But if any has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow not to me, but in some degree—in order not to say too much—to all of you. Sufficient for such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the majority, so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. For to this end also I wrote, so that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. But one whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes. -2 Corinthians 2:5-11
Our Pastor shared this passage with us the other day, and immediately I knew it was something God was wanting to share with me. As I read it, I could just hear God speaking to me saying "I have this under control. I am testing you to see if you really love me the way you say you do." I think that is a hard statement to hear. Nobody really wants to be tested, especially when they know God will test you at the places you know you struggle with.
As I read over it, I see a challenge to love someone who you know is struggling. Sometimes that struggle with be something that causes you a lot of pain or unrest. God is challenging me to move beyond myself and to choose forgiveness. Not just forgiveness, but forgiveness followed by love. A love that goes beyond just moving past the situation, but rather running into the situation and trying to be an encourager and a support for someone who may not have any true encouragement or support coming from anywhere else.
God forgives us. God shows us love. Satan wants us to hold onto hurts and pain. Satan doesn't want us to forgive. Satan's way brings torment and suffering. God's way bring a peace that will pass all understanding.