One of the most powerful things we can do as we look ahead to a new year is to focus on letting go of bitterness. I think many who’ve been hurt deeply feel invalidated when hearing messages on unforgiveness, because there’s a sense that surrendering something takes away from the sting and severity of the wrong done. I’m certain many of you have been wounded so deeply that you’re still dealing with the ramifications and consequences in your daily life. If that’s you, I want you to know that I’m very sorry for what happened. The way you were sinned against broke the heart of our Heavenly Father, and He is grieved over your pain. Knowing that, I believe the truth that all of us can grab hold of today is that releasing our grip on the past is not something we do for others — or the sake of the person who hurt us — but rather for ourselves. Our loving Lord understands that it’s difficult to embrace the abundant life He died to give us if our precious emotional and physical strength is “tied up” in the past. He wants us to be unencumbered, and He invites us to believe with certainty that He is passionate about righting every wrong. Therefore, living with a heart of forgiveness means that we surrender our desire for revenge and leave outcomes in God’s just and merciful hands.
My friend, as you prepare to welcome a new year, I encourage you to consider where in your life you’re holding onto bitterness, resentment, or unforgiveness, and lift those areas up to Jesus. Invite Him to bear the brunt of the load you’ve been carrying, and ask Him to teach you what it means to feel mercy and compassion toward those who’ve wronged you. Your Savior loves you more than you can fathom, and He wants you to live in freedom. As you lay your pain, disappointment, and distrust in His Hands, He will lighten your load and inspire you to move freely in fields of divine forgiveness!