The Importance of Forgiveness for the Abused and Divorced

by Irene Webster

Today, let’s talk about the importance of forgiveness. Over and over Israel and Judah worshiped false Gods and in essence acted much like unfaithful, adulterous wives. But God always forgave them. In fact, in Jeremiah 3:8 the Word even says the Lord put her away (some say divorced) but note, He later took her back! His forgiveness has never ended despite Judah and Israel’s unfaithfulness. God has proved throughout the ages that His love endures forever!

Jeremiah 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery, I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not but went and played the harlot also. But why is this important for us to know? How does this relate to us? The thing to take away from these scriptures is God forgave adultery!

  • Because we are first and foremost children of God, and the Lord wants us to follow our Father’s example! 1 John 4:4a King James Version Ye are of God, little children, Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
  • After all, it is because of Jesus’ sacrifice we are forgiven our sins! Ephesians 1:7In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.
  • And most importantly, Jesus Himself forgave us from the cross as He took our punishment for our sins!!!! Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment and cast lots.
  • We are told to forgive just as God for Christ’s sake forgave us. Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.
  • We are in danger of judgment if we do not forgive!!!! Luke 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
  • God warns us to pray for our own sins but to forgive others so that we won’t be tempted to sin! Luke 11:4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
  • Plus, we are the Bride of Christ and need to prepare ourselves for our coming wedding to our Bridegroom, Jesus! There is much to do to prepare us for that union just as Queen Esther had to soak in oil (representing the Holy Spirit) and in spices (frank incense and myrrh) to prepare her for dying to herself, we too need to spend time in God’s presence and with the help of the Holy Spirit we must die to our flesh!
  • God sees your heart. Don’t you think He knows? Don’t ever kid yourself, God sees everything and knows what is in our hearts. Jeremiah 23:24 KJV Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord. God tells us to be Holy for He is Holy. Be like our dad! Matthew 5:48 KJV Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. 1 Peter 1:16 KJV Because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy.

I believe the Lord is doing a speedy work right now in the hearts of all true believers with His Holy FIRE and is exposing hidden, unconfessed sin. But because of God’s great mercy He is getting us ready for Jesus’ return. So, today we are going to address the area of forgiveness so we can get ready for His return! I can personally testify to needing to be forgiven and walk in forgiveness. You see, my early walk with the Lord was full of overcoming hurt from previous abuse and divorce. Soon after salvation, the Lord showed me my heart was full of anger and bitterness towards my own father and ex-husband who had hurt me but with God’s help I overcame bitterness, unforgiveness, sickness, and depression by making a decision to lay down my anger, ask God to forgive me, to forgive others, and help me to love like He loves.

That kind of behavior does not show a Godly covenant but if the Lord changes hearts that is a different matter. You cannot change anyone so recognize it is you that needs to forgive, let go and let God do His thing in His time. Isn’t it interesting that the word GIVE is part of the word FORGIVENESS? Because God gave His only begotten Son to do what? TO FOR-GIVE US! God set the tone. WHY???? God said to obey Him. Period. Anything else is SIN.

So, first we need to recognize we have sinned when we have held anger towards someone that has hurt us, REPENT, and then make a decision to FORGIVE! So, who do we think we are when we don’t forgive others? Jesus Himself said from the cross in Luke 23:34 Living Bible “Father, forgive these people,” Jesus said, “For they don’t know what they are doing.” But we perish for a lack of knowledge. That is why I talking to you about this today. God tells us to follow His Son’s example. He clearly tells us to confess our own sins just as we choose to forgive those who sinned against us.  Matthew 6:12 Living Bible and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.

But WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DO NOT FORGIVE OTHERS THAT HAVE HURT US? For if you forgive others their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Mark 11:25 – And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” This is such a big deal! Think about it! NEITHER WILL YOUR FATHER FORGIVE YOUR TRESPASSES!

I’ll take it a step further. I believe if we do not forgive those that have hurt us God turns us over to tormentors. UGGG! There is a very clear example in the word of God in: Matthew 18: 21-24 where a king found his employee was cheating him and ordered him to pay him back. The thief asked for mercy and was granted forgiveness for his debt but when he refused to forgive others their debts the King changed his mind and sent him to the torture chambers. The Word says this in verse 35. So shall my heavenly Father do to you if you refuse to truly forgive your brothers.”

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Sir, how often should I forgive a brother who sins against me? Seven times?” 22 “No!” Jesus replied, “seventy times seven! 23 “The Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him $10 million! $10 million, literally, “10,000 talents.” Approximately £3 million. 25 He couldn’t pay, so the king ordered him sold for the debt, also his wife and children and everything he had. 26 “But the man fell down before the king, his face in the dust, and said, ‘Oh, sir, be patient with me and I will pay it all.’ 27 “Then the king was filled with pity for him and released him and forgave his debt.

28 “But when the man left the king, he went to a man who owed him $2,000, approximately £700, and grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. 29 “The man fell down before him and begged him to give him a little time. ‘Be patient and I will pay it,’ he pled. 30 “But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and jailed until the debt would be paid in full. 31 “Then the man’s friends went to the king and told him what had happened. 32 And the king called before him the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil-hearted wretch! Here I forgave you all those tremendous debts, just because you asked me to— 33 shouldn’t you have mercy on others, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 “Then the angry king sent the man to the torture chamber until he had paid every last penny due. 35 So shall my heavenly Father do to you if you refuse to truly forgive your brothers.”

This is a very big deal. Who wants to be tormented?! So, here’s that word again: GIVE! Luke 6:38 KJV 38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Oh, I thought that was just about money…not giving people that have hurt me forgiveness and blessing those that curse you and despitefully use you. No, it’s not just about money. It is about giving to others forgiveness! God says in Luke 6:27-28 that He wants us to GIVE FORGIVENESS, love your enemies, do good to those that hate you, bless those that curse you and pray for those that despitefully use you! Luke 6:27-28 King James Version 27 But I say unto you which hear, love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, 28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

Here it is in the LIVING BIBLE: Luke 6:27-28 “Listen, all of you. Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. 28 Pray for the happiness of those who curse you; implore God’s blessing on those who hurt you. Here’s the test of your heart, how can you say you love God but hate man? 1 John 4:20 Living Bible If anyone says, “I love God,” but keeps on hating his brother, he is a liar; for if he doesn’t love his brother who is right there in front of him, how can he love God whom he has never seen? So, now what? How can we really forgive others?

1. First acknowledge, there may be someone you need to forgive.

2. If you can’t think of anyone who hurt you ask God to show you if you have unforgiveness in your heart and towards whom.

3. Determine to do what Jesus Himself did when He was on the cross!

4. Next, ask God to forgive you for the sin of unforgiveness and ask Him to help change your heart to love for the person that hurt you. We all need a heart that is soft, tender, and loving toward others. God loves to answer the prayer of a humble, contrite heart! Psalm 51:17 Amplified Bible My [only] sacrifice [acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; A broken and contrite heart [broken with sorrow for sin, thoroughly penitent], such, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:10 King James Version 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

5. If the person you need to forgive is a safe person and reconciliation is possible, consider calling or getting together with that person. Share that you felt hurt by them but that you forgive them. However, some people may be unsafe so simply make a decision to forgive that person from a distance, pray for their good and even ask God to forgive them as Jesus did.

6. If it’s someone that has passed away, forgive them too even if it is just praying to God. God will take the hurt from your memory if you do. Just remember, FORGIVENESS is not based on a feeling. Feelings are real but you cannot put your trust in them. Obey the Word of God and be blessed and set free!!!

7. Did you know that you are the beneficiary when you forgive others? The benefits of forgiveness are that you will grow in your faith and in our relationship with God and others! Your faith will increase as you see God moving on your behalf when you obey His Word. Plus, God will pour His perfect peace out on you giving you health and wellness! However, refusing to forgive others only creates torment in your life. It is an open door to the enemy of your soul, the devil and creates a breeding ground for spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional conditions, which include bitterness, stress, high blood pressure, mental problems including depression. Choosing to not forgive is choosing to suffer consequences both physical, emotional and spiritual…and who wants to risk God not forgiving us??!

8. Who wants peace? It’s easy but you may need God’s help. Pray and ask God today to help you forgive those that hurt you. You can do this if you come with a contrite heart seeking His help. God will help you when you just obey and bless others much like when Job prayed for his judgmental friends, God restored all Job lost! God will give you peace!! God is not a respecter of persons.

9. Forgive! In Matthew 6:12 KJV 12 the Word says, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” In Strong’s Concordance FORGIVE means several things, including to forsake, lay aside, leave, let alone, omit, send away, remit. But what does forsake mean? It means to give up something formerly held dear, renounce. To leave altogether abandon. To quit or leave entirely; to desert; to leave. What does remit mean? To transmit money in payment. To refrain from exacting a tax or penalty, cancel. To pardon, forgive.

THAT’S WHAT GOD DID FOR US! EVEN THOUGH WE DIDN’T DESERVE FORGIVENESS HE GAVE UP HIS RIGHT TO FORSAKE US, to abandon us, to quit helping us, INSTEAD HE FORGAVE US FOR OUR SINS! Psalm 103:10-12 KJV 10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.


Irene Webster

10. Repent! Acts 2:38 – And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness. of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. So, just as we started with the word GIVE, you can now see that GIVE is in the word FOR-GIVE right? So, I say again, FOR-GIVE and you shall be given FOR-GIVE-NESS. You will reap what you sow…

Would you join me as we pray for forgiveness? “Father, please forgive me for allowing anger and bitterness to fill my heart because someone has hurt me. Just as you showed me by Christ’s example of dying for others, I choose to die to my own will and forgive those that hurt me. I ask you to forgive them. Thank you for and helping me let go of bitterness and unforgiveness just as you have forgiven me.  Please heal my broken heart and fill me with your love for others! Thank you, Lord, for helping me forgive like you. AMEN


Before we close there may be some out there that may not have yet accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The bottom line is, we all need a Savior! The Bible says in Acts 16:31 Common English “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your entire household.”

So, do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?  John 3:16 KJV 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Do you know you are a sinner? The Bible says in Romans 3:33 We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God! Are you sorry for your sins? Did you know that if you confess your sins God is willing to forgive you your sins? 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Do you believe that Jesus took the punishment for your sins and died in your place on the cross? John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Do you want everlasting life? If you answered yes, pray this prayer out loud with me:

“Lord God, I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ. I believe you sent your Son, Jesus to take the punishment for my sins! I come to you confessing I am a sinner and I need Jesus to be my Savior. Lord, forgive me for all my sins and Jesus be my Lord and Savior. Lord, thank you for forgiving me. Please send your Holy Spirit to live in my heart and help me Father God to live according to your Word all the days of my life. Teach me your ways Lord and help me love others. Thank you for loving and forgiving me. AMEN” Now, go tell someone you are a follower of Christ!!


Bless you, Irene Webster