“Sometimes God allows what He hates to accomplish what He loves.”
In utter disbelief, I scrambled to jot down these words from the lovely young woman who spoke with such eloquence and peace.
Days earlier, her grandfather and 8 other church members had been gunned down in Charleston, SC in a heinous, racially-motivated shooting. She sat next to her grandmother, the pastor’s widow. They calmly answered the television interviewer’s questions with the utmost grace and composure.
In fact, their self-control and gentleness were glaring. Not shaken. Not emotional. Present. Positive.
In response to the unthinkable, these ladies spoke words of forgiveness and grace towards an unrepentant, troubled young man.
With all eyes upon them, they were truly ambassadors for Christ.
Their replies defied any attempts at human logic. This was a supernaturally- enabled response. Their testimony to their faith in Jesus Christ shone brightly as a broken and hurting world watched on.
What perhaps struck me most was their freedom to move forward. Yes, this family was grieving. They will need time to process. The pain of this event will never completely go away. Yet they are free in their journey to express their pain, receive truth and healing to venture forth in hope. The key to this freedom is the forgiveness extended.
Unforgiveness brings bondage; forgiveness yields liberty.
Forgiveness allows the injured to trust a Sovereign God to bring about justice. Forgiving does not invalidate the offense or lessen the severity of the crime. Justice needs to be served. Consequences will follow. But by forgiving, we allow God to be God. He brings justice in His timing. We rest in His care to heal.
As much as we may view forgiveness as blessing others, it’s truly a gift to ourselves.
Forgiveness benefits us.
God hates sin but loves forgiveness. He hates violence but esteems expressions of His sacrificial love towards one another. He hates bondage but loves liberty. God despises disobedience yet loves faithful obedience. He loves when we praise Him through the good times and bad. He loves when we shine brightly for Him through adversity to illuminate the decaying darkness of this world. In the face of hatred, God loves an extension of grace. You see ‘sometimes God allows what He hates to accomplish what He loves’ so that a broken and hurting world can catch a glimpse of the power and glory of God.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35