Faith, Friendship, Influence, Prayer, Purpose

Faith Connection: Faithful and Forgiving Friend

Welcome back to Faith Connection Friday! It is my prayer you find these explorations of God’s attributes encouraging. It has been exciting to delve into these aspects and refocus on the greatness of our wonderful God.
This week, we look at His faithfulness, His forgiveness, and His friendship. The Bible is full of stories that reinforce these attributes, and I hope you are encouraged.
He is faithful. That means He will do what He says He will do. If He says He will never leave us, we can trust Him to always be there. Our God has a plan for us, and He will be faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6). Therefore, we can trust that whatever comes our way, He will use it to fulfill His plan. This gives us hope that He will come through for us. We are assured that when He makes a promise, He will keep it.
He is forgiving. God’s desire for us is to be reconciled to Him. That is why Jesus died for us. He loves us that much! When we do not live according to God’s standard (we sin, or miss the mark), He continues to love us unconditionally and welcomes us if we believe in Him and believe that He died and rose again. All for us. No matter how much we think we have messed up, He will still forgive. No sin is too great that He cannot forgive.
Forgiveness is challenging for us because it can be truly hard for us to forgive those who have wronged us or have hurt us. If we choose not to forgive, however, the person has a hold on us. One of my favorite stories about forgiveness is found in the book, Calm My Anxious Heart. Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, was once asked if she remembered a wrong someone had done to her. She replied that she had distinctly remembered forgetting that event. Taking the step of purposefully and intentionally forgetting the wrong. One strategy of the enemy is to continually remind us of past hurts, even when we have chosen to forgive. Forgiveness is a conscious effort. Even if you have to make a point to forgive every moment, make it a practice. Write it down that you distinctly remember forgetting that event! It is worth it. Over time, your attitude will grow to like them–maybe even love them. Sound impossible? Good news, friend–that is God’s specialty–He is the God of the impossible. As a personal testimony, it does work. How do I know? Because my God is a forgiving God, and He has taught me the importance of forgiveness and the freedom it brings.
He is our best Friend. He is the One you can count on to listen and help you with your challenges of life. He is the One who comforts in sorrow. We can tell Him things in confidence that we may find difficult to share with our closest friend. Recently, I was able to travel and spend time with some of the most wonderful friends–old and new. These friendships are absolute treasures to me. Many of these friendships are long lasting. Why? Primarily because of our faith connection. Many relationships are formed and strengthened over several years. Levels of trust that are built on a firm foundation. We are able to share struggles in confidence and find strength, encouragement, and possibly a different perspective.
These are characteristics of our Lord. He is so very faithful. He is ever forgiving. And He is our very best Friend forever. He is trustworthy. I am so very thankful for those characteristics of my faithful and forgiving forever Friend. It is my sincerest prayer that you find Him to be the same for you.
Lord, thank You so much for being my faithful and forgiving forever Friend. I am so thankful that I can come to You at any time, and You are there to listen. In Your precious name I pray, Amen.

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