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Friday in the Octave of Easter, April 10, 2015

Psalms, Chapter 118, verse 5
5 Let those who fear the LORD say, his mercy endures forever.

Image result for confidence in God produces forgivenessWhen can we say, “His mercy endures forever!” It is when we have received it and given it away. Everybody needs to forgive somebody.

Forgiveness will unleash a power in your life that is underrated and often ignored. It is underrated mainly because it is underused. We fail to capture the power of forgiveness because we are afraid of it, because we have grown comfortable in our familiar wounds, or because we are sinfully stubborn. But the power is there waiting for us.[1]

Allen R. Hunt outlines there are three parts to forgiveness: 1) Receiving Forgiveness which involves experiencing God and forgiving yourself. 2) Deciding to Forgive. 3) Sharing Forgiveness.

In this week’s book study of Character is Destiny[2] we looked into the strong confidence of Queen Elizabeth I of England which she by her example brought about England’s golden era. It is evident that she in her rise as the greatest Queen in English history used these three steps not only for herself but for others as well.

She was raised in fear and uncertainty that would have paralyzed anyone but she rose above it by her strength and confidence. Where did her confidence come from; was it inherited from her father? Why is it she had an air of command, gracefulness, and dignity that eluded others around her that wished to kill her for the crown? Her early life was particularly in grave peril. In imprisonment she was defiant and argumentative; she knew meekness would not save her life. She went forth daringly in faith having received God’s forgiveness expecting the same death at any time that her mother received (Beheading). At her accession to the throne Elizabeth kneelt to the ground and said in Latin “This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”

As Queen she would not be ruled by fear and boldly stated, “I am your anointed Queen. I will never be constrained by violence to do anything. It is monstrous for the feet to direct the head.” Knowing fear is the root of evil she decided to forgive; not to persecute Catholics for their faith; thus sharing her forgiveness with loyal English Catholics.  She stated as long as Catholics remained loyal subjects, she would not trouble their consciences. She acknowledged God’s mercy at her final address to the united English people:

“Thou God has raised me high, yet this I account the glory of my reign, that I have reigned with your love….You may have many a wiser prince sitting in this seat, but you never have had, or shall have, anyone who loves you better.”

Today, Go forth and conquer! Next week we will be studying the character trait of industry or diligence of Eric Hoffer a philosopher and writer who explained the purpose of Freedom.

[1] Allen R. Hunt, Everybody needs to forgive somebody.
[2] McCain, John and Salter, Mark. (2005) Character is destiny. Random House, New York.