“…none of us knows how long this will be… (God says) I choose the appointed time… When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold the pillars firm. ” Psalm 74:9; 75:3

Limitless enemies invade from outside, corruption and political intrigue reside within, devastating inequality exists between rich and poor, religious structures—both buildings and beliefs—attacked, leadership weak and ineffectual, disrespect for elders rampant. Those who follow after God experience discouragement, doubt, and despair. The weeping cry ascends: none of us knows how long this will be…

Out of the slough of despondency comes the reassuring memory of God’s past faithfulness and His strong words:

When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold the pillars firm.

Such words are not easy to believe when stability seems melting like spring snow, and yet it is for just such times that we are called to review God’s faithfulness and place our hope firmly in His character and promises. He holds the pillars of our world firm and “in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17).

Faith is wide enough to cry out, “How long, O Lord, how long?” God is big enough to affirm, “I choose the appointed time” when that faith is weak. As we continually take small steps of belief, we remember,

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord (Lamentations 3:25-26).

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13

Wouldn’t it be easy if we only had to forgive things we found forgivable? But what often happens is that we have to push past the hurt and pain we’ve suffered to forgive someone.

We live in a world that romanticizes love to the point where we forget that in relationships, there will be times when our trust will be violated. We will inevitably be betrayed to some extent. Our hearts will be broken by those who profess love for us.

Love in its truest, purest state is best exemplified when we can look past what we might consider unforgivable offenses and grace others with the same forgiveness that God extends to us. In our most unforgivable state, Christ, in the greatest love story ever told, taught us that love has absolutely nothing to do with warm fuzzies and red hearts.

God’s great love for us is what drove him to Calvary where he proved how much he loved us, taking on all of our sins and shortcomings and allowing himself to be nailed to a cross. Christ forgives us because he loves us. As his representatives, we are called to do as he did, and forgive anyone who has offended us. Anyone and everyone.

Lord, as we choose to walk in love each day, help us forgive people just as you have done for us. Amen.

If you are holding a grudge or a grievance against someone, take the time to talk the situation over with God, inviting him to change your heart and give you the desire to forgive them. Then ask him to show you how he wants you to demonstrate forgiveness to that person in a practical way. This is one of the best ways to start a new year right.