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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : How to Forgive by Corrie ten Boom

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 How to Forgive by Corrie ten Boom

I transcribed this in February and forgot to post it. May the Lord bless you and reveal Himself to you as you read it.
Your sister in Christ, DS

How to Forgive by Corrie ten Boom

I am so glad to be here again. I know I am speaking for praying people, there is a tremendous work of intercession for you and for me, to do at this time. I even invite you to pray during the time you are listening. It is possible…you can have the vertical and the horizontal connection at the same time. You can listen…and pray. And will you pray that the Lord will give you the message that you need…and that the people around you need. And will you pray for me, that I will not stand in the way, but that the Lord will use me as His channel to send streams of Living Water. Let’s first pray together. Father, in Jesus name, you know that we do not need only a small lesson, but we need a very great lesson. Because we are ALL called to be children of the Light in a very dark time. Open our eyes…that we may see the far vast reaches of eternity. Use me Lord. I thank you for the blessings that You have in store for us. Amen.
It was some time ago, that I saw movie, “The Hiding Place.” That is an experience that very few people have…just to see your own story in a beautiful picture. It was so beautiful and moving. But is some ways it was difficult for me. For it showed not only the happy background life I had in Haarlem with Daddy and Betsy, but also the suffering in the concentration camp. And when I saw it, there were moments when I thought, “No! No! So bad, it hasn’t been!” and then I remembered “Yes, it has been so bad.” But the great joy was, through the whole film, you see what it means when you go through very deep (bad) times, with your hand in Jesus’ hand. And that when the worst can happen, the best remains! It is a message for everyone that will see it in the theaters. Yes? It is a movie for the theaters, not churches. And you must pray for that movie, that it will be finished in time. And pray for the people that God will reach through that film. It is a message for Christians, because it underlines the truth of Jesus’ victory in the life of one of His followers, but it is also a message for those who do not know Jesus. For it is very clear that Jesus said, “Come unto me ALL that are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” That word ALL makes for a tremendous message at this time.
I don’t know how long ago it was that I was in this church, but I know one thing…since that time, the world is far more darker and terrible now, than it was that time ago. This world is going downward. It is good that a Christian can and has to be realistic. We have a Book…and in this Book is written that we are citizens of heaven. Our outlook goes beyond this world!...to the hopeful expectation of the coming of our Messiah, Jesus Christ. And here in this book we can read the signs of the times. And if I had never believed in the Bible, I should believe in it now, when I read the newspapers. For almost all the signs of the times (in the Bible) you can read in the newspapers. I think it is a great joy! I heard a pastor say, “When I read a book with very sad things, I don’t like it. But then I look at the last page and if I see that they lived happy for the rest of their lives, then I read the whole book!”
Say, are you scared when you read what is happening and will happen before Jesus’ Coming? Then do the same as that pastor, look at the last page. Isn’t it a JOY that Jesus said, “I come and I make everything new.” And this world will be covered with the knowledge of God, like the waters cover the bottom of the sea. That is the future. And that is why you and I can be strong, even in times of very great difficulties and tribulation.
Do you remember that I showed you my embroidery the last time? I have it still…and I use it still, because it helps me so much. This side of the embroidery(the underside) is terribly mixed up…I could say it is like the news over the television and the newspapers in the end time. You don’t know, but you must think about it…in heaven there is no panic, never. God has plans…no problems. God’s plan is beautiful! (she shows the top side of the embroidery). And God is working His purpose out! And one of the beautiful songs in the Episcopalian song book is, “God is working His purpose out. And the time is drawing near. Nearer and nearer draws the time, the time that will surely be, that this world will be filled with the knowledge of God like the waters cover the sea.” And that is why we can be so full of courage, but it is good to see that there will be a time when the swords will be changed into plowshares. There will be peace on earth…now, like there is in heaven. There will be a time when we will see Jesus face to face. When in the midst of the misery of this world, the children of God will be translated and meet Jesus in the air.
We have a future! And I am so glad that many of you look happy when I talk about it. Some of you do not! And that is because you do not realize what it means…that we live in the time, that the signs of the times show us, that Jesus can come very soon. And I understand a little bit. You say, Yes, that is coming, but now? Yes, now…Now is the time we are going through that is described in the Bible as a time of terrible persecutions and tribulations. Some people say, “but oh, before tribulations come and persecutions come, we will be translated.” NO, that is not what Jesus said. Jesus said, “Pray that you will be strong enough to come through everything that will happen in these days. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.”
And perhaps you do not suffer tribulation yet, but do you realize about 60 percent of the body of Christ is going through a tribulation so terrible, it is worse than at the time of Nero! Now! At this time! Here we have had our good cup of coffee, and our beautiful fellowship., and our good houses, and a free country…sixty percent of the children of God are persecuted and killed in terrible ways. Thousands and hundred thousands are sitting in concentration camps and slowly killed. You and I must realize it. We must realize that we have to be one body of Christ.
Watchman Nee said, “When my feet were whipped, my hands suffered pain.” So, together with our fellow Christians we must suffer. The other thing is we have to be ready when it should come to you and me. For I do not read in the Bible that persecution will come to everywhere but not in America. Don’t be afraid…don’t be scared. I can understand it, because you know I am talking about a terrific reality. And it is time to wake up to reality! But, I can tell you, we have nothing to fear!
I remember when I was a little girl, I told my father, “Daddy, I will never be strong enough to be a sufferer for Jesus…a martyr for Jesus.” And Daddy said, “When you go to travel, when do I give you your train ticket? Three weeks before?” I said, “No, Daddy…the day that I go to travel.” Father said, “That is what God does.” Have you no strength for persecution at this moment? It doesn’t matter. The moment that it comes, the Lord will give you your train ticket!
It is not only for persecution, but it is for all our suffering. For I believe in this time we will go in training to become strong children of God…victorious children of God. I can tell you, everything that we need is in the Bible…to make us strong Christians. Boundless resources are available! When you go in training and you get strong for coming events, then you are also strong for the difficulties you have to face when you come home today…the difficulty in your office, your home, your kitchen, your school…where ever you are called to be the “light of the world.” Because the source of our strength is Jesus Christ Himself. His cross shows us that we can accept suffering as a part of God’s plan for this world.
When I was in the concentration camp, one of the most terrible things I had to go through was that they stripped us of all of our clothing and we had to stand naked. The first time was the worst. I said, “Betsy (her sister), I cannot bear this.” And suddenly it was as if I saw…Jesus at the cross. And the Bible tells, “They took His garments” and he hung there naked. I knew he hung there for me…for my sins! And by my suffering, I understood a fraction of the suffering of Jesus Christ…and it made me so thankful, that I could bear my suffering. Love so amazing, so divine…demands my life, my soul, my all.
Some people are afraid to look at the cross. Are you? Don’t be afraid. The cross is terrible! It is terrible how Jesus suffered! It is so terrible it cannot be described, but you must not be afraid to look at it…for if you had been the only person in the world, Jesus would have suffered for your sins.
At the Cross, at the cross, Where I first saw light.
And the burdens of my sins rolled away.
It was there by faith, I received my sight.
And now I have guidance everyday.

Jesus is coming soon…are you ready? Peter says in 2Peter 3:14 “Because you have a hope like this before you, I urge you to make certain that such a day find you at peace with God and man. Clean and blameless in His sight.” Say, are you ready if Jesus should come…at this moment? Are you right with God and right with man?
I remember one of the times when I spoke here, I showed you my flashlight. I am going to show it to you again. You know this flashlight does not give light. It is not broken, but I only have one battery in it. We all know that it cannot give light when there is only one battery in it. But I could not get the second battery in it, because it is full of rags. First, I must remove these rags. Do you know what I mean with this (flashlight)? This is your heart and my heart. And this first battery is what happened when you and I for the first time in your life you first said a real “Yes” to Jesus. Do you remember that moment when you first saw you were a sinner? And that you needed a Savior…and you saw suddenly it is Jesus who is my savior! You said, “Oh, yes Lord Jesus. I need You. Come into my heart. I need your help, your cleansing, your forgiveness!” and you brought all your sins to the Lord. I see many of you with such happy faces, because of that moment-when angels rejoiced…for a sinner was saved for eternity. Some of you do not look so happy, because you did not yet do it. No, don’t laugh, for that is terrible, because that means if Jesus should come this morning, you would not be ready for Him. And when He comes, everyone will have to be ready.
The great joy is that Jesus said, “Come unto me, ALL.” That is also, you! And when you come, then do it. And perhaps you will see the way of salvation a little bit clearer than before you listened this morning. When I am through with my talk, we will all be quiet for a few minutes…then ask the Lord, “Have I to give an answer?” and then give the answer. I pray and I hope it will be a “Yes” for all of you. Not only for you who have never received Jesus Christ, but also to many of you who belong to Jesus. There is a challenge that I must give to you in the name of the Lord Jesus….that is that you have to be right with God and right with man.
Now the flashlight is your heart and that second battery is the fullness of the Holy Spirit. It is written in the Bible, and I believe it is also Peter who says, “You have been eager to get His gift in this time of waiting for His final appearance.” The Bible has no suggestions, only commandments. One of the most joyful commandments is “Be filled with the Spirit.”
These rags are sins. When in your heart there are unconfessed sins, you cannot expect that you are filled with the Holy Spirit. To be right with God, we have to clean out the rags in the flashlight, like the sins in your heart. This rag is bad temper. Hebrew 12:15 says, “A bitter spirit (of bad temper) which is bad in itself, but can also poison the life of many others.” A bad temper is terrible for yourself and for your family.
This rag is pride! In the Bible, it is read when Josiah says, “Pride is that feeling of “holier than thou.” It is smoke in God’s nose.” Yes.
This one(rag) is inferiority feeling. Wait…is that a sin? Isn’t that humbleness? No, that is also pride. You do not accept your limitations. 1 Corinthians 7:17 “Each man should live his life with the gifts that God has given him, and in the condition which God has called him.” Isn’t that good? Then you should have no inferiority feeling. She is far more beautiful than I. It doesn’t matter. I have the gift with a face with many many wrinkles, but it doesn’t matter. I have to live with the gifts that God has given me. And every inferiority feeling is pride.
Now this rag is worry. This one is jealousy. This rag is criticism….a rag that is in the heart of many Christians. The danger is that we often criticize other Christians. Paul says, when he uses the translation of Phillips, “Don’t criticize somebody else’s servant, especially when that somebody else is God!” He is able to make Himself a servant that is satisfactory. Someone said something about, “We have not to carry the burden for each other, we have not to protect each other. We do not have to bring the other Christian to his master and say, “Lord, I see that she is not quite right.” No, no, The Lord says, “Do not criticize someone else’s servant, when that somebody else is Me. Leave it to Me.” And I don’t doubt Him.
Now, these rags are forgotten promises. Did you make a promise? Did you forget it? God did not forget it.
(She brings out another rag)…Unforgiveness. I will speak about that more. (Out comes another rag) Stubbornness. In the Bible, it is written, “Rebellion is as bad as the sin of witch craft, and stubbornness as bad as worshipping idols.”
This one (rag) is lying. When we lie to each other we are hurting ourselves. (She pulls out more rags, one at a time and calls out the names of each) Lust…Disobediance… Now, what can I do with these rags? No problem. What can you do with the rags in your flashlight? No problem. At the cross, you see the answer. And the Bible tells us, “Confess your sins and forsake them.” In the power of Jesus, we can ask, “Oh, Lord, forgive me of that stubbornness! Forgive me from that bad temper! Forgive me from that slander…and that worry!”
And perhaps I am speaking here for very “decent” sinners…that have some “decent” sins. (everyone laughs) But in God’s eyes, “decent” sins can also be a difficulty. You know, it is terrible. We have to be at peace with God. And we cannot be at peace with God, when we keep our sins. So bring it to the Lord. And the great joy is…when we ask for forgiveness, the Blood will cleanse us. Not only that, the Lord will give us His victory through the Blood. We overcome by the Blood of the Lamb. It is not only that we can ask for forgiveness, but then we can go in the strength of the Lord. When you have a cleansed heart, it is the dwelling for the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Then you are the light of world, because the fruit of the Spirit is love, peace, and kindness and goodness and self-control. It is the Holy Spirit that makes you the light of the world. (She puts the 2nd battery in and tries to turn on the flashlight, but it still doesn’t work. The audience laughs) But I see He doesn’t do it. I fear that I have left a few “decent” sins…a few very little rags. Yes, I found some…no, it isn’t a rag. That’s money! Bermuda dollar. There is nothing wrong with a dollar. This is not a sin, it was only in the wrong place. It has to be in my purse. It is possible that there is no sin in your heart, but you are not full of the Holy Spirit because there is money in your heart. And there are very able people here who can help you with that money. So just come to us. (Laughter breaks out again)
Isn’t it a joy that the Holy Spirit makes the light of the world? Now I have spoken about being right with God, but now- be right with man. There is a problem. I could not forgive… It was sometime ago that I was in Berlin and a man came to me and said, “Miss ten Boom, I am glad to see you. Don’t you know me?” Suddenly I saw…that man…he was one of the most cruel guards, officers in the concentration camp. And that man said, “I am now a Christian. I have found the Lord Jesus. I read my Bible and I know that there is forgiveness for all the sins of the whole world…also for my sins. I have forgiveness for the cruelties I have done. But then I have asked God’s grace for an opportunity that I could ask one of my very victims for forgiveness. Fraulien ten Boom…will you forgive me?”
And I could not…I remembered the suffering of my dying sister through him. But when I saw that I could not forgive, suddenly I knew – I myself have no forgiveness! Do you know that Jesus has said that? “When you do not forgive those who have sinned against you, my heavenly Father will not forgive you your sins.” I knew I wasn’t ready for Jesus coming because I have no forgiveness for my sins. But I was not able…I could not! I could only hate him! But then I took one of these beautiful texts (from the Bible), one of these boundless resources…Romans 5:5 “The love of God is shed abroad into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who is given to us.” And I said, “Thank you, Jesus, that You have brought love into my heart God’s love, through the Holy Spirit which is given to me. And thank you Father, that Your love is stronger than my hatred and unforgiveness! That same moment, I was free! And I could say, “Brother, give me your hand.” And I shook hands with him. It was as if I felt God’s love stream through my arms. You never touched so (much), the ocean of God’s love, as when you forgive your enemies. Can you forgive? No, I cant either…but He can. And that is the message that the film will bring to the world. It is possible to forgive, when you cash your checks. The promises of the Bible are checks…written on your and my name at the moment we were born into the family of God…signed by Jesus. The bank account of the Bible is not frozen. It is all for you and me. There is an ocean of God’s love, available for you and me. That is why you can be ready for Jesus coming and be clean and blameless in God’s eyes. Ready (and right) with God and man.
I spoke a time ago about this and a woman came to me afterwards. She gave me a key. I asked her what the key was for. She said, “This key is of the house of the woman who has stolen the love of my husband. I had that key, because I hated that woman. I will not tell you what I was planning to do, but this evening…God has given me His love. I can forgive, and love that woman. Here is the key. Will you destroy it?” Wasn’t that a joy? Just imagine…that was a rich experience!
Can you forgive that woman that has stolen the love of your husband? That man who has stolen the love of your wife? You cant…I understand it. But cash Romans 5:5! Take the love of God and you will experience that you will be liberated! You will be free! For forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred! It is the power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness!
Do you understand that when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, and through the Holy Spirit with the love of God, that you are able to suffer persecution, even if it should come in your days? For the love of God still stands, when all else has fallen. That is what I have experienced. I stood at roll call and terrible cruelties were happening in front of me. Suddenly, a sky lark came and started to sing in the sky. All the prisoners looked up and we listened to the bird’s song. When I looked at the bird, I looked at the sky. I thought of Psalms 103 where it is written, “As high as heaven is over the earth, so high is God’s love over all that fear Him. Suddenly, it is as if I woke up to the reality, oh love of God- how deep and how great! Far deeper than mans’ deepest hate. And God sent that sky lark daily for three weeks, exactly during roll call time, to turn away our eyes from the cruelty of man to the ocean of God’s love.
We can see a little, when we stand at the ocean…
It is a rocky shore,
But out there beyond the eye’s horizon,
There’s more, there’s more.
We can only see a little of God’s love,
A few rich samples of His mighty store.
But out there beyond the eye’s horizon,
There’s more, there’s more.
The best is yet to be, but know already…KNOW there is a love of God available for you and me. Then you can be victorious and you can be clean and blameless in God’s sight. You can be a light in your house and your work…a light in this dark world.
I will never forget when we came to the concentration camp, we had to live with 700 in a room. It was built for 200. Suddenly people started to fight. That was a danger. Other people joined…and it became a great fight! We heard swearing and beating and crying! And Betsy said, “Corrie, Corrie let us pray!” Betsy prayed…and prayed…and prayed. It was as if a storm had come down…and was stilled. We didn’t hear any more swearing or crying…it was quiet…and then Betsy said, “Amen.” Do you see the situation? Do you understand that a room with 700 prisoners was in a great danger? For if the guards had found there had been fighting, we should have been punished…all 700…in a cruel way. But there was a starving old woman, Betsy, and she prayed. And so the situation was won, there was victory.
Do you see what you have to do? Do you see what it means to live now, in America? America that is wounded, is suffering, is sinning. You are the children of the light in a world that is sick, sick, dead, ill world. You are called to live…and don’t be afraid. Think of Betsy, and pray. If you don’t know how to pray, go and study…go in training how to pray. Your prayers will be a tremendous help for this world!
I believe…and it says it in the Bible…if there had been 10 righteous people in Sodom, Sodom would not have been destroyed. A few praying people can make this world acceptable for God. Because this world is acceptable through the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit lives in you when you have offered Him a clean dwelling.
I am so glad that it is possible…and we have never had such an opportunity to help people around us. I believe we must understand in what kind of world we live. Your bishop has said, there is no neutral world. The world is not neutral. The world is bad. And it is at this time (we must choose) either satan or Jesus. When you deny Jesus and disobey Him, you are under the power of satan…and satan is working over the world in such a horrible way…you hear about the celebrations of the satan people…who give all to the devil. And also the “decent” sinners, when they do not turn away from their sins, they will be a tool in the hands of the enemy. The Lord has told us, those who are clean will be cleansed…and those who are filthy will be filthier. That is the time where you and I live. It is time to be dead serious with God. He loves you and me! You can come to Him. He will make you ready and strong. He will train you.
I will never forget, I was in Bujumbura, Burundi, Africa…and there was persecution. Yes! I asked a missionary, “Is it true that last year 10, 000 Christians were killed in Africa?”
“Yes”.
“And is it true that 200,000 Christians were killed this year?”
“Yes.”
That is now, and you don’t know that? I came into a town, Bujambura, that had a new government. Several Christians got a paper that said you must be registered at the police station…and during the night (after they registered), they were shot. The next day, other Christians, and the next day more Christians. When I stood in the church that Sunday morning, I saw people that were scared. They were terribly afraid. They would look at each other and wonder, will he be here next week? Will they kill her? Will I still be alive??
I said, “Oh, Lord, give me a message for these people and the Lord gave me 1 Peter 4:12. “Dear friends of mine. I beg you not to be unduly alarmed at the fiery ordeals which come to test your faith, as though this were some abnormal experience. You should be glad, because it means you are called to share Christ’s sufferings. One day, when he shows himself in full splendor to men, you will be filled with the most tremendous joy. If you are reproached for being Christ’s followers it is a great privilege. For you can be sure that God’s spirit of glory is resting upon you.
And there came a joy in that church. The people knew, “it is possible that I have to die very soon.” Do you know what I felt? In my diary I wrote, “It was the feeling,” perhaps you have had it, “where a child of God was dying…and the child of God was ready.” And you lived that Christian and experienced the joy that was in that room, because there was one who went home, in that room, and was happy. That was the feeling I had when I was speaking in that church. I can tell you every word that I said felt heavy with importance. The Holy Spirit gave a spirit of joy. I said, “You have heard that the spirit of glory will rest on you when you have the joy of being killed and suffer for Jesus.
And then, one of them started to sing. I will never forget. The Africans sang in their language and the other people in their language…
There is a land that is fairer than day.
And by faith we can see it afar.
For the Father waits over the way,
To prepare us a dwelling place there.
In the sweet by and by,
We will meet on the beautiful shore.

And they repeated it. When they went home I heard… “In the sweet by and by, We will meet on the beautiful shore.
Last month I met, in Lusan (?), in the great Conference, a woman from Bujumbura. I asked her, “Tell me, how is radio Kodak(?)?” That is the place where I worked. She said, “O Praise the Lord…two years it has been closed, and now it is open 24 hours a day…the gospel going over the radio!”
I asked her, “How are my friends?”
She said, “Your friends…they are all murdered!...all killed.” She saw my face. Then she laid her hand on my shoulder and she smiled, and she said, “Corrie, they are promoted ahead of us.” She saw the reality.
I said, “And you…are you going back to Bujumbura?” She said, “OH, yes! As soon as the conference is over, I am going back!”
“But are you not in danger?”
“Oh, yes…yes.”
But do you see the (Holy) Spirit’s power was resting on her. She had the “train ticket.” And that is what you will have.
We are citizens of heaven. Our outlook goes beyond this world. The best is yet to be. May the God of peace make you holy, through and through. May you be kept in spirit, soul and body in spotless integrity, until the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Is that possible? You? In spotless integrity? I? YES! For He who calls you is utterly faithful. He will finish what He has set out to do. Let’s pray.
Thank you, Lord. Thank you…that we only have to surrender ourselves to you. You will do the job to make us ready. Lord Jesus you are longing to come to us and you will make us ready. Oh Lord, you have spoken to all of us, but I don’t know if all of us have understood. For those who have not understood, Lord keep talking to him…keep talking to her. Lay your hand on their lives and on our lives, so that we may all be ready, Lord Jesus when you come. That we may be ready…in peace with you and man. Teach us to forgive. Show us our riches. Show us your ocean of love…not far away, but available today! Use us as faithful ambassadors of your light, in this dark world. Come soon Lord Jesus, and make everything new. Oh Lord, the restless millions await the coming of the Light that makes all things new.
You also wait,
But men are slow and few.
Have we done all we could?
Have I? Have you?
Lord speak to us. We praise and thank you…when we lay our weak hand in your strong hand…that you will use us. Hallelujah!! Amen.


 2007/4/2 13:34Profile





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