“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15).
Some people have the same mentality as Jeremiah when he said, “I will never forget this awful time” (Lamentations 3:20). They have made up their minds not to forget terrible experiences or the wrongs that people have done to them, not realizing that unforgiveness hinders them from having hope and experiencing love. Forgiveness releases hope. Mercy toward others releases God’s mercy toward you. God is merciful toward those whom He sees showing mercy to others (2 Samuel 22:26).
If you don’t have people in your life who love you, maybe you carry a spirit of hatred. It didn’t come from God. Maybe it didn’t even come from your emotions at that moment. It may not be your hatred at all. Somebody did you wrong and you not only kept the incident in your mind but also allowed that person’s spirit of hatred to come into you. You opened yourself up to a foreign body. You didn’t protect yourself with hope and you didn’t forgive that person with mercy.
Light dominates darkness unless you choose to allow darkness to dominate light in your life by remembering sad and bitter things. People say, “I can remember it just like it happened yesterday.” They love talking about it. If you ask them for a testimony of something good that God did they can hardly think of anything. Divorced couples think about some wrong by the other person and refuse to think about all the good things they did together for the 20 or 30 years they were married. They don’t remember the good with the same tenacity that they remember the evil.
Nobody has been mistreated as much as God, yet He still remains merciful. As Jeremiah was searching for hope, he recognized that great character quality of God and said, “His mercies are new every morning.” When you change the judgment seat of your heart into a mercy seat, a door of hope can open and a stream of light can come in.
The most enduring things in your life should not be things that people did or didn’t do for you. You can’t take that to heaven. In fact, that attitude might keep you out.
Faith, hope, and love are enduring qualities. You should never lose hope. Open the door to hope by forgiveness and mercy. No matter how you feel about your shortcomings and your past failures at forgiveness, live in hope that your latter days will be great.
In Lamentations 3:21, Jeremiah was troubled but he said, "Yet I still dare to hope." Using the format of a daily journal, Bishop Boone takes the reader on a 30-day journey to hope. Each day, you read inspiring vignettes, study the Bible, pray, and write a journal of your day. Pleasing God becomes your priority. Each night, you examine your life to find anything that might cause you to lose hope. You see where you have been unlike Jesus, make changes, then go to sleep in peace.
Dare to Hope is a message of fearlessness in a time of coronavirus. It is a great encouragement for times like these! In this 30-day journey to hope, Bishop Boone says that Christians can rebuild their hope and restore hope to individuals, families, and nations. He recalls Lamentations 3:21 when Jeremiah was troubled but he said, “Yet I still dare to hope.”