God’s Forgiveness

In view of this being the Christmas Season, I wanted to wrap up (for now) this series of posts on the importance of Forgiveness as we work through our recovery process. The past posts have dealt with Forgiveness of Self, Forgiveness of Others, and Making Amends. While these are, indeed, important factors for a successful recovery journey, they pale in comparison with the need for us all to seek, and accept, the forgiveness of God.

God’s Forgiveness

There is truly only one way for us to be able to forgive ourselves, forgive those who have hurt us, or to face the reality of our past behaviors and offer amends for the harm we have inflicted upon others. We cannot accomplish these actions by relying on our own strength and resolve. In order to accomplish these actions successfully, we must rely on the strength and direction of the Holy Spirit. In order to do this we must first, and foremost, experience the loving forgiveness of God.

In order to experience God’s forgiveness, we must first acknowledge our sins and our need for Him and His help in dealing with our addictions and destructive behaviors. Then, we need to turn control of our lives over to His loving care. This is where Step 3 comes into play, for those who mare familiar with 12 Step Programs: “We made a decision to turn our life and our will over to the care of God.”

It is common for addicts to struggle with facing the fact(s) of our addiction(s) and then, when we do, there is often a sense that we are beyond forgiveness, particularly by a Holy and All-powerful God. This is not the case since God is always willing and ready for us to turn to Him, just as the following Scriptures tells us:

– But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8 NKJV).

– For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You (Psalm 86:5).

– If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

– Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered (Romans 4:7).

I am truly grateful that God was there the whole time as I wandered away from Him and struggled in my addictions. All the while he was patiently waiting for me to TURN back to Him and rely on His strength to overcome my addictions and the lies of satan. He never gave up on me and has welcomed me back with open arms of love. God is always ready to forgive our sins and trespasses, if we are only willing to ask. He does not want to see His children fail, and is faithful to provide us a way out if we only humble ourselves and ask: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

God’s desire for us to be reconciled with Him and to experience His forgiveness is especially apparent at this time of the year as we remember His sacrifice in sending His Son to Earth to be the ultimate payment for each and every one of our sins.

Let us all join with all creation in rejoicing in the promise represented by this season!

– For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

– For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11).

I pray everyone has a Merry and Blessed Christmas!!

Taking Every Thought Captive!

Scott Pipenhagen
Recovery / Transition Chaplain
Serve & Protect
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

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About Scott P.

Scott is a retired Military LEO and a Volunteer Chaplain with Serve & Protect (www.serveprotect.org) where he seeks to provide transition services for First Responders and Military personnel by mentoring and connecting them with local 12 Step or similar Faith-Based recovery programs, local Chaplains, and Trauma Therapists to continue their recovery journey following residential care treatment. Scott contributes these devotions to the Serve & Protect ministry Facebook page: Guns'n'Hoses (https://www.facebook.com/GunsHosesMinistry). Scott has been involved in Faith-Based recovery programs since 2006 and has a Bachelor of Science in Religion through Liberty University and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies through Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary. He currently resides in Fredericksburg, VA, and can be contacted at spipenhagen@liberty.edu.
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