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A fourth principle you and I must understand about faith is that it works by love—that is—faith forgives.
Returning to Jesus’ teaching on faith in Mark 11, let’s read the rest of what He told His disciples on the road to Jerusalem.
“What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses” (Mark 11:24-25).
Now, I understand that when we’ve been hurt and the Holy Spirit reminds us of this verse our flesh wants to say, “Yes, but, Lord, You heard the terrible things those people said about me…. Yes, but, Lord, You know how that person abused me….”
While the hurt we suffered may have been a cruel and ungodly act against us, nonetheless, we have to walk in love toward those people. After all, God had to forgive. Jesus had to forgive. You and I are no different. We must forgive if we want to walk in faith and in the full favor of God.
Besides, if someone is against you, why do them a favor? Why let them ruin the rest of your life by short-circuiting your faith through unforgiveness?
Don’t let anyone keep you sick, broke, mentally tormented and without joy because of unforgiveness. Don’t help people close the door to God’s blessings in your life, and open the door to every curse loosed in this world. No, forgive them. Stay in the flow of God’s love.
Galatians 5:6 says, “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; butfaith which worketh by love.”
Faith works by love. It is energized by love. Faith is put into motion by love. Why is that?
Well, most of us are probably familiar with the Apostle Paul’s teaching on love in 1 Corinthians 13. But as we read verses 1-3 in The Amplified Bible, I want us to focus on the connection between faith and love.
If I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love…I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers…and if I have (sufficient) faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love [God’s love in me] I am nothing—a useless nobody. Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned…but have not love…I gain nothing.
In the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam just one “do not.” It was, Don’t eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God only gave one command, but it certainly covered a lot of territory.
Today, if you think about it, you and I still only have one “do not”—Don’t get out of love. That’s our one commandment. We are to walk in love, which covers a lot of ground, too. In fact, we see in this passage that our love walk is connected to everything we do in life as believers, including our faith. Paul makes it quite clear that faith—without love—is going nowhere.
Again, we have to ask ourselves, How is it that our faith is so tied into love? Let’s read a little further into 1 Corinthians 13 and we’ll find out.
“Love bears up under anything and everything that comes…its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails—never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end…” (verses 7-8, The Amplified Bible).
God wants us to walk in love because love never fails. He wants the best for us, and since the best is found in love, you and I must walk in love in order to receive God’s best. That’s why Jesus instructed His disciples to forgive when they prayed.
When you and I stand before God in prayer, in a position of faith, we must forgive anyone who has wronged us if we want answers to our prayers. Otherwise, not only do we slam the door shut on the favor of God, we also give place to what we read about in James 3:16—“For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”
In other words, unforgiveness leads to strife, and strife to every evil work of the devil. When that happens, all the Bible reading in the world won’t change the situation. Only forgiveness will.
You and I cannot pick and choose what we want to believe from God’s Word and disregard the rest. It’s all connected, and it all centers around love.
What’s more, as long as we’re on this earth, we will have plenty of opportunities to forgive people—taking no account of evil done to us, paying no attention to suffered wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5, The Amplified Bible).
Remember, faith without action is dead. “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26). If we don’t act on the Word of God and forgive, we will never walk in the full measure of God’s favor. In fact, we won’t even get close.
So don’t take offense. Don’t carry around hurts. Release them to the same blood of Jesus which cleansed you, redeemed you and set you free. As you do, you will free yourself to walk in faith…and in the full measure of God’s favor.

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