, let go and let God! FORGIVE THEM as God Himself has FORGIVEN you and every one of us could FORGIVE if we chose to because FORGIVENESS is a ‘WILL’ THING and not a ‘FEEL’ THING!