Unforgiveness is rooted in the fear that God will not repay evil according to justice.
-International House of Prayer
This quote from a Christian organization out of Kansas City hit home for me. In just a mere fifteen words, they cut to the heart of the struggle to forgive. This is really a question about God and His character. The quote is especially profound and applicable if the struggle is over forgiving someone who has wronged one deeply like an adulterous ex-spouse.*
How does one learn to trust God to deal with the wrong justly when God allowed such a gross injustice to occur?
In other words, we put God’s character and goodness in question in this moment. Our felt experience is that God is not worth trusting. We fear handing back the “judge and executioner” roles to Someone who didn’t protect us when we needed Him to do so.
So, how do we learn to trust God with such horrible wrongs?
We take a step of faith. Choosing to give all the betrayal, treachery, and lies to God for Him to handle is an act of faith. It says that we choose to believe that God will handle our especially painful injustice justly. We are putting our faith into action–i.e. a faith that says we will choose to believe God is good and just even though we do not feel that right now.
This is an act of the will. And we will likely have to repeat it as the feelings flood us lying to us that God isn’t to be trusted with this. A deep wound takes time to heal–both naturally and spiritually.
Yet the only way forward is to give our pain and the wrongs committed against us to the One who knows the deepest pain of injustices and rejection. We were not designed to be the Judge and Executioner. Our shoulders are not strong enough to carry those mantles or the burdens of the injustices forever.
God is worthy of our trust.
He will see that evil is confronted with justice and righteousness.
For God is truly good and just!
*I am talking about forgiveness regarding our relationship with God. If the cheating spouse does not repent, we are not to forgive as Jesus taught repentance as a condition for such in Luke 17:3. In order to get free of the pain of the injustices, we eventually DO need to hand the injustices over to God regardless of the adulterous spouse’s state of repentance, though. I am speaking about that process in this post.