Written by Jessica Bayus from Winnipeg, MB

Canadians are known worldwide for our polite nature and “sorry”-filled vocabulary. If somebody elbows us in a crowd, we politely and quickly say “Sorry!” as we continue on our way without a second thought. We are known for apologizing for other’s mishaps. The other day I said “Sorry” when someone else spilled ice cream on my shoe.

A quick “sorry” usually works. Sometimes though, we put a Band-Aid on casualties without realizing how hurt someone can be. We hear “sorry” yet those feelings of hurt still linger. What does forgiveness look like in those circumstances?

Forgiveness is not necessarily the easiest thing to do; however it is an expression of God’s love.

He forgave us. “Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 4:32).

In those times when we are hurting, can we first forgive ourselves with this same grace and then forgive others? By loving yourself with the same love God has for you, can truly begin to trust in His love for you. This means believing that His thoughts toward you are good, so that even when times get hard you can rest in the assurance that His love is still moving and He continues to work in the situation.

Embrace yourself with the love God has embraced you with in Jesus.

He has given you the gift of a deep, intimate and personal relationship.

He is calling you to Him. He is saying to you to come just as you are, with all your thoughts, all your struggles, and all your wanderings. He adores you and is there for you.

The psalmist David discovered this powerful truth as he began to write personal entries of hurt, hope, despair, victory and God’s goodness. “Pour out your heart before Him,” he wrote, and “God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:8).

He has given us peace when we hurt, which goes so far beyond what our eyes can see or minds can now comprehend.

Will you come to Him today? As a little child in His lap, will you come to Him and share how you are feeling? He is listening. He is here. His love is moving.

“May the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13).