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When difficult times come upon us, God is at work in the midst of the struggle and pain as any loving father would, not necessarily punishing his children but “disciplining” us so that we learn and grow. Yes, sometimes we need to be chastised. Other times we just need to be shaped and molded and directed. The presence of pain does not necessarily indicate the presence of sin. Certainly, the book of Job has removed that disgusting notion from the thinking of any responsible Christian.
Forgiveness is the grace to start over. We are sinners and the consequences of our sinning spread like blood in the water. Inevitably we experience its painful effects in our relationships. Whenever we hurt someone else we try to rationalize our actions and make excuses for what happened. When others hurt us we want revenge and if we give in to that desire for revenge a vicious cycle of violence develops.
To continue the imagery of the gate, the latch on the gate keeps it shut. Pull as hard as we wish, we can't open the gate. But as we'll see, God is willing to reach down and unlatch the gate for us, so we can walk through. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."