Daily Readings

Read (from the New Living Translation)

Psalm 139:2

2You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.

Go Deep

Betty Rock from The Wally Show was healing from anxiety and depression. It turns out, that process had a lot more to do with forgiveness than you might expect…

Read (from the New Living Translation)

1 John 1:9

9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Psalm 32:1

1Oh, what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sin is put out of sight!

Go Deep

We know forgiving others important… but what about you? Do you believe you’re forgiven of your faults? Let the lyrics of Crowder’s song “Forgiven” sink in today.

We asked him what inspired the song from his own life and he said this: “I’ve been married for 20 years. One of the best things about marriage is it’s like the best mirror you’ll ever see yourself in because you’ll see all your faults. Then at the same time, it’s the best version of God in real live flesh because they see you too with all your faults. And to be loved and accepted in spite of your faults that are known – ah, it’s amazing! I have experienced it so often in real life.

I hope that someone can hear simple melody and a few words strung together and the story of God attached to it and understand and know what I have felt in real life and been rescued… I know what forgiveness is because I’ve felt it in real life. And this song to me has a ton of that real life in it.”

Read (from the New Living Translation)

Genesis 33:3-4

3 Then Jacob went on ahead. As he approached his brother, he bowed to the ground seven times before him. 4 Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept.

Go Deep

Bekah from The Wally Show relates all-too-well with the idea of “holding a grudge.” She has a delightful way of explaining how she stays inspired to let go of anger and run toward forgiveness.

Last week, I said something that hurt my husband. I had chosen my words poorly, yet carefully, and I knew that the second those words left my mouth, they had landed hard.

Immediately, I begin apologizing. “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean it! I’m tired! I don’t know what I was thinking! Please forgive me!”

And just as immediately, he responds, “That was too far. But I know you didn’t mean it. Of course, I forgive you.”

And that was that. I thought he’d be upset about it for days, but within seconds, he had moved on to the next topic.

Boom. Forgiven. Done.

Yes, I’m married to a saint. No, I have nothing in common with him when it comes to forgiveness. In fact, I hold grudges like it’s an Olympic sport. I can tell you the name and birthplace of every bully I had in school. I can give you a play-by-play of any given argument from 10 years ago.

I’m not good at forgiveness, even if it’s just a small thing. I let it fester and become a monster of an issue, even though I expect instant forgiveness when I wrong someone else.

Jacob and Esau were brothers who knew a thing or two about grudges. Their entire relationship was a grudge. It started with each brother being loved more by different parents, and it escalated when Jacob stole everything from Esau and Esau threatened to kill him. (Genesis 25, 27, 32-33)

Years later, it all comes to a head when Jacob hears that Esau is coming for him. This is it. It’s payback time for little brother. Before the confrontation, Jacob tries to bribe Esau by sending gift after gift after gift in the hopes that Esau will spare his life.

Yet after all this wrong, Esau runs to his brother and greets him in a sign of forgiveness, instead of with death.

In a relationship riddled with drama and grudges, it took one person looking beyond himself to extend that forgiveness. Esau had every right to hold a grudge against Jacob….forever. But he chose not to. It may have taken him 20 years to get to that place, and it doesn’t mean their relationship was sunshine and rainbows from that point forward, but they made peace.

So often, I get a feeling of entitlement with my grudges—that I deserve to feel resentment and bitterness toward the person that wronged me.

But I’ve been on the receiving end of someone looking beyond their own pride and choosing to forgive me. As we’re discussing this entire series, it’s freeing for both the one receiving forgiveness and the one offering it.

It’s almost painful to think of all the freedom I’ve missed out on because of my long list of grudges. So I’m working hard to drop some of my baggage and learning to forgive as quickly as my husband does… before my grudge list gets out of control.

Read (from the New Living Translation)

Colossians 3:13

13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

Go Deep

Forgiveness isn’t fair. So, how is it possible?

Mike Donehey from Tenth Avenue North explains this perfectly in today’s video. He tells the story of asking his dad, “How did you forgive your alcoholic father?” The answer flips forgiveness on it’s head and had Mike FLOORED.

 

Read (from the New Living Translation)

Matthew 6:14

If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.

Go Deep

Is forgiveness a one-time thing? Joy from The Carlos & Joy Show shares how she’s learning to answer this question.

Choosing to forgive someone is not just a pivotal moment, but the beginning of a process.

I wish someone would have told me that a long time ago!

It has always been hard for me to forgive. I can blame it on my overactive emotional memory. I can recall a single moment from years ago and remember how someone made me feel. That is a beautiful gift if the exchange was wonderful, but a curse if it was painful. Maybe you are like me that you can almost relive the moment when someone really truly hurt you in your mind and play back every detail.

Even after I decide to forgive, I am still hurt. I am still angry.

I have read in Matthew 6:14 “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Powerful words that remind me how important it is to forgive. But as much as I have searched and scrounged through scripture, I have never found a verse saying it’s a magic trick to a transformed heart.

When my roommate up and left me all alone in an apartment I couldn’t afford…

When the guy I thought was “the one” broke my heart and left me in tears…

When my friend broke a promise that was really important to me…

I was angry and knew I needed to forgive them. Even though none of them came to me and asked for forgiveness, I knew I couldn’t be free of my own hurt and anger until I learned to first forgive.

Now, I am no master forgiver because some of my hurts took many months of counseling and seeking help to learn to let go of and forgive. But what I discovered over and over was releasing the anger and bitterness towards my offender to God did not immediately take away all the hurt.

I was always surprised to find the emotions would come back when I least expected it and I would have to forgive the person ALL OVER AGAIN!

I felt like I must be doing it wrong until I remembered this scripture, Matthew 18:21-22, “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.”

I don’t think God just shared that with us to help us keep a better count of how many times people offend us, but because he knows our spirits will need to forgive people over and over. It’s a process but I think that’s the point. Forgiveness is yet another thing that I cannot do on my own, but it is suppose to teach me to rely more on God. Repeatedly giving God my hurt and anger and asking him to help my heart forgive draws me closer to him and reminds me that forgiveness is not something I can rock at on my own.

It doesn’t matter how many times I need to forgive someone as long as I keep doing it. Each time I have brought a situation back to God and realized that I need to posture my heart in a place of forgiveness yet again, God is so good to work away at my hurt until it slowly lessens and eventually heals.

Read (from the New Living Translation)

Matthew 18:21-22

21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone[a] who sins against me? Seven times?”

22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven![b]

Go Deep

What do you do when you know you’re not in the wrong? Do you have to forgive then? That’s tough! 

This happened to Wally from The Wally Show after a huge disagreement with his brother-in-law. He discovered that bitterness changes more than just yourself or the person who wronged you…

Read (from the New Living Translation)

Luke 7:44-48

44Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.

47I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” 48 Then Jesus said to the woman, Your sins are forgiven.

Go Deep

We’re jumping right in! Darren from We Are Messengers starts off with a POWERFUL story showing us exactly what forgiveness looks like.

If God told you to confess everything wrong you’ve ever done to your spouse… would you do it? That’s what happened to Darren after he started following Jesus. His wife’s response… let’s just say it radically changed his view of faith and forgiveness forever.

 

Just before this video released, Darren was in a terrible accident on tour. Everyone in their crew is ok, but their tour bus and many of their belongings were burned in the fire.

It was a rough night. Join us in praying for everyone involved. If you want to help them replace a lot of their equipment so they can continue the tour, check out this link to their You Caring page.

If you’ve ever been hurt. If you’ve ever hurt someone else. If you’ve ever been too hard on yourself. You’re in the right place.

Forgiveness – whether we embrace it or reject it – has a huge impact on our lives. This 15 day study dives into stories from your favorite Christian artists and personalities who have been there. They’ll share how God’s Word has challenged their perspective and transformed their lives through the power of this one word.

Step 1: Fill out the form below.

Join over 30,000 people nationwide who have taken part in the Forgiveness study.

Step 2: Get the daily e-mail devotions.

Inspiring stories and passages from Scripture will be sent right to your inbox every weekday morning for the 15 day study. You’ll get the first e-mail the day you sign up! 

Step 3: Respond.

As you grow, you’ll have the opportunity to respond to each day’s reading or share with friends who may need the message, too.


Beyond Suffering Graphic

If you’re going through one of the darkest or most confusing times in your life – or walking alongside someone else who is – this study is for you.

The World’s Biggest Small Group is wrestling with suffering we don’t understand and how it intersects with God’s Word. You’ll hear stories from WAY-FM artists and DJs who have gone through hard times or walked with loved ones through suffering, but have seen hope in the midst of it.

You can easily be a part of this!

Step 1: Fill out the form below.

Join over 43,000 people nationwide who have taken part in this study.

Step 2: Get the daily e-mail devotions.

Inspiring stories and passages from Scripture will be sent right to your inbox each morning for 25 days. You’ll get the first e-mail the day you sign up!

Step 3: Respond.

As you grow, you’ll have the opportunity to respond to each day’s reading or share with friends who may need the message, too.


You love the music and we know how powerful it has been in our own lives. So, we’re leaving you with songs that the Lord has used in middle of our own circumstances.

Put them on repeat. Think on these lyrics. Keep them in your playlist for when you have bad days. We hope they remind you you’re not alone, God can work good from your circumstance, and that staying close to God can make all the difference when you’re going through suffering.

Wally

Wally_WBSGbio“Even If” by Kutless

For me, this is one of the best songs to hang onto in the tough times. It is hard when you know in your heart God can heal someone you love physically or emotionally, but for one reason or another that doesn’t happen. My faith forever changed when I stopped letting my circumstances determine my view of God. I learned to believe that God is good even when everything around me might be screaming otherwise. I love the chorus of this song because it is a great reminder:

Even if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart,
And dreams are still undone,
YOU are God. YOU are good!”

 

Zach

WBSGbio_Zach

“Not for a Moment” by Meredith Andrews

We found out with 20 weeks left in our first pregnancy that our son wouldn’t live for more than a few hours after birth. During those agonizing 4 months, I listened to this song and watched the video hundreds of times. I couldn’t speak the words of the chorus with my own mouth during that time, but somehow I knew they were true.

After all You are constant
After all You are only good
After all You are sovereign
Not for a moment will You forsake me

 

“Worn” by Tenth Avenue North

This song gave me permission to admit that I was tired and worn. In the middle of our storm, we had no hope of redemption winning or the struggle ending. Listening to this song was a way for us to plead for that. And a reminder that it was ok to admit we were at the end of our own strength.

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart that’s frail and torn
I want to know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
‘Cause I’m worn

 

Joy

WBSGbio_Joy“King of the world” by Natalie Grant

This song reminds me in the midst of my stressful life that I don’t have to handle it all alone. God can handle the entire world, so he can handle my issues today.

 

 

 

“Gold” by Britt Nicole

Since I deal with insecurity often, this song is a constant reminder of how God sees me. I’m encouraged to know my worth is so much greater than what I can imagine.

 

 

Bekah

WBSGbio_Bekah“Eye of the Storm” by Ryan Stevenson

This was the song I’d put on every day on the way back from the hospital while my husband was sick. I would play it, cry, and then sing it until I believed it. I couldn’t wrap my brain around the storm I was in and I definitely couldn’t get out of it. But I could find peace in the midst of it in Him.

 

“Sparrows” by Jason Gray

The line, “If He can hold the world, He can hold this moment” runs through my head a lot. Sometimes, suffering might feel ongoing, but it packs an especially painful punch in certain moments. I need that reminder that God is still holding those moments.

 

Betty

WBSGbio_Betty“No Longer Slaves” by Bethel

“My fears were drowned in perfect love” tells me that if I feel fear, I’m not fully trusting in God’s love for me. It reminds me to go back and remind myself of the truth of how much I matter to God.

“I am a child of God” reminds me to look around at the great examples of parenting I see demonstrated through my friends with their kids, my parents, or even strangers. 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love. He invented it. He loves us as His own children and we can see a glimmer of that by taking notice of the examples around us.