By Lisa Meister
Forgiveness is good news! It is an exercise in trusting God in the midst of mental confusion and hurt. It is an act that God can look upon with pride and say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” It is a discipline that brings peace into the victim’s heart.
Abuse Leaves Victims Chained
Abuse leaves the victim chained to the image of the abuse as well as the image of the abuser. The abuser stays in the mind of the victim and the victim deals with that image on a daily basis. This constant state brings a desperation to be free and over time that desperation breeds bitterness. It is a natural progression. But God wants to break the cycle. The key is forgiveness.
What Does God Want For Us?
God has a better plan. He doesn’t want victims chained to the abuse or the abuser, so he provides the way out. Forgiveness is the way.
Revelation 6: 9-11
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to rest a little longer.. (NIV)
This passage is beautiful! It gives us God’s plan for abuse victims. The Fifth Seal is prophecy that happens at the end of times during the Great Tribulation. Under the altar are the Christians who are killed during the tribulation. They want God to bring them justice. Try to imagine this picture for just a moment.
How does God respond? He tells them to rest! That’s right…rest! And there is your good news. God is the judge and He will call the abusers to task for what they have done.
The saints under the throne are still calling out for God to avenge them. God is telling them to rest, take it easy and He will handle it. God will not forget what happened to them or who did it.
Crying out for justice takes a lot of energy and the abuse stays in the forefront of the mind. It leaves the victim tired and unable to go forward in life. If the saints in heaven would rest, they could look around the throne room and see how amazing it is. They could worship God and enjoy the beauty that God created that will be unlike anything we have seen down here.
The Great Exchange
An exchange happens when we forgive. We give our burden to God and He gives us rest! That’s just how God works.
God Says The Same To Us
God is saying the same to us. Rest! We don’t have to cry out for justice any more. God is on the throne and He has it covered. He is the judge who saw the abuse done and knows exactly how it effected our lives. We don’t need a prosecuting attorney because God has that covered as well. The abusers will stand before God for what they did and how horrible that will go for them. That leaves us with the only one job: rest.
Forgiveness brings rest in ways you will not understand until you can do it. To me, forgiveness is handing the abuse and the abuser to God and telling Him I can’t handle it anymore. I don’t want to have to figure out what should or should not be done to the person. I don’t want to have to worry about them getting saved or worry about them going to hell. I don’t have to worry about them living life free or living life in chains.
I really can rest. I am in no way responsible for my abuser. It is not up to me to get them saved or make sure they end up in hell. It is not up to me to make them feel better or worse. I leave them in the hands of God and choose to rest.
Were you abused? Rest! Are you tired? Rest! Are you weary and heavy laden? Rest! Rest is God’s plan in our healing and in our life. We can now leave the chains of abuse behind and go forward because of this good news. God has good things for us because He is good! He loves us and we can trust Him. Rest, dear one. Rest!
Photo Credit: Thank you to John Evans!