I am convinced that every issue in life can be simplified down to one core issue: trust with God. Financial issues, whether it’s overspending or a tendency towards hoarding, reflect trust issues with God’s ability to provide and satisfy. Health issues can be related to trust. I have been enduring shoulder pain for the last 6 months, hoping that with rest it would go away. But when I finally prayed about it I heard the Lord gently confront me and tell me that I wasn’t trusting him. See, I just don’t want to spend the money to see a doctor and I don’t have time for surgery or even physical therapy. It would be so much easier if God would just heal it, but He is asking me to trust him for the money and to trust him for the process he chooses to use to heal.
Even forgiveness is a trust issue. In fact, a good definition of forgiveness is, in a word, trust. It is not about trusting our offender, but about trusting God. When we forgive we are trusting God to be the best judge. When we are unforgiving, we are telling God that he is not a trustworthy judge, that he doesn’t know how to do his job. We fear that he will just let them off the hook, that they won’t learn their lesson, and that we will be hurt again. When we forgive, we are trusting that God will not only be a trustworthy judge, but that he knows exactly how to bring conviction and repentance to our offender, which is what we are trying to achieve with unforgiveness and revenge.
It seems that when we forgive, we are paying the price for our offender’s wrongs. It doesn’t seem fair and that thinking often keeps us in the cycle of unforgiveness. However, when we forgive, we are trusting God to pay the price for our offender’s wrongs. When Jesus died on the cross, he paid the price for our wrong-doing and the wrongs done against us. The price was exorbitant but Jesus paid it in full. We can trust God to pay the price for our offender’s wrongs, just as we trust him to pay the price for our wrongs.
Another aspect of trust and forgiveness is trusting God to heal our wounds. When we are in unforgiveness we tend to hold tightly to our wounds, carefully binding them up. This only causes the wound to fester and become infected. Wounds need to be cleansed. When we take our wounds to God and trust him to heal them, the brokenness becomes our strength. (2 Cor. 12:9)
Every time we choose to not trust God to be a good judge, to pay the price of forgiveness or to heal our wounds, we climb in the car with Unforgiveness. (See Forgiveness Process: An Analogy.) We think we are regaining control when we get in that car, forgetting that Unforgiveness is in the driver’s seat. When we get out of the car, we are trusting God to see us safely home. So the best definition of forgiveness is trust. We don’t have to trust our offender to forgive, but we do have to trust God.