Grace, Mercy and Forgiveness
Grace, Mercy and Forgiveness
God gives hope and a future
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13
Forgiveness from God
Grace is a gift from God that we cannot earn and do not deserve. God’s mercy means we do not receive the punishment we deserve for the sins we have committed. To receive God’s forgiveness, we must embrace His grace and mercy. We then need God’s power to offer His type of grace and mercy to anyone who has hurt us and needs our forgiveness.
Grace is often described as God’s undeserved favor. We do not deserve the favor of God, but He gives it without our asking because He is merciful. We cannot earn grace or work for it. Our attempts of trying to earn His grace are described in these two Scriptures:
Titus 3:4-6 – But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
Ephesians 2:8-9 – For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
Mercy is when God does not give us what we really deserve after sinning.
Principles of Grace
A healthy look at God’s grace and mercy will help forgiveness implant and grow in your heart. Here are some things to keep in mind about God’s grace:
- Grace is God’s answer to the hard conditions of life.
- Grace helps us continue when difficult situations do not change.
- God’s grace unleashes supernatural forces to keep us going despite our pain, suffering and loss. It ignites our courage to endure.
- God’s grace is always with us as a friend and ally.
- Grace reminds us that God uses trials to enhanceour faith and build our intimacy with Him. Grace gives us with faith to believe God will turn our hard times into something beautiful.
To learn more about grace and mercy, we need to review God’s word from the Bible. There are no specific answers to this lesson. The goal is to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart.
Read the following Scriptures and ponder the Word of God in your heart. As you read these verses, journal what the Holy Spirit reveals, or write a prayer to God outlining what you have learned by asking yourself the following questions:
What does this say to me?
How can I apply this to my life?
What might I gain if I applied these truths to my life?
1 Chronicles 21:13 David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let me fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men.”
Psalm 51:1 [A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.] Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
Proverbs 28:13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
Micah 7:18 Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.
Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Luke 1:50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
James 3:17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
John 1:14, 17 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth….For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Romans 3:23-24 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Ephesians 1:7-8 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, who is abundant in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
James 4:6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
1 Peter 5:10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
What comfort does Romans 8:28 give you? And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
How would God want you to apply the following verses to the post-abortive person in your life?
- Matthew 7:7–12 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
- Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
God’s forgiveness hinges on one thing – the acknowledgement of our sin. When you began this course, acknowledgement of sins you have committed should have already taken place in your heart. If not, take the time to say a prayer of confession to God now. Confess your own anger or wrong reactions regarding the pregnancy and the abortion as sin to God and receive His forgiveness in your own heart. Then forgiveness toward others can begin.
Psalm 86:5 You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.
Psalm 103:2-4 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.
Micah 7:18-19 Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
Acts 3:19-20 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus.
Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
Which of these scriptures spoke to you the most? Why?
Forgiveness of Self
If you were involved in the abortion decision – or have sinned in any other way as a result of your actions in regards to the abortion – then you may be struggling with how to forgive yourself for your own actions as that may have cost a life.
The Bible does not specifically tell us to forgive ourselves. But it does tell us to treat others in the same manner as we want to be treated. This truth is featured in Matthew 7:12 – So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.
The principle is that we want to receive forgiveness FROM others and GIVE forgiveness TO others. We should also seek to apply this principle to ourselves by forgiving ourselves for the wrong we have done.
We find assurance in 1 John 1:9 that confession is needed and once confessed, we are forgiven and cleansed. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
If Jesus forgives us when we ask, then we should forgive ourselves just like any other person.
Always realize that your healing process is different than the post-abortive person. If you pressured or took your daughter (or son’s girlfriend) for an abortion, she needs to hear what has changed your thinking and why. She needs to hear you ask her for forgiveness.
Using the Healing Activity from Lesson 4 – The Chart of Responsibility – compile a list of anyone who needs forgiveness. Begin to pray and ask God to heal you first from any anger or bitterness toward others, including yourself.
Write your prayer of confession below and then pray it to God. Self-forgiveness involves receiving His forgiveness and allowing him to cleanse away the regret, pain, and loss from our lives.
It is important for you to begin to think about asking for forgiveness for any part you had in the abortion. Begin this with prayer and an attitude of humility.
When we give our emotions over to God, His love and forgiveness can move through our hearts to reach others with the same grace. It is amazing what God can do with our worst emotions. Ask Him for help. He is faithful.
Forgiving does not necessarily bring restoration to a broken relationship. It does not guarantee that the relationship with the post-abortive person (and others involved in the abortion) will be immediately restored. Nor does it mean that they will receive their forgiveness.
You may need to work through the issues surrounding the abortion separately before you can come together and talk about the impact abortion has had on your relationship. Sometimes others involved will need to come to a point of accepting the apology and letting go of their own bitterness.
This may take some time, especially if you encouraged or pressured for the abortion. The post-abortive person may need time to process the change of heart you have had since then. They may need to work through this for themselves. You may need time to soften your own heart toward them as well, particularly if they are still estranged from you.
You are not responsible for anyone’s emotions or sin but your own. Forgiveness is an act of the will and impacts one’s intimate relationship with God. For forgiveness to take place, it is important to have a proper view of what forgiveness IS and what it is NOT.
- A process, not a one-time event
- For us – not the person we are forgiving
- Leaving the revenge to God
- Choosing to give up your grudge despite how much you have been hurt
- Expensive as it is an act of submission which can be agonizing
Forgiveness is NOT:
- Accepting people – we accept them for who they are and forgive what they did
- Tolerating people – we do not have to tolerate bad behaviors or allow others to treat us like they did before
- Trusting – trust must be earned again by the person who hurt us
What do the following scriptures say about forgiving others?
Romans 14:10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.
Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Psalm 32:1-7 Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven; whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
At the beginning of Psalm 32:1-7 (above), what are two blessings that we receive?
In the middle of this passage, it describes David’s physical pain. Did you experience any of these symptoms? If so, which ones?
There are three things the Psalmist states you must do for God to forgive the guilt of your sins. These include:
- Acknowledge your sin
- Do not cover up your iniquity
- Confess your transgressions
What is God’s promise to us when we confess our sins, according to 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness?
Forgiveness is not optional!
The act of forgiving is not optional as relayed by Jesus in His sample prayer, which we refer to as the Lord’s Prayer.
Matthew 6:12 Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your father will not forgive your sins.
Now it is time for you to look at your need to forgive. Review the Chart of Responsibility from lesson 4’s healing activity to help you sort out your involvement in the abortion. This is the only part that you can personally take on. Repentance and forgiveness are the passageway towards the peace you are trying to find.
You cannot repent for the sins of others. You can only repent for your own sins. Your sin may be in how you responded before or after the abortion. If you said or did hurtful things to others, repent, and receive forgiveness from God first and then apply that forgiveness to others.
How can you apply these truths to your relationship the person who aborted?
Complete the following:
Healing Activity 6.1 – Letter Writing – Write a letter to those people listed in the Lesson 4.1 healing activity – Chart of Responsibility – that you may never send. Please realize that forgiveness is an ongoing process that will start with this letter. The document needs to clearly express your forgiveness and acknowledgement of your own sin regarding the abortion. Other letters requesting forgiveness that are good to write could be to: your aborted grandchild that you write to in care of God; God; those innocently impacted by the abortion – such as siblings, cousins, etc.
Healing Activity 6.2 – Review: Forgiveness Summarized (see below)
6.2 Forgiveness Summarized
(Open PDF here)
This activity is designed to help you understand God’s viewpoint on forgiveness.
Hello, I am Sydna Massé Founder and CEO of Ramah International. I'd love to keep in touch and include you in our prayer chain as we continue to serve abortion's wounded and those considering abortion.
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