Women's Devo | November 2021

Thankful for Forgiveness

November is known as National Gratitude Month, where we are encouraged to embrace the power of gratitude. Gratitude is more than simply saying, “thank you.” Gratitude has this amazing power to shift us from thinking negatively to appreciating what is positive in our lives.
When presented with the question: “What are you most grateful for?” Over the years, I have always said, “Salvation – I am MOST grateful for salvation.” That is always the correct answer, right? Without salvation, without Jesus “saving” us from our sins, we have no hope, no promise of eternal life, no nothing. But honestly, it’s forgiveness. I am MOST grateful for forgiveness. “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.” Ephesians 1:7 NLT

“So let it be clearly known by you, brothers, that through Him forgiveness of sins is being proclaimed to you; and through Him everyone who believes (who acknowledges Jesus as Lord and Savior and follows Him) is justified and declared free of guilt from all things, from which you could not be justified and freed of guilt through the Law of Moses.” Acts 13:38-39 AMP

I knew from the age of eight years old when I acknowledged Jesus as Lord and Savior, devoted my life to Him, was baptized and decided to follow Him, that He forgave me of my sins and washed me clean. Many years later, at the age of 16, I met and eventually married my high school sweetheart. We built our first home, I finished college with my bachelor’s degree in Nursing, and we were blessed with our first child. We were serving the Lord: teaching Sunday School, directing Sunday School, singing in the choir, directing VBS, and involved in men and women’s ministries. Life could not get much better than this. So…. I thought.

One morning, I was awakened early by my husband and told that we needed some time apart, and he was leaving and not sure of when he would return. I was devastated, heart-broken, and lost. After a time of separation and many trials of attempting to resume life together, our marriage failed and ended up in divorce.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT

Because my husband confessed and turned away from sin, and he started living by faith in Christ, he received the certainty of forgiveness. When we come to Jesus for forgiveness, we can be sure that Jesus’ blood is enough to purchase forgiveness for all who trust in Him. But what about me? I’m so hurt, heartbroken, and embarrassed. How will I ever forgive him for what he has done to me and our daughter?

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13 NLT

After finding out that one of my girlfriends at work was going through this same situation, I wanted her to know that I was praying for her and her daughter. She said something to me that really penetrated by heart and soul. She said, “There is no way I could ever forgive him for what he has done to me!” My eyes began to water and glass over. I knew she was angry, bitter, and hurt. I could feel it so deep. All I could say was, “I’m so sorry and I will be praying for you and your little girl’.

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15 NLT

You see, the Bible clearly says it: BUT if you refuse to forgive others (no matter who it is), your Father (God) will not forgive your sins. The truth is that all people have sinned and fallen short of God’s standards. When Peter asked, “Lord how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times? No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!” Matthew 18:21-22 NLT

Jesus did not intend on us keeping track of how many times we forgive someone. We should always forgive those who are truly repentant, no matter how many times they ask. For those who confess and turn from sin, God has promised forgiveness. Consider who is making this promise. God is faithful and righteous. His promises are true, and He has promised forgiveness to those who trust Him. Forgiveness on our part may not be easy, but it is necessary. My husband and I re-married after nine months of being divorced. “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:9 NIV

Can I say it has all been easy? No. But, I know we have grown in love and respect for each other. We are embracing joy in Him. We truly believe that we have been blessed by walking in faith, obedience, love, and forgiveness.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 NLT

Dear Lord, thank you for your free gift of salvation and your willingness to be the atonement for my sins. I do not deserve the forgiveness and mercy that you have shown me. Help me to remember that I must forgive others, just like you forgave me.
Valerie Pittman serves with her husband, Bishop Nathan Pittman, Pastor of Claxton Church of God in Claxton, Georgia where they have served for 6 years. The Pittmans have served many years in Children’s Ministry and church leadership. Nathan and Valerie have been married for 24 years and have three beautiful daughters: LiliAnn 20, Melea 15, and Nathalie, 11. Valerie works at Memorial Health Meadows Hospital in Vidalia, Georgia as the Facility Educator. She is a labor, delivery and nursery nurse and has taught childbirth preparation classes for 18 years. When not working, Valerie enjoys spending time with her family at the lake, camping, or watching them in their many sporting events.

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