Dear Reading Friends and New Subscribers, this is David Telbat. Thanks for joining us for “Forgiveness Theme in The Steadfast Series.” [NOTE: Our thoughts and prayers are with those victimized in the Las Vegas shooting. This post was written 2 mos before this horrific event, and was scheduled to post 2 days before it happened. Though David’s message is true, we regret that it may seem insensitive due to the recent occurrence.] How are you at forgiving others for grievous offenses? In The Steadfast Series, forgiveness is a major theme, since in America’s Last Days, wickedness against people abounds. Those who are steadfast in the faith strive to focus more intently on Christ who forgave us—rather than on others who have deeply offended us. This is not easy!
Digging Deeper into Forgiveness
While writing Steadfast Book Four, I was faced with some very difficult forgiveness prospects. The characters in the novella were horribly betrayed, victimized, and offended. How could they possibly forgive their enemies? How could I write a realistic response from God’s people to such evil done against them? I was also forced to consider my own heart in forgiving others, and my own need for forgiveness from God and others.
In my contemplation, and even Bible study, I discovered a couple things that have helped me to view forgiveness in a fresh light. These lessons are not merely for the characters in a book, but for us all to live more like Jesus today!
Bad Decisions Come from Embittered Hearts
We often hear how damaging unforgiveness can be for our level of happiness or in our relationships. Not letting go even affects our decision making, it turns out! Can you imagine making bad decisions simply because of holding a grudge?
In Psalm 73:21-22, the Psalmist describes the animosity that he held toward evil-doers was making him “senseless and ignorant.” He was holding onto bitterness, so he wasn’t able to reason properly. Thus, forgiving (letting go, surrendering to God) the offender(s), frees us from the cloud of senselessness. When we hold onto bitterness, we will make bad decisions.
No One is Worthy, Only Needy
Another forgiveness lesson I learned while writing Steadfast Book Four, is that no one is worthy of forgiveness. How proud we are if we think we can reach a point where our past offenses toward others or God are suddenly no longer offensive! Can evil that we did ever be deemed as good? No. Never.
So, how can we ever be forgiven? We are forgiven not because we are worthy of forgiveness, but because we desperately need to be released from shame and guilt to function well in life. Considering God, He forgave us because of how immensely loving He is—He received our penalty for sin upon His Son. He knows we need that kind of love.
And as God forgave us, we must forgive others, for their sake and for ours. We forgive others not because they are at all worthy, but because they desperately need such love expressed toward them. Consider Colossians 3:13. The need for forgiveness calls for people who have forgiving hearts.
In the pages of Steadfast Book Four, bitterness and evil are prominent, but will the need for forgiveness touch the hearts of those who are offended? It is my hope that as you read these adventures, your faith will become more steadfast than ever before. We can trust that what God has done for us is indeed the pattern for us to do for others. Thanks for reading this post about the forgiveness theme included in The Steadfast Series.
See you on the next page!
Read this past post, “What Christians should Expect for America,” in which David shares his purpose for writing The Steadfast Series. You can also find many other Author Reflections here by D.I. Telbat.
UPDATE: Steadfast Book Four has been released on Amazon! Click the title to read a description and to find a direct retailer link!
Prayer Prompt: According to Vision Beyond Borders, “Every year, hundreds of women are trafficked in Romania.” VBB has taken on a god-inspired project and they need much prayer and aid. The following is from a couple of their recent newsletters:
“In Romania, ‘graduating’ from the orphan system is not a happy event. At the age of 18, kids leave the orphanages, and are given just a few dollars to survive and start a life. Orphans leaving the system are rarely educated about the dangers of human trafficking that riddles the country.
Vision Beyond Borders has been working in orphanages, ministering to kids even before they graduate to prevent them from entering the system. However, after seeing the growing problems with trafficking, we feel moved to open a safe house as a starting point and learning home for those exiting the orphanage. We would like to educate the young adults on human trafficking and how to avoid it, as well equip newly-graduated orphans with vital working skills, and help them on their job hunt.
The home would further act as a sanctuary for those rescued from trafficking. We believe God is the only one who can provide true healing and help them as they rebuild their lives.
Hundreds of girls are sold into slavery every year. Please pray with us that Vision Beyond Borders will be able to start up this half way and safe house so we can fight human trafficking and help to empower women and children. Learn more about our vision for women at visionbeyondborders.org/vision-for-women/.”
COMING UP: Join us next time for “Deliverance from Tragedy,” a reflective short story by D.I. Telbat And for the following post, we have another look behind the scenes of Steadfast Book Four titled, “The Worst Crime.”