It’s all in how you look at something.
If we focus on a hurt, or injustice, think it over and over, relive it play by play, we grow angrier and angrier. On the other hand, if we hand it to GOD, choosing not to retaliate (if we forgive), we can have peace. But to gain peace, we must deliberately choose to turn our focus away from the offense (situation), and refocus on something else.
My husband was in construction, often he worked out of state, coming home on the weekends when he could. But during the week, and many weekends, it was just the kids and I. We live in the country, on the high plains east of Colorado Spring. It was a dry and dusty place during the summers. Many of us jokingly called it, western Kansas. GOD opened the door for me to work up at a Christian camp, and take the kids along as staff family. It was a dream come true. We were in the mountains, among tall pines, Christians all around, a pool, good food. Well, one weekend, Mac made it home and he told me I was not to go back up to camp. That seemed so totally unfair, and I became furious, but knew better than to cross Mac. I was considering leaving him, and was spouting off to the LORD about it, when all of a sudden the LORD played scenes- like a video- in my mind of times HE had forgiven me. By HIS changing my focus off what Mac had done, to what I had done, changed my whole perspective. Forced to focus on how GOD had forgiven me, I knew I had to forgive Mac, and submit to his command. I chose to obey. I am sure glad GOD was working behind the scene, for before Mac left, he relented, “Oh, go back up to camp.”
Now things don’t always work out so easily, or quickly for me. But, I have learned they work out best, if I follow GOD’s instructions. “Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and ponder the fine good things in others. Think about all you can praise GOD for, and thank HIM” (Philippians 4:8 TLB).
GOD goes so far as to state that our troubles actually are achieving for us. The LORD instructs us not to look at our troubles, but to focus on what HE is achieving for us through them. HE declares that what HE is achieving for us, far outweighs the pain of today (2 Corinthians 4:15-18). Will we believe HIM and do it HIS way?
JESUS never asks more of us, than what HE has already done for us. While we were sinning against HIM, HE came and died for us so we could be forgiven. HE continues to pray for us (Hebrews 7:25, 10:14). Now, HE asks us to follow HIS example and forgive others and pray for those who hurt us.
When life seems totally unfair, I find fixing my eyes on JESUS, and all the unfairness HE endured, helps me endure. HE persevered by setting before HIS eyes (HE focused on) earning salvation for us. Because HE focused on the positive, pleasing our Heavenly FATHER, and providing our salvation, HE was enabled to endure the horrendous pain and shame of the cross. Although, HE despised the shame, by focusing on the joy of having many brothers and sisters, HE made it through (Hebrews 12:2). And even asked for forgiveness for those inflicting HIS pain.
Looking unto JESUS, the Author and Perfecter of my faith.