Thursday, January 24, 2008

Power of Love and Forgiveness

by Donna L. Watkins

© 2007 Donna L. Watkins - Great Spangled Fritillaries Mating

Our thoughts, spoken words, and beliefs are all a choice and that choice forms a pattern of life for us. We have to choose to trust and believe in what God's Word tells us rather than what we think or what the devil whispers in our ear. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for and not seen."

When we accepted Christ's salvation, we were redeemed from the curse of this world. We can have joy, peace, and contentment in all circumstances, if we live within the spirit realm. That's what Christ gave us when He left this earth. The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to provide us with comfort, peace and a joy unspeakable. A joy not based on circumstances is a sure sign of Christ's power within. The world is hungry for that and if we can't bring ourselves to that "table in the presence of our enemies" we allow the devil to keep us within prison walls with an unlocked door that we refuse to open.

There is no doubt that the Holocaust during World War II was beyond any bad circumstances and pain that most of us will ever endure. To lose family and loved ones, not knowing the torment and torture they were enduring while you were experiencing the same. We cannot imagine these things that we have not experienced, and yet there were people of faith that lived through it and made a good life for themselves after it was over. Were they created with special skills to be able to endure such events and come through "smelling like a rose?" I don't think so. Life is all about choices ... all about faith or fear.

To such a cruel and horrible situation, Corrie ten Boom's family in Holland provided refuge for Jews. This family was betrayed and the Gestapo hauled them all off to concentration camps. Why? For their humanitarian, Christian choice to do what was right? Where was God in all of this? Where was His protection?

When her father was asked if he knew he could die for helping Jews, he replied, "It would be an honor to give my life for God's ancient people." He died shortly after capture and Corrie's brother died shortly after the war from disease in the camps.

There is so much room for great bitterness, yet Corrie and her sister, Betsie, rose above it, even in the midst of the infamous Ravensbruck camp, and witnessed for Christ. Betsie died at Ravensbruck, but Corrie returned home from the death camps after the war. She realized her life was a gift from God, and she needed to share what she and Betsy had learned in Ravensbruck: "There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still" and "God will give us the love to be able to forgive our enemies."

At age 53, Corrie began a world-wide ministry which took her into more than 60 countries in the next 33 years! She testified to God’s love and encouraged all she met with the message that "Jesus is Victor." She was able to face those who had tortured and killed her family and forgive them.

She died on her 91st birthday. In the Jewish tradition, it is only very blessed people who are allowed the special privilege of dying on their birthday! Read more history on this inspiring woman.

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