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Encountering Life's Issues - Is there a God? Is God real?
OpenHeaven.com Forum : Encountering Life's Issues - Is there a God? Is God real?
Subject Topic: The Poison of Unforgiveness - Robert Ricciardelli Post Reply Post New Topic
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Posted: 04/23/2006 at 2:36pm | IP Logged Quote Ron McGatlin

The Poison of Unforgiveness
by Robert Ricciardelli
www.vision2advance.com

"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:31-32)


Bitterness, wrath, and anger are the fruits of unforgiveness. Unforgiveness is like a poison that begins on the inside and like cancer, spreads and consumes an individual’s life. They are only one step away from healing, but for some that is one step that is difficult to take. I have a friend who is going through tremendous difficulty in his marriage. His wife wants out of the marriage. She is one of the most amazing and gifted woman you would ever want to meet and they have 3 beautiful children. But she has an illness and the illness is killing her, killing her marriage and withholding the beauty that she has deep inside. The illness is called unforgiveness and yet it is curable by the choice of forgiveness.

Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hope that the offender will get sick from it. The reality is it is making you sick and begins a slow death to those who will not release it. When explaining to my friends wife about the need for her to forgive, her response was, “I cannot and do not know how, and therefore incapable of doing so.” “I keep score and the total score has reached my limit, and so I am moving on.” It is a sad thing to keep score and not forgive others that may have willingly, or in many cases, unwillingly hurt or offended you. The Word is very clear about forgiveness, or the lack of forgiveness….

Matthew 6:14-15 
14"If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

John 20:22-23 

22Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. "Receive the Holy Spirit," he said. 23"If you forgive someone's sins, they're gone for good. If you don't forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?"

Colossians 3:12-14 

12Since God chose you to be the people whom he loves; you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony.

Hardened hearts grow cold

When unforgiveness has had time to take root, it begins to grow into bitterness and hatred, to the point that even love that had once warmed the heart, has become cold and distant. Words that were once tender and loving now have become filled with negativity & curses. This poison can affect believers and non believers alike. We need to realize that our own insensitivity or choice to not forgive can keep the healing work of the Holy Spirit from impacting our lives. We need to realize that the license we've given ourselves to judge others can weaken us all.

The Cure

There is only one cure for unforgiveness and the cure is to forgive. For those who are Christians it is commanded of us, for those that are not followers of Jesus Christ, it is highly recommended.  Many ask the question, “What if I do not feel like it?” The Word does not ask us to feel like it, the Word asks us to make a choice to do it. Many times you will not feel like forgiveness can happen until you make the choice in obedience to forgive.

Many unknowingly hold on to their pain from the past. They have chosen to forget rather than to forgive, and there is a difference. Forgetting does not take the poison away, forgiving does. You can forgive and not forget, and that is okay, as long as forgiveness remains. We are a people called and led of the Holy Spirit to remove any obstacles in the way of obedience and intimacy with the Lord. Unforgiveness is a huge obstacle that keeps us from obedience and intimacy with the Lord.

The strength is within us

The power of the Holy Spirit within every sensitive and seeking heart in Christ will reveal the need, and empower us to forgive.

1John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We must first of all repent for not responding to forgiveness of those who have hurt us. We must repent for harboring ill thoughts and actions that have taken root in our lives from unforgiveness. We must release the person and the pain to Jesus Christ, the Burden Bearer, who continuously desires to carry what we must not.

I urge you to regain the tender heart you once had. Remove the callousness within you by repentance & forgiveness, by a commitment to live the law of love, by a renewed devotion to the Word, and by fellowship with your Father.

Don't allow the condition of your heart to hold back the Spirit of God. Become sensitive again! Do the things necessary in obedience to His Word that release your heart for the Kingdom.

 

Do you need help dealing with painful unforgiveness?

Life's Issues prayer counselors or available to help you send an email to: Larry Silverman nhministry@yahoo.com  or post a reply to this message.

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Edited by Ron McGatlin on 06/29/2006 at 7:39pm
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Posted: 04/26/2006 at 10:13am | IP Logged Quote Pam Bentz

 

 I am new to this forum. A friend sent me the link ... Hi Larry!

Anyway, I agree with what you have said about forgiving. I recently did a talk at a woman's group about this very subject. I thought, "everyone knows we have to forgive to be forgiven". That is so true but forgiveness is also important in many ways to us... like the Bible says that when we stand praying if we have anything against anyone we are to go to them and forgive them first. How many times I personally read that verse and the forgiveness part seemed to slip by without my noticing it.

Then there is the part about forgiving someone 70 X 7 each day... you know that means if 21 people ask for your forgiveness a day ... each one of them should be forgiven 70 X 7... When I brought that up in the Ladies Meeting boy did I get a lot of feedback. Most said that is impossible! They are right! That is why we need to "walk in forgiveness" Personally I feel that sometimes we need to purpose (will) to forgive and keep asking God to help us in that area.  

Only then will we be free from the chains that unforgiveness brings. 

Your right unforgiveness is poison!

 

 



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Posted: 04/27/2006 at 8:49am | IP Logged Quote Ron McGatlin

Hello Pam Bentz,

Welcome to the OH forums and thanks for your insightful and helpful comments. We hope to hear a lot more from you.

Keep on Pursuing  Love,
It Will Never Fail,

Lots of Love,

Ron McGatlin

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Posted: 06/26/2006 at 10:04am | IP Logged Quote Moderator

Remaining Vertical With God
by Os Hillman, June 26, 2006

When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly. - 1 Peter 2:23

Have you ever been wrongfully accused? Oh, the need to defend and justify becomes so great. "What will people think if they believe these things are true?" we reason. Imagine what Jesus thought as they hurled insults and threats upon Him. The God of the universe had visited planet earth only to be slandered and accused of blasphemy.

Jesus could have done two things in response. He could have used His power to put the people in their place. He could have responded "horizontally." He could have fixed the problem right then. However, He chose to respond in a different way. He chose to "entrust Himself to Him who judges justly." It requires great faith to entrust ourselves to God in the midst of personal assault. However, if we can do this, we will discover a level of grace and wisdom that will be birthed from this experience that we never thought possible. We will discover a freedom in God we never knew before. Whenever we suffer for righteousness without seeking to protect our reputation and rights, we are placing our total faith in the one who can redeem us. This activates God's grace in our lives and enables us to experience God's presence like never before.

Ask God to give you the grace to stay vertical with Him. Avoid the temptation of responding horizontally each time some event comes into your life that you want to "fix." Entrust yourself to the one who judges justly. It may be a divine appointment for your growth to another level in grace.

Life's Issues prayer counselors or available to help you send an email to: Larry Silverman nhministry@yahoo.com  or post a reply to this message.

Or you can contact us by email here: http://www.openheaven.com/contact/


 



Edited by Moderator on 06/08/2007 at 12:23pm
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Posted: 06/29/2006 at 9:57am | IP Logged Quote Guests

Ron, thank you for shareing this, I agree , unforgiveness is a poison...we only end up hurting ourselves more in the long run...

I had a great grandmother who was a very angry and bitter person, noone could stand to be around her because she was so bitter..she had a rough life and a husband that beat her for many years, even after leaveing him she was very angry and only became more bitter everyday. I could not have a relationship with her..and she said many hurtful things to me...I relized later on that she was only hurting and hurting people always hurt other people...but she came down with breast cancer somewhere in her 70's to early 80's and by the time she was 91 yrs. old, she became very sick and was put into a Nursing Home, she could not understand why God had kept her going like this for so long, she just wanted to die. she was at the point she was in diapers and could not change herself, she had a friend call her one night and my grandmother asked the friend, why wont God just take me....The friend told her that if she would just let go of the past and simply forgive, that He would take her home....they prayed together on the phone that night....and that night God took her peacefully in her sleep...it is sad to see that she spent her whole life being angry and bitter simply because she would not forgive...and it was'nt till she was on her death bed, that she finally gave it up...at 91 yrs. old......a perfect example of why it is so important to forgive.. this was a sad yet very good lesson for me....I too had alot of unforgiveness in my heart...towards her and many other people in my life. I too was a very angry and bitter person, I almost ruined my marriage and even took my own life....I chose to forgive not because I wanted to, but because I did not want to spend my whole life like my grandmother being angry at the world around me, I did not want to be on my death bed, when I finally gave it all up....I refuse to hold on to any unforgiveness.....Jesus forgave me..and Ive done alot of stupid things not to mention made many mistakes...if He can forgive me, I have to forgive those who have hurt me...

I once heard a saying that goes...the problem is not what people do to us...the problem is how we deal or respond to the people who have hurt us....

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Posted: 09/16/2006 at 2:07pm | IP Logged Quote Guests

Anger and Unforgiveness.
Written By Heather Butler
Revivalist/End Time Psalmist
Hidden Treasures Ministries International.
 
 
This song was written as a word from the Lord into our lives.
 
It was written as if the lord is speaking to us personally. I believe that many Christians are stuck in the Barren Land because the sin of Anger and Unforgiveness has penetrated their lives and hidden the identity of Christ within them.
 
 A separation of wills has taken place, and promises once made over our lives are not stepped into because the doors are closed before us until we use the key of forgiveness to unlock those dark deep places within our souls, and allow the love of Christ to enter in and minister to us. Then and only then can we be healed of this fatal wound.


You've turned your head you've walked away no more to do, know more to say to me,
I heard the thoughts run through your mind,
your bitterness your hurt your pain your sobs and anger all in vain my child,
sin crept in it was not me,
sin got hold and took control and threw its roots down deep, so deep they bound you and life was not the same,
you have to give this sin to me let go my child Ill set you free
dont walk, dont you walk away from me.

If left unchecked your lifes a mess the seeds of hatred take all that you are,
destroy your mind your soul your heart
its eats away the love inside, and sin my child you just cant hide from me
wont you turn Ill set you free
stubborn child precious to me, I know your ways, I know just where you've been
but revenge is not the way
use my love a soothing balm, it covers sin and releases calm, my way
always my way
turn away, turn away turn away from sin, unforgiveness with in,
you've gatta turn away turn away from sin.

Written by Heather.


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Posted: 11/21/2006 at 4:52am | IP Logged Quote Moderator

Finding Forgiveness in the Depths of Sorrow
 
"Two days after we discovered our daughter had been murdered, in answer to a reporter who asked 'What about the offender?' Cliff and I answered, 'We will forgive.'"
by Wilma Derksen

"We will forgive you" was the first response of the Amish in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania after a gunman killed five of their children and injured five others before taking his life October 2, 2006. The act of killing five innocent children is unbelievable, but apparently so is the response of the Amish. To forgive so quickly after the violent act seems so flippant, almost like paying lip service to something impossible.
Wilma Derksen-Mennonite
 
And yet, 22 years ago, that's exactly what my husband Cliff and I did. Two days after we discovered our daughter had been murdered, in answer to a reporter who asked "what about the offender?" Cliff and I answered, "We will forgive." And I believe we chose those words with complete sincerity.
I've been asked many times since why we did that. The question, as I understand it, isn't about the merit of forgiveness—a universally accepted concept of "letting go of bitterness and resentment" that is widely understood and included in most world religions. The question is why was our response as Mennonites so instinctive, almost a knee jerk reaction to murder?
 
I can't speak for the Amish and I certainly can't speak for the more diverse, and acculturated Mennonites. But I can try to answer the question for myself, as a first generation Canadian of a Mennonite family who 22 years ago, still so young and still deeply entrenched in the Mennonite traditional, thought that the first response to murder should be to forgive.
At the time I probably would have answered that it was because forgiveness is taught in the Bible. But in hindsight, I know it's more than that. There are many sincere, Bible-believing Christians who would not choose forgiveness as an immediate response, but rather as a conclusion to a long process of healing. I believe that the answer to the question, lies in our history, our story of origin.
 
Mennonites were a people born in a violent time. As nonconformists in the 16th Century, our founding fathers chose to defy the powerful Catholic church and subsequently 800 of a fairly small group of people were martyred, or in today's terms, murdered for their faith. For various reasons, this violence continued to target Mennonites over the next four centuries as they developed into a distinctive people hood moving from one country to another. These stories of violence are not that far removed. I remember my own grandmother crying for her sister who was murdered in the Russian revolution.
 
As a people they must have learned very early that murder, like an earthquake, has an aftershock that can be as catastrophic in nature as the first act of violence. These days we would recognize that aftershock as a kind of post crime syndrome or the better known, post traumatic stress disorder, an insidious emotional condition that has the ability to rob people of their souls and turn them into the living dead.
… not fighting back somehow allowed them to survive in a very hostile environment …
I think the Mennonites encountered this aftershock back in the 1600's and simply adapted to their environment. Being a very small group of people, underdogs really, they were forced to flee, escape, and let go. Since they didn't have the capacity to fight back or the resources to build a fortress, I think that those who survived learned that "letting go" was a good counter-intuitive, coping skill and that not fighting back somehow allowed them to survive in a very hostile environment and get on with life, even flourish. This experience would have underlined their understanding of the Bible that whether one is taking a stand or sacrificing one's rights, the attitude of letting go of malice is the first step in resolving conflict and finding peace. Whether the Mennonites have achieved this all the time is another interesting part of our history.
 
They also must have learned that it needed to be done quickly. When the aftershock of an earthquake develops into a tsunami there isn't much time to deliberate so they developed an emergency response, a reflex action to violence. This response eventually became a teaching passed down through the generations, which would explain why both my husband and I were innately familiar with the aftershock when our daughter was murdered, anticipated it, and instinctively felt the need to climb onto higher ground to prepare for it. But even as we chose forgiveness we were under no illusions that journey was over.
 
For the Mennonites, forgiveness is a powerful concept not to be handled lightly. Constantly under attack, they developed a strong sense of communal living with church at the very center. In this context they worked out a theology and practice around forgiveness that was exercised not only in violent crimes but in the day to day administration of justice in their communities. This was accompanied by a highly disciplined life style based on a philosophy of hard work, simple living, honesty and humility. The Mennonite reflex to forgive needs to be understood in this context, that it is not a stand alone, one time act, but a state of being, an attitude of patience, generosity and love needed to continue to work out justice. Most important was to continue to live without succumbing to bitterness and hatred.
Our statement of forgiveness served almost as a mission statement throughout the grieving process.
 
For Cliff and I there were some very real disadvantages in coming out with a statement about wanting to forgive so early in our grief, mainly the misunderstandings around our stance. Some folks feared that we were forgiving too early and that we might stifle the natural process of grief. Others thought that we were making a judgment on anyone who expressed anger or that we were being dismissive of any justice-making processes. Still others assumed that our response was made out of weakness, that it was less than sincere, that we were definitely in denial. Some even accused us of not loving our daughter enough to demand justice.
But there were also many advantages. Our statement of forgiveness served almost as a mission statement throughout the grieving process. It gave us a destination. It informed those who wanted to support us of where we intended to go and became a rallying point for those who were struggling with the same issues. It helped us to re-engage in life quickly at a time when we didn't have much time to lose. We had two other small children who needed our attention and love; we didn't have time or energy for hate. It also allowed us to move the aftershock of violence from the woundedness of our hearts to the saner and safer places in our mind, which are more capable of understanding the complexities of the issues.
 
But, even as I write this, I know that after 22 years into the journey, it still isn't over. So for us, as a family, we will continue to resonate with the Amish statement, "we will forgive you."
Wilma L. Derksen is director of Victims' Voice, a program of Mennonite Central Committee Canada, and author of Have You Seen Candace? and Confronting the Horror—the Aftermath of Violence. She and her husband Cliff attend The Meeting Place, Winnipeg.
Originally published on the website of the Mennonite Central Committee, October 20, 2006.Used with permission. Copyright © 2006 Christianity.ca.
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Posted: 11/21/2006 at 4:53am | IP Logged Quote Moderator

Leave Behind The Former Things

Leave behind the former things. Leave behind you all that weighs
heavily upon you. Do not continue to pick up burdens that you are to no longer
carry. I have dealt with you on this before, but you continue to look
back, and you want to reach out to pick up those things. Let go, and
move on. I have given you the freedom and the liberty. I have brought
you through the valleys and have set you upon My Holy Mountain. You
cannot go back, and you cannot re-dig that which was laid to rest. It
is time to press forwards, deeper into Me.

There is no life in the past. For all is passing away, even as you step
forwards with Me, the distance increases and the old pain has been
totally removed. What I have cleansed, cannot be re-infected again. Do
not allow old leaven to return to you, but realign your thinking now,
and be free to pursue the future with Me.

Give Me all of your reservations, your hesitations, and your
frustrations. Let’s get to the root, and them and then I can finally
remove all of the old fruit. Every seed that you allow to sprout in
your thinking from the enemy, will only bring trial and confusion in your
thinking. Renew your Mind in Me, and take every though captive. No
more, will you be wavering, but you are quickly come to full stature in Me.
It is time for your full maturity and your rock solidness in Me, to be
seen.

The mature have fully left the former ways, the former measures, and
the former passions, and have passed through the Valley of Afflictions and
now are emerging on top of  the Mount of the Most High. It is here that
We will walk, and abide. Side by side, upon My Mount, where My Angels
and My men abide, and that both will come and go, to fulfill My Will in
the earth.

Gird up your loins, and set your mind for action. Prepare yourself to
move, and to be moved. All is in readiness and has already begun.

The signs in the heavens and the signs in the earth have only just
begun to warn men, and to awaken them. The greater signs will now begin, and
yet, still what will become of the hearts of men?

It is up to them.

-Susan Cummings

Do you need help dealing with painful unforgiveness?

Life's Issues prayer counselors or available to help you send an email to: Larry Silverman nhministry@yahoo.com  or post a reply to this message.

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Edited by Moderator on 11/21/2006 at 4:54am
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Posted: 11/27/2006 at 12:54pm | IP Logged Quote Wendy Logan

he hurt and pain I carry within me
Why do I still carry it if he came to set the captives free
The child within has much guilt and shame
And I know it shouldn’t be because of the power of his name.
He wants me to give it all to Him
I have to let go of the pain within
He wants to give me life abundantly
But I still carry a burden deep within me

The burden of learning to forgive
and let go of the pain and begin to live
In keeping the hurts I hold myself back
I need to remember its only an attack
The enemy has come to steal, kill, and destroy
I am not his, I am not his toy

I am who my father says that I am
I am loved by the most precious lamb.
It is a healing process that I must go through.
Its not that easy but for you Lord, I will do
I give you the pain, I cant keep anymore
My heart is still hurting and yes even sore
Lord please come and wash it away
I refuse to carry it after this day.

Take the weeds that have been planted in my soul. Take it from the root so that I can be whole
More of you and less of me
Help me to love them like you do
The ones who hurt me and hurt you too
Take the anger and fill it with love
Make me gentle and peaceful as a dove

Take the stony heart that I see
Every time I look at me
I want to see myself as you do
I want to live my life through you

Lord I cant do this on my own because the pain is too great
Teach me to love again and not hate
Show me how to forgive others as you forgave me
Because I cant allow unforgiveness to determine my eternity
You’re the greatest example that I am to follow
In this unforgiveness I refuse to wallow
You Lord, were bruised my transgressions
Now I have no excuse to keep the aggression

I break the chains that have held me down
I open my eyes your omnipresent, your always around
Now I live my life that’s free
Because of who You are in me
You have given me the victory.

Beauty for ashes, joy for my pain
You give me joy for my mourning
I give you praise for what you’ve done
I thank you Lord you are the One

You give new life to those who are lost
And you did it despite the cost.
Now I have a great testimony
Your love is to thick, it feels like honey

I can share with others what you have done for me. Thank you Jesus for setting me FREE!


      
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Posted: 01/08/2007 at 2:43pm | IP Logged Quote Moderator

Blessing Those Who Curse You


by Os Hillman,

..."Leave him alone; let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. It may be that the Lord will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today." - 2 Samuel 16:11-12

As David's enemies were increasing and he was fleeing the city from his son who was seeking to take his throne, a man named Shimei began heaving rocks and cursing him as he passed by. Cursing the king was against the law, so David had every right to cut off the man's head-as his generals were encouraging him to do. Here we see the difference between Saul and David in their response to those who would seek to do them harm. This is the defining difference between a leader who seeks to lead through a vertical dimension with God versus a horizontal fix-it mode. God knew David as a man after His own heart. Yet, David was a murderer, adulterer, and had failed in many areas of his life. But one thing separated this leader from all the rest: He had a heart that sought to please God and be in His will. When David blew it, he repented.

What is the purpose God desires to accomplish with the estranged relationship you may have with someone? Has He brought this affront to find out what is in your heart today? Will you seek revenge and solve the problem yourself? Or will you find the grace to allow God to carry out vengeance in His time if it is needed? When I learned this lesson to stay vertical with God and avoid the trap of fixing things in my own energies, it was a day of freedom. No longer was it my problem. We must examine our own heart in these matters. But if we are clean, then this affront is for character building. It is the only way God builds the deepest level of character in His saints. A.W. Tozer tells us, "It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply." God actually rises up storms of conflict in relationships at times in order to accomplish that deeper work in our character. We cannot love our enemies in our own strength. This is graduate-level grace. Are you willing to enter this school? Are you willing to take the test? If you pass, you can expect to be elevated to a new level in the Kingdom. For He brings us through these tests as preparation for greater use in the Kingdom. You must pass the test first.

Do you need help dealing with painful unforgiveness?

Life's Issues prayer counselors or available to help you send an email to: Larry Silverman nhministry@yahoo.com  or post a reply to this message.

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Don't miss this video: Click Here

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Move On!


by Os Hillman,

..."Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the Israelites to move on." - Exodus 14:15

Moses had brought the whole nation of Israel, approximately 600,000, to a dead end in the desert. The only thing between Israel and Pharaoh's pursuing army was the Red Sea. This was after nine plagues God had inflicted on Pharaoh to motivate him to free the Israelites. Finally, Pharaoh had freed Moses and the people, and they left Egypt. They thought they were home free. "Freedom at last," they said. But God did a strange thing. He directed Moses to take a route that led to the Red Sea, instead of the northern route around the Red Sea. God explained that He didn't want them fighting the enemies they would have encountered on this route. But still, there was the issue of the Red Sea.

They finally arrived at the Red Sea, and the people were wondering where they would go from there. News hit the camp: Pharaoh had changed his mind. He was coming after them with his army. Panic set in. The defenseless Israelites cried out, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?...It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!" (Ex. 14:11b-12)

God sometimes brings each of us to a "Red Sea" in our life. It may be a work problem that can't be solved. It may be a marriage that seems to be failing. It may be a debilitating disease. Whatever your Red Sea, God tells us one thing: "Keep moving." The Red Sea was before them, yet God was angered at Moses and told him to "Keep moving."

"But Lord, the Red Sea is before me." "Keep moving." When we live by sight, we act on what we see. God sets this stage in dramatic fashion. God is into the dramatic. There is no way out without God here. That is just the way He wants it. No one will get glory except God.

A friend once admonished me when I was in the midst of a marriage separation that eventually led to a divorce, "You must not withdraw from being proactive in your faith just because of this trial that you are in. God's hand is on your life. There are too many who are depending on you to fulfill the purposes God has in your life. Keep moving! Keep investing yourself in others." I didn't feel like it. I was in too much pain. But I did it anyway. God met me at the point of my greatest need once I decided simply to be obedient. Getting past myself by investing myself in others helped heal the pain. There is great healing when we look past our own problems and seek to invest ourselves in others for the sake of Christ. This is when our own Red Seas become parted. We begin to walk to freedom. But we will never experience the miracle of the Red Sea in our lives if we don't first "Keep moving."

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Forgiving Ourselves
by Os Hillman, June 8, 2007
 
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. - 1 John 1:9

The apostle Peter was one of three disciples who walked with Jesus closer than the other nine. He was the most enthusiastic and the one man who was willing to step into territories where others would not dare. He was the first to step out of the boat and walk on water. He wanted to protect Jesus at times when Jesus rebuked him for having a demon influence him. He cut off the ear of the guard who wanted to arrest Jesus in the garden. As Peter matured, the Holy Spirit harnessed his many extreme emotions.

The greatest trial for Peter was when he denied the Lord just before Jesus was crucified. Three times he denied knowing Jesus. Jesus predicted that the cock would crow after the third time just to reinforce the prophecy to Peter. Peter was crushed when he realized he had failed His Lord so badly.

The Lord forgave Peter for his denial. However, gaining forgiveness from Jesus was not the most difficult part for Peter. The hard part was forgiving himself. As we mature in the faith, we begin moving in victory after victory with our Lord. Then out of nowhere, an event happens that reveals our true sin nature, and we are confronted face to face with this reality. We cannot believe that we are capable of such sin. There is no good thing in us save the grace of Jesus Christ and His blood that cleanses us. When God looks at us, He looks at the blood of Christ that has covered our sin. He does not look at our sin once we confess it.

When we have difficulty forgiving ourselves, this is pride at its deepest level. We are making an assumption that we should never have sinned and that we are too mature to sin. This is a trap from the enemy of our souls. People who cannot forgive do not recognize from what they have been forgiven. That includes us.

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FORGIVENESS & BEYOND (#023)

It is a choice, an act of the will, which we can choose over our feelings. Forgiving is a decision. We make the decision to forgive or not to forgive. Making no decision is actually a decision to remain in unforgiveness.

Not only must we forgive every person, but we must also forgive ourselves for anything that we have done to hurt others or ourselves. We must also forgive God for anytime that we feel that He let us down. We also may need to forgive organizations or institutions, as we would a person. The tormentors do not care who or what the unforgiveness is against because any unforgiveness gives them the license to do their deadly, painful work.

Matthew 18: 21-35: Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.  Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, 'Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.'

“Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, 'Pay me what you owe!' So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.'  And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?' And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.  So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

Matthew 6: 9-15: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Mark 11:22-26: So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea', and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

We may not feel like forgiving. On the contrary, our flesh may be screaming for vengeance. In the heat of the situation, everything in us may desire to do great harm to the offender. Our natural, fleshly drive to destroy the offending person is there for our protection in the natural world. If an offender is attempting to rape or murder my child, I will stop at nothing to prevent that from happening. The fatherly rage that would cause me to do great harm to the offender to stop or prevent the attack is natural. The problem develops after the offense is committed and my rage can do nothing to stop or prevent it. That natural desire now becomes a desire to become like God and do His work by taking vengeance on the offender.

Hebrews 10: 30-31: For we know Him Who said, “Vengeance is Mine: I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

God wants to convert the pain of the offense into love--that wonderful, peaceful “love-flow” of God Himself moving upon our heart. The more painful the offense, the sweeter the love will be that results from the act of forgiveness. Personally, I am not sure we can ever really know the overwhelming, pure, sweet love of God apart from experiencing deep pain and the beautiful love that forgiving produces.

The choice is ours. Because Jesus forgave us while we were yet sinners, we have the potential, by His power, to forgive. Are you ready to be set free from the torment of unforgiveness and forgive no matter what? Jesus said, “Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him”. When you are ready to make the decision to forgive, pray something like the following prayer from your heart.

I repent of all unforgiveness in my life. In the name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, as an act of my will, I choose to forgive from my heart anyone and everyone who has ever hurt me or harmed me in any way, in my entire life. I specifically choose to forgive _____________, __________, and _________.

 I release them in Jesus' name. I say it is all right if they never make it right. I hold nothing against them, and, in the name of Jesus, I ask You, Father, to bless them, to meet their needs in all areas of their lives.

Father, I forgive myself for all I have done to hurt or harm myself and others; and, Father, I forgive You for any time I felt that You let me down. I say that You are good, God, and I trust You with my life. Father, I thank You that I am forgiven and that I have forgiven.

In the name of Jesus, I command all powers of darkness, you may never again use any of this unforgiveness to bring torment or stress of any form into my life.

Father, I thank You that I have forgiven and that I am forgiven. Thank You Father, in the name of Jesus.

HEALING THE HEART BEYOND FORGIVING

Painful experiences of our lives are locked into the permanent memory section of our minds. Painful memories, whether conscious or subconscious, have affected our spirit and may have wounded it. These painful memories may also have crushed our will and shattered our emotions. These negative, painful experiences stored in our heart cause us to see and understand life according to our experiences. They serve to control us by affecting our behavior. We are bound into negative patterns by the stored pains of the past. These detrimental patterns must be changed for us to walk in kingdom freedom.

The ministry of Christ Jesus includes healing the brokenhearted. God has provided all that we need in Jesus to heal our wounded spirit and soul. We need only to appropriate the ministry of Jesus to heal our broken heart and to be set free from the bondage of our wounds. When negative experiences stored in our memory are healed, they will no longer cause bitterness to return.

Psalm 25: 17-19: The troubles of my heart have enlarged; Oh, bring me out of my distresses! Look on my affliction and my pain, and forgive all my sins. Consider my enemies, for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.

Psalm 147: 9-3: The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Isaiah 6l: 1-4: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.  And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.”

Luke 4:18-1 9a: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed (bruised), to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Next, the heavy hammer smashes the windshield and windows. The car windows are like our emotions; the blows of stressful experiences shatter them. Finally, the big hammer begins to repeatedly smash into the motor, until that which makes the car go is destroyed; just like the repeated blows of negative wounding experiences crush our will. Our inner man becomes a battered and shattered wreck with no power or motivation to drive down the road of life.

cover our dents and broken parts. We must also defend ourselves against any more painful blows; therefore, we often defend ourselves by attacking others.

Not only can our past wounds cause us to have a poor self-image, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, and lack of motivation, they can also cause unreasonable fear that cripples us. This irrational fear causes us to avoid relationships and life situations that God desires for us. Fear can cause us to act and react in such a way that we may miss entering into some of the good things God desires for us.

We may often think we are reacting to circumstances, but we may actually be reacting from an attitude created by our past hurting memories.

The man screamed out in pain and fear. He began running limping and screaming toward his house. In his haste, he tripped and fell headlong onto the rough driveway, injuring his knees and hands. The mail was scattered and left as the man scrambled to his feet again and continued his hysterical run to his house limping and bleeding.

Well, after many months of not going to the mailbox, there came a time when he really needed to go. He was quite sure the check that he was waiting for was in the box, and he needed to get it in the bank. He had gained confidence as he had observed others safely getting their mail; so, he decided to try it. He carried a gun, a big stick and a mace protection device. And, just in case all else might fail, he wore heavy, tall leather boots and two pairs of heavy pants. (Do some of us ever walk around emotionally “armed and ready” to defend ourselves like this man?)

One day, several months later, as the man was getting his mail, a very friendly, little black puppy came toward the man. The puppy was happily bouncing along, wagging his tail, hoping to make a new friend and maybe get a few loving pats.

This man was not reacting to the reality of the situation, but was reacting from past wounds stored in his memory. Hurting memories caused him to be unable to receive affection from the puppy or to be able to give affection. He hurt the little puppy, and may have planted seeds in the puppy that someday could cause it to bite him, just as he feared. 

THE PROCESS OF HEALING

The ministry of Jesus, by the Holy Spirit, flowing through other people, can bring

unconditional love, acceptance, mercy, grace, and forgiveness are supplied. However, if something other than these attitudes exist within the people involved, more wounding can occur as we begin to let down our defenses and open ourselves to others.

Only healed people can help heal people. Hurting people always hurt people.

For some of us with severe experiences in our past it may be helpful to pray specifically for healing of our wounded hearts. It may also be very helpful to pray with another godly person.

James 5:16: Confess your trespasses (faults) to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed ... 

release the memories to God for healing. Holding on to a negative past can hinder a godly future. Attaining the resurrection life of Christ involves forgetting those things, which are behind and reaching forward to those things, which are ahead (Philippians 3:11-14). By an act of our will, we must choose to stop relating to stress from past memories. Although it is our decision, it is Christ who does the work.

James 4:2 KJV, says, “Ye have not because ye ask not”. Asking specifically is an important principle of prayer. If we ask God to heal our hurting memories now, and believe in our heart that we have what we ask, it is done. We must confess with our mouth it is done and thank Him for healing the memory now (Mark 11:23). We must not continue to meditate the memory and pray for God to heal us someday. We are not asking for Jesus to provide healing for us. It is already fully provided. We are coming into agreement with what Jesus has provided and appropriating it into our lives.

Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I release to You for healing all the wounded, hurting, or negative memories of my entire life, whether conscious or subconscious, from my conception through my birth, the first few years of my life, my childhood, all my adult life, and to this present moment. I specifically release to You for healing the memory of______________, _____________, _____________, and______________----

I release all these memories to You. Heal me now. Give me release of all the stress. I choose by an act of my will never again to receive stress from these memories. Thank You for healing me. I say that I am healed of all these memories, in Jesus’ name. Thank You, Father, for healing me.

I command all powers of darkness, in the name of Jesus, you may never again use any of these memories to bring stress into my life or affect my life in any negative way, in Jesus’ name.

We must daily walk in the process of repentance, forgiveness, and healing--repentance for every adulterated motive, as we recognize them, forgiveness for every offense as they occur, and healing for every painful experience. If we are wounded during the course of the day, we can be completely healed before bedtime.

peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

(Ephesians 1:17-19).

Keep on Pursuing Love
It Will Never Fail,

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basileia@earthlink.net

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REMOVE THE STONE! Let Out the Thing that is Rotting and Beginning to Smell
 
By Anne Elmer

anne elmerDealing with Disappointment

At this moment in my life, I seem to know quite a few people who are dealing with great disappointments and have had their fair share of sufferings. Many are dealing with issues they feel God has done to them or has not done for them, or are struggling with situations He has allowed to happen. They feel let down by Him.

 

Some time ago, a lady who evidently had many problems came to see me and asked for prayer. This lady was the first of many people who I have met with similar hurts and disappointments. I got on my knees by her side and waited a few minutes in silence while I shouted quietly to the Lord, "Help!" She had asked for prayer for something specific, but I did not feel this was the real issue. Suddenly the Lord spoke to me and said, “She cannot accept the answers to your prayers because she is too wounded by something that happened a long time ago.” When I told the lady what the Lord said, it opened the floodgates and she cried and cried. Many years previously, something happened to one of her children and she had not forgiven God for allowing it to happen. Even though she had tried to forgive Him, the disappointment remained, meaning she could not trust her Creator with very many other things.

I set out to search for what the Bible says about disappointment, and frankly, I did not find it very satisfying. Romans 5:3-5, "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance...character...and hope. And hope does not disappoint us..." I cried out to God and said, "This is not true because I can think of many cases where hope has disappointed." Yet I know it is true because it is God's Word and God cannot lie and I do believe it. I kept asking Him to show me what all this was about.

The Greek word used here is "kataischuno" and it means "to be ashamed or to be humiliated." Isaiah 49:23 says, "Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed." I was not yet satisfied, so I spent time asking the Lord to make it clearer to me. We must always choose to trust Him, and I know there have been many times in my life when I have been disappointed, but I have chosen to say, “His ways are not my ways,” and continue on with Him.

Recently the Lord prompted me to look up Isaiah 55:6-9 in its context: "Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will freely pardon. 'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,' declares the LORD. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.'"

I read this Scripture and said, “OK Lord,” and He said, “Read it again, and then again, and again.” Suddenly I recognized that the evil man of whom this verse is speaking of, is me. Do not get me wrong, I know that I am forgiven and blessed, but the Lord is teaching me about walking in the TRUTH and how His thoughts are true and mine are often not, because they are based on my experience and my emotions and on the situation as I see it, not on what the Bible says. 3 John 1:4, "I have no greater joy than to hear that My children are walking in the truth." This has all to do with the "renewing of the mind" and "being changed" from glory to glory (see Romans 12:2 and 2 Corinthians 3:18). I began reflecting on all this and asked the Lord to take away disappointments from my life and to help me align my thoughts with His thoughts. Then I can come alongside those that need help in this area.

Stones and Tombs

I remember Mary and Martha who had said, "If only You had been here Lord..." They too had been disappointed by the Lord's late arrival on the scene. As I was praying through these things, the Lord gave me a picture of a heart. At the bottom of the heart laid a "stone," and I heard Jesus shout as in the story of Lazarus, "Move the stone." John 11:39 says, "'Take away the stone,' He said. 'But, Lord,' said Martha, the sister of the dead man, 'by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.'" There is a reluctance on Martha's part to allow the stone to be moved because behind the stone there will be a bad smell, and things are disintegrating, rotting, and wasting away.

What is rotting at the stone in your heart and needs to be let out of the tomb? Some of the things we leave in our hearts are not meant to stay there. They are buried things in the natural. They are things others think have passed. They are events in our lives that were painful. They may be big or small. Maybe there is a time when we prayed and God did not do what we asked--maybe the loss of a child; maybe the death of a person very close; maybe a broken relationship; maybe a permanent illness or handicap; or maybe something we did wrong that we have buried deep down.

 

People now see other relationships in our lives, other children, another job, and they think we have moved on...that we have "gotten over it." But we know in our heart of hearts, these memories are still there. Maybe we remember these things and visit the tomb often. If we really think about it, we know there is nothing of use, nothing worthwhile in the tomb. But we keep the disappointment there. We know what is in the tomb--rots. But we do not want the tomb to be opened (there would be a bad smell); we want to keep it firmly under our lock and key to keep the memory in our hearts. It symbolizes for us (as it did for Mary and Martha) our disappointment that the Lord did not do what we wanted Him to, and He did not arrive on time. In this part of our hearts we keep sadness, hurt and unforgiveness that we hold against the Lord. We move on with our lives, telling ourselves we will get over it and have other children, new friends, a new marriage, a new job, but if we keep something locked away, it rots and it smells bad.

Like the moth and rust which corrupts in the physical world, so issues kept hidden in our souls end up rotting. Unforgiveness turns our hearts sour. Anger turns to bitterness. Disappointment results in lack of faith. We say, "God did not do it then, so I cannot trust Him to do it now." No matter how many good answers to prayer we have had since the event was put in the tomb, there is always the "doubt" which holds us back, and the weight of that stone in our souls. Today Jesus says, "Take away the stone. Let that thing out, and let it live with Me now."

Today Jesus weeps as He did before the tomb of Lazarus. Why did He weep? Some thought it was out of love for Lazarus; but He knew He was going to bring him back to life, so it could not be that. Maybe it was out of His love for Mary and Martha; maybe His frustration at their lack of faith; or maybe He was sad at being blamed for being late. I do not know, but I do know He weeps today for those of us who still have the stone over a tomb in our hearts. I know today He is saying, "Remove the stone. Let out the thing that is rotting and beginning to smell." Today He is saying as He did at the tomb of Lazarus, "Take off the grave clothes and let it go" (John 11:44). Today He is saying, "My ways are not your ways, and My thoughts are not your thoughts."

I was beginning to understand, but yet I still felt the reaction of Mary and Martha was OK because they did receive their brother back. When I started this study, most of the people I was thinking about may not have a resurrection of those lost hopes. So I kept on asking and of course the Lord showed me the answer.

Take No Offense Toward God

Luke 7:20-23, "When the men came to Jesus, they said, 'John the Baptist sent us to You to ask, "Are You the One who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"' At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. So He replied to the messengers, 'Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of Me.'" The New King James Version says, "Who is not offended by Me."

Jesus came to set the captives free and John the Baptist knew that, but where was John? In prison; and we most likely suppose he was waiting for Jesus to set him free. Jesus' reply to John's disciples was to look at what God is doing and not look at what He isn't doing. We have the choice. John had the same choice. We can choose to look at what God is not doing and be disappointed and offended. Or we can choose to praise God for what He is doing and not dwell too long on what He is not doing. As we know, John never got out of prison. Why? We do not know. Jesus could have done it, couldn't He? He was God. But Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. When Jesus heard what had happened to John, He went away on His own to talk to the Father.

Matthew 14:12, "John's disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus. When Jesus heard what had happened, He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place."

 

We do not hear that He asked "WHY?" Why is never a good question, because His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. We must trust Him and let Him deal with our disappointments. We must choose not to be offended. We must realize when we blame God for not doing what we wanted, it is tantamount to sin. And Jesus died to pay for our sins. His death allows us to be free of all that binds us. When we harbor those thoughts in our hearts, they rot and cause us problems in the future.

For a long time now the Church has been singing, "Lord, I give You my heart, I give You my life, I want to live for You..." and "Purify my heart...Refiner's Fire." But at the same time we have been saying, "But not this part of my heart, Lord; this stone has been there a long time and is too comfortable. If you move it, there will be a bad smell." I thought of the verse in Matthew where Jesus talks of "whitewashed tombs," and I saw for many of us, our hearts are pure--at least the parts we have allowed Him to have. Many hearts have been washed in His Blood, but there is still the stone. The first commandment Jesus speaks of is to "love the Lord your God with ALL your HEART."

It's time to move the stone.

Anne Elmer
Bestselling Author, Transported by the Lion of Judah
Email:
anne.elmer@editionsdelasource.fr

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Edited by Ron McGatlin on 02/13/2008 at 3:56am
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Posted: 02/12/2008 at 11:21am | IP Logged Quote Douglas Duncan

I question how much true forgiveness comes forth from the hearts of
man? People say they forgive someone but let that person offend again
and chances are you will see the rise of animosity that was always there
waiting for a chance to rear its ugly head.

Earthly forgiveness is just that but the forgiveness from above is divine
and that is the level forgiveness we are required to give unto those who
have offended us. The only way that one can forgive others as they have
been forgiven is to do the same thing that Christ has done........ die to
your earthly flesh and be risen by Him and with Him who has already
forgiven all sinners.

Unbelievers cannot give this level of forgiveness because Christ is not in
them...... most Christians do not give it because Christ is not the one
ruling their hearts........ in their case the old man (the man of sin in
Thess.) is still ruling their hearts so consequently the best they can offer
is an earthly type of forgiveness. That level is not sufficient and will still
cause them to be judged according to the law (the books being opened
in Re.20) rather than by the same grace that they have been forgiven
through.

The man of sin (or spirit of man) that has been handed down to us from
Adam is from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil but the man of
the tree of life (Christ) available to us through the Cross leaves judgement
to God who will recompense for the betterment of all......... including the
offender.

Blessings

Doug




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Posted: 02/12/2008 at 2:11pm | IP Logged Quote Larry Silverman

Hi Doug,

My wife ministers quite extensively on this subject and she oftens shares with those she's ministering to her personal story about holding unfogiveness over her own father.  In the process of God healing her of cancer He asked her if she could forgive her dad for the things that he had done to her.  He told her that He love her dad too, even though he did bad things to his family.  Corinne told the Lord that she couldn't fogive her dad in that manner, at least not in her current, at that time, walk with the Lord.  So she told the Lord that she'd give it her best try.  It was all it took, and the cancer was completely healed.  What was neat that many years later Corinne and her dad did get a 2nd chance at relationship building and her dad went on the be with the Lord with my wife's heart completely free.

We find that forgiveness often comes in layers.  We encourage people to begin small and end large as it is the ususal rule of thumb.  So if anyone is having issues with someone, the important thing is to begin the process.  It will only get better!  And... yes, there may be some bumps in the road, but here's where God's love for all really begins to work!

Blessings,

Larry



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Posted: 02/12/2008 at 6:33pm | IP Logged Quote Douglas Duncan

Hi Larry

Thank you for your reply and for sharing your wife's testimony of grace
and forgiveness....... that was a very nice read.

Amen to the" bumps in the road" as well as thanks and praises to the one
who put those bumps in our path. He never causes us to face what He
has not also equipped us to overcome. If IMO we are willing to acknowledge that is through His works and none of our own that the
"bumps" may be overcome, the path will become a highway. Turning the
other cheek to adversity becomes (at least for me) easier to accomplish
when we learn to accept that the offense has happened for our benefit as
well as that He is the one that caused the offense to happen.

Just as He said on the Cross "Father forgive them for they know not what
they do"...... We know that they knew exactly what they were doing and
through the signs and wonders done by Him, to whom they were doing it
to. What they did not know was why they were doing it and how Satan
was the one influencing them to commit such a horrendous act.

I started my own quest for forgiving others out of necessity, either forgiveness would come forth from me or nothing good would ever come
from me. As you can see from the included paste excerpt from my
testimony, that not only was it part of the start of my walk from kingpin
to servant....... His response to my request for help in becoming able to
forgive others as He had forgiven me resulted in a gift that would see me
through many hard times.

There are many supplications that I have brought with me when I have
gone before Him but my request for help in obtaining forgiveness for
others resulted in a divine gift from above........... So I believe it was the
same in the healing of your wife and for good reason...... without Him in
us becoming the expressed image of His forgiveness of us for all the
world to see expressed from us....... what we do day in and day out will
never go beyond the difference of "Him in us" to becoming "us in Him"

Thanks again for the reply....... I had forgotten about this forum and had
been putting behind me the gathering together with others....... it is nice
to converse with others who seek to please Him.

Hope you enjoy the excerpt

Blessings

Doug


.......... By the time 9/11 happened my hope of forgiving others for what
they done to me was another impossibility and the word “forgiveness”
would get stuck in my throat when trying to recite the Lord’s Prayer, I
couldn’t even finish the prayer. My “walk” towards God had hit a
roadblock and there did not seem to be anyway for me to find peace. I
was trying to approach God without Jesus Christ even though when I had
made my profession forty years earlier I had done so through John 3:16. I
felt a little guilty about it, like I was now trying to leave Him out of it and
deal directly with the Father but my neighbor said it was ok since it was
all the same.

As this became evident to me a new problem arose, anger and animosity
with hopes of vengeance ruling my thought process from the time I woke
up until I went back to sleep. At the same time this was going on I was
trying desperately to change who I was and what I had become but as
hard as I would try, I could not escape myself. For me to make a
successful change I had to undergo a complete metamorphosis like a
leopard that wants to change his spots but by myself this was impossible.

A neighbor invited me to a weekday evening service that was soon after
9/11 so as you can imagine the place was packed. I wasn’t there because
I was afraid the world was coming to the end, all I knew was that if I
couldn’t get past this problem of forgiveness I wasn’t going to find the
peace that I needed to find. The service was interesting and the Pastor’s
personality drew affection from the people that were gathered together
and when the service was over an altar call was announced for those who
felt inclined to come forward. There was no way that I was going to walk
to the front of a large gathering and openly pray however since everybody
else was praying it seemed like a good time to ask God for help with my
problem. So with my head in my hands and sitting in a church I began to
pray to God asking Him for help in becoming able to forgive those people
who had wronged me.

While praying a shiny area appeared in front of my eyes with a mound of
earth, blue sky, clouds, and a cross with Jesus Christ. This surprised me
so I opened my eyes and while I could then see the pastor and the
congregation the Cross of Jesus Christ still remained completely visible.
When I would shut my eyes or open them again Jesus and His Cross were
always there in front of me, about ten inches away. I suppose you can
imagine how completely shocked I was but since it wasn’t going away I
decided to study it in detail for as long as it remained.

The first thing that stood out to me was the color of His skin. It was
nothing like the pictures I had seen. His skin was quite dark in color sort
of an olive-brown about the same color as the wood that he was nailed
to. The other thing was that I could only see His Cross and not the ones
to either side of Him. This continued to last for several minutes and then
it gradually faded away. Shortly after the pastor finished praying
everybody started to lift their heads and I told the couple that I was with
what had just happened. When we went out for dinner afterwards I tried
to take part in the conversation but my mind was fixed upon what had
just taken place.

By the time I went to bed that evening I realized that what had happened
to me was a vision and while I was both grateful and happy, I didn’t really
grasp the significance until I woke up in the middle of the night. I had
been reading the Gospel of John at the time and what I now understood
was that God was showing me that I as a person I never would be able to
forgive. It is not the nature of a human being to forgive. People make
compromises such as, for this reason I forgive you or we are sometimes
willing to overlook events just to obtain some sort of goal. The fact is that
people do not forgive and I was probably the least forgiving person of all.
So what God did show me was that even though I myself (the old man)
never would forgive, Jesus Christ existed in me as a new person and had
done all the forgiving that has ever needed to be done.

However He was also telling me that I had to allow him to become me.
Much easier said than done and to explain that to people back then as I
have just explained it to you brought a lot of blank looks from people
who were supposed to be able to help me in things relating to the Bible.
At that time there was no one then around here that really grasped the
total meaning of Spirit. So even though at that time I had an elementary
understanding of “Him in Us” I was far short of comprehending “Us in
Him”.
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Posted: 02/13/2008 at 4:29am | IP Logged Quote Gayle Getz

Wisdom here for sure,,,thanks Brother Ron.  Love you ALL-prayin'

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Posted: 07/15/2009 at 8:19am | IP Logged Quote Kay Steele

Hi - I have a snippet of a quotation but don't know where it's from.
Anyone out there recognise it please.
'For all the sins that I've committed
All the hurts unknowingly inflicted.....etc
Thank you Kay


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Posted: 07/16/2009 at 8:28am | IP Logged Quote Tina Dean

Kay~

Sounds like a part of a section entitled; Steps to Freedom, in the book Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson. 




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Posted: 07/16/2009 at 10:58am | IP Logged Quote Kay Steele

Thank you for suggestion shall try and find out. 

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Posted: 07/21/2009 at 12:10pm | IP Logged Quote Moderator

Bobby Conner:
"The Grace to Forget Past Disappointments"

"…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
—Philippians 3:13-14

Have you ever entertained any of these thoughts: "Why didn't I….? I never should have…! If only he had… I'll never be able to forgive…"

These thoughts are thoughts of regret, shame and guilt, resulting from past disappointments which most of us have experienced.

Although we all have been disappointed, we're not meant to carry these disappointments into the future. Hanging onto the past is a major stronghold for many Believers. Dwelling on past mistakes, failures, losses or betrayals year after year brings an increasing weight of sin, shame and guilt—which will inevitably lead to bitterness, weariness, self-pity, accusation, doubt, unbelief and the fear that the future will just be a repeat of the past. Once disappointed, always disappointed, you reason. If they disappointed me once, they will disappoint me again.

By dwelling on past disappointments, you lose confidence in relationships with others, with God and with yourself. One of the main keys to overcoming disappointments in life is learning to let go of the past. This letting go is difficult for many because we're required not only to let go, but, in its place, to take hold of something new: we must learn to love again and to trust again—and sometimes the heart is still too wounded and hardened to open to love.

So what can we do? First, we must recognize and admit to ourselves and to the Lord that we are disappointed and that our heart has hardened to love. This may be difficult to confess, as part of the pain of disappointment is fearing that disappointment will happen again and again. We fear being disappointed if we dare to trust again and maybe even fearing to trust God again.

But we can take courage by understanding that the Lord's very purpose in coming, as He Himself declared early on, was to "bind up the brokenhearted" (Isaiah 61:1), to heal our disappointed hearts and restore hope to our innermost being. He understands deeply that we are brokenhearted by sin and failures and He has compassion for our souls.

This Hebrew word translated brokenhearted is shabar, an extremely vivid and powerful adjective that means maimed, crippled, wrecked, crushed, quenched, violently ruptured. Is this the condition of your disappointed heart?

  • Do you feel like you've been crushed because of betrayal?

  • Do you feel ruptured beyond repair because of lost dreams or lost loves?

  • Do you feel your hopes and prayers have been wrecked?

  • Do you feel crippled from an impossibly difficult journey?

  • Do you feel the Lord Himself has disappointed you by prayers that have gone unanswered or dreams that are still painfully unfulfilled?

  • Have you disappointed yourself by some egregious sin of the past?

You have no options but this: you must let go of the past. How, you ask? By choosing to forgive those who have hurt you, betrayed you, left you or wronged you. And choose to forgive yourself for your reactions to these injustices or for your own betrayals. You let go of the past by believing that God will restore to you anything and everything that was taken, including love, relationships, time, money, dreams, hopes, talents.

This truth, for many, is difficult to grasp: can the Lord truly restore lost time? Lost opportunities? Lost love? Yes He can and not only can He, but He greatly desires to restore to you everything you have lost—redeeming, restoring and multiplying it back to you.

Meditate on this marvelous promise from our Lord: "So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you" (Joel 2:25).

At the very moment you gave your heart to Jesus Christ, you became a new creation: "...old things passed away and everything became new" (2 Corinthians 5:17). When you receive Christ's forgiveness in your own life, you are released from the pressure to make up for past mistakes or failures. Christ has put your sins as far from you as the east is from the west, never to remember them again. Guilt and shame are gone and you can live in freedom. How is this possible?

Consider the Cross! He bore your sins as the Passover Lamb. Do not take His death in vain by attempting to remedy your own sins and failures by holding on to them in remorse—or holding others' sins and failures against them in accusation. None of us are righteous: the Blood of the Lamb is the only remedy for sin. The only remedy for past disappointments is to repent and turn to Christ, thanking Him for making all things new.

"Then He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' And He said to me, 'Write, for these words are true and faithful.'" Revelation 21:5

Christ is the same "yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). That means He made all things new yesterday, He makes all things new today, and He will make all things new tomorrow. There is nothing at any time in your life which He cannot make new! Cast all your cares upon Him, receive His yoke, and you will find rest for your life.

Begin to experience the bright future God has in store for you. Don't let the regrets of yesterday destroy your hopes for tomorrow. Many Believers lead lives of "quiet desperation" as Thoreau described, hardly aware that they have ceased to dream big dreams and pray big prayers, believing God for the impossible.

Be vigilant to cast off any trace of the fear of future disappointments and trust the Lord's kindness toward you, receiving His grace to forget the past. He is an extraordinarily generous, caring and tender Father who knows what is best for His children. Abandon yourself to His care, for His name is "Faithful and True" (Revelation 19:11).

"And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You." Psalm 9:10

No matter what has happened in the past, know that our God is a God of restoration—and He will restore what the enemy has stolen from you as He promises in the Book of Joel. Accept God's mercy and forgiveness today, as His mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness is not just adequate—it is great (Lamentations 3:23)! Great is His faithfulness! Look forward to the exceedingly wonderful plan He has for your future.

"Now glory be to God! By His mighty power at work within us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope." Ephesians 3:20

Pray this with me: Precious Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of forgiveness, the gift that releases me from the pains of the past and enables me to run towards You and the bright future You have in store for me! Please show me if there are any areas of unforgiveness or hardness in my heart, so that I may forgive, receive Your infinite love and walk in victory. I ask You to impart to me the dreams and vision You have for my life, restoring all the enemy has stolen. I ask for the grace to forget past disappointments. I believe You are granting this to me now even as I pray! Amen!

Bobby Conner
Eagles View Ministries

Email: manager@bobbyconner.org

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Posted: 07/22/2009 at 9:26am | IP Logged Quote Kay Steele

Have you ever entertained any of these thoughts: "Why didn't I….? I never should have…! If only I had… I'll never be able to forgive myself…"

These thoughts are thoughts of regret, shame and guilt, resulting from past disappointments which most of us have experienced.

Yes these thoughts are always with me because of my behaviour in the past, and I have learned from it, but cannot forgive myself or move on because  I hurt someone so emotionally, it cannot be forgotten. What then? Kay



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Posted: 07/22/2009 at 9:41am | IP Logged Quote Tina Dean

Kay~

If you keep refusing to forgive yourself then you are in effect saying that God isn't big enough, and Jesus' sacrifice wasn't broad enough, and that you don't trust the saving, healing, grace of the Lord to work within all things.  

It also wastes valuable years, that you could be free to serve Him, and to enjoy life.  Trust me, I know this up close and personal.  The Lord can heal and bring about total change in any situation or circumstance.   Please let Him, don't tie His hands anymore with your refusal to 'let go' and let Him. 


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Posted: 07/22/2009 at 10:54am | IP Logged Quote Kay Steele

But what about the person I hurt, who is angry because she hurts, and I can't do anything to make it better, even though I have tried very hard, by having learned by my mistakes. Kay

















b





But what about the person I hurt, who is angry because she still hurts. I need her to forgive me too.










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Posted: 07/22/2009 at 1:02pm | IP Logged Quote Tina Dean

Kay~

You get out of her way.  You are actually blocking her ability to being able to forgive you by not forgiving yourself. 

Once you do that...accepting the grace of the Lord and His atoning blood, by repenting and asking for the forgiveness, and having asked her to do the same, then you FORGIVE yourself, thereby allowing the atoning work of the blood of Jesus Christ to be applied. 

At that point you have done all that you can do, and have done all you need to do.   Whether she then does the right thing or not is not up to you...it is between her and the Lord.  YOU will have done all that you can, and then you are free. 

You are allowing her to control your life (actually the enemy through her) with her anger, and with her refusal to to forgive you.  I am sure she is getting great mileage out of it.  So are you by the way.   Guilt and shame is a great way to flog yourself and inflict self-loathing.  One of the best ways there is to agree with the accuser of the brethren.  It is a 'drug' in and of itself.

Kay, Jesus already met the requirements a very long time ago in order for you to be free of your sin, by having gone to the the cross and died there.  You just need to take the steps set forth in His word, in order to appropriate the entire outworking of what HE did.

Blessings and hugs to you. 


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Posted: 07/25/2011 at 6:28am | IP Logged Quote Moderator

Forgive and Fulfill Your Destiny
 
Victoria Boyson
 
 
Victoria Boyson

Your Father in Heaven wants you to be freed from the wounds and disappointments of your past. He wants you to be free to move on and fulfill your destiny in Him.

If we can look at our hearts like a walled city, we can see that the gate to that city is forgiveness. Forgiveness is a powerful tool we can use to protect our hearts against the enemy's attack. That is why satan is always eager to get us caught up into offenses that cause us to become bitter.

Forgiveness is the very pinnacle of our faith in Jesus Christ. And it is only through forgiveness that we can be truly free, free to move forward, unchained from our past. Forgiveness is a gift to us, but it is a gift we must be equally willing to give to others.

Christ Forgave Us

His love for us is unconditional (see Lamentations 3:22-23), but His forgiveness is conditional (see Matthew 6:14-15). There are no exceptions to this rule. We can say that the offense that we feel in our heart is too great for us to forgive and let go of, but if we do not forgive we will be tortured by that misdeed for the rest of our lives. The person that wounded us continues to cause us pain each time we remember it, until we release that person to God and forgive. This is what Christ did for us and this is what He expects of us.

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15

He Expects the Same from Us

As Christ hung on the Cross, He knew He was being brutally murdered by hatred. The hatred His murderers felt toward Him was indeed a great offense. They not only killed Him, but while He was hanging on the Cross, beaten and humiliated, they continued to mock and insult Him (see Matthew 27:39). He was innocent and they were guilty. He was dying for them, and they mocked Him. Yet, enduring their torture, Jesus reached down into the reservoir of His strength and labored in His weakened condition to speak in their defense. He said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34).

Their offense was great, but His forgiveness was greater. And He expects nothing less from us. He knew that the people who were hurting Him were not His enemies. He saw them as innocent victims who had been manipulated and used by His enemy, satan. We need to see that behind every offense is our adversary, the devil. And he is "seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8). His target is not the person who offended you, but his target is actually you. His plan is to get you to hold onto the offense and open the doors of unforgiveness. When he does this, he can bring in a multitude of torturers to torture us with our past. Our past is allowed to take hold of our present, and the sinful behavior that we have been forgiven of and delivered from suddenly returns and tries to take root in our hearts.

The Bible, in Matthew 18, tells the story of "a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants." He realized that one of his servants owed him ten thousand talents, so he had the man brought to him. He ordered that the man and his entire household should be sold to make payment for the debt. "The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go" (Matthew 18:26-27).

As soon as the servant left his master, he found a man who owed him money and demanded payment of the debt. When the man could not pay and asked for mercy, the servant had him thrown into prison until the debt could be paid in full. Seeing the entire situation played out before them, the other servants in the household went to the king and told him what their fellow servant had done. "Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed" (Matthew 18:32-34).

Free from Offense

When we choose not to forgive our brother, we open the door for our past to come back on us and torture us. There is a very painful side to unforgiveness that satan does not like us to discuss. He wants to make you feel as though you will lose something by forgiving, but really you have everything to gain and very little to lose. You gain peace and joy, you lose the constant torture of remembering the offense. You gain the love and acceptance of your heavenly Father. You lose the chains of the fear of the incident recurring again. And you lose the agonizing entitlement of living in the cozy little jail cell of your past.

Suddenly you are free to move on. You only need to look back now to see how far you have come from the "old you" who kept every offense locked away in the treasure chest of your mind. The "old you" would pull out (at satan's request) the woundings from your past, only to let them wound you again and again as you toss them around in your mind.

Dear ones, do not forget: You are a child of the King! Your heavenly Father rules the world and you are His heir. Your life belongs to Him, including the painful events of your past. He cares about you very much! He has provided a way out of the pain: you have only to open the locks and remove the chains...you have only to forgive.

Your Father in Heaven wants you to be free from the offense – free to move on and fulfill your destiny in Him. As you move closer to fulfilling the call God has on your life, satan will try to bring about circumstances that lead to unforgiveness. Disappoint him and forgive. Satan does not want you to fulfill your destiny, and he knows if he can get you into unforgiveness, you won't.

The very person who has offended you might be the one that God wants to use to release you into your destiny. Offense is the test of graduation. Forgiveness gives you an A+! Unforgiveness leaves you with a failing grade and you will repeat the course again and again until you have passed.

A Thorough Cleaning

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13

I went through a season in my life when God chose to do a thorough cleaning of my heart. I use the word thorough because in Webster's Dictionary it means "complete and absolute." My heavenly Father laid the ax to the roots of unforgiveness in my heart and did not let up until the job was done. The word thorough is also appropriate because the root word of thorough is rough, which in Webster's means "lacking comforts and conveniences." During this season in my life, God would not permit me to give any comfort or convenience to the sin of unforgiveness, no matter what the offense was or who had been used to offend me.

Often those closest to us will be the ones satan uses to hurt us the most. It is easy to forgive the checkout lady at the grocery store who does not show us the proper respect. However, when those we love betray our trust, it is a much deeper wound and we need to be aggressive in our ongoing love for them. Our love for them will keep us from retaliation (see 1 Corinthians 13:5).

An Aggressive Defense

The enemy will seek to use our mouths to accuse the ones we love. We can stand in aggressive judgment toward them, with our finger wagging in their face and satan's words of condemnation flying out of our mouths...

...OR...

We can be used by God to aggressively defend those who have wronged us. Satan cannot condemn them if we, as the people they have offended, will stand in their defense.

When Aaron and Miriam spoke against their brother Moses (see Numbers 12) for having a Cushite wife, the anger of the Lord burned against them. Miriam was struck with leprosy, but Moses interceded for her. "So Moses cried out to the Lord, "O God, please heal her!" (Numbers 12:13). Moses was not the one who sinned, but he is the one who cried out for God's forgiveness for his sister. He had the authority to intercede for her because he chose to forgive. If we love, we will not let satan use us to condemn and accuse. We can be used by God to cover their sins. Next time it might be our turn to be forgiven, and they may be used by God to defend us.

In our home, when our children have a disagreement and one is clearly in the wrong, we often let the child who has been wronged choose "punishment" or "forgiveness" for the offending sibling. We remind them that next time it may be them in the hot seat, and they should choose for their brother or sister what punishment they would want chosen for themselves. Almost without exception, they choose forgiveness.

It is not always easy to forgive, but it is necessary; it is what Jesus is asking from us. He expects us to do as He Himself did. And yet, while they were killing Him, He was interceding for their pardon.

Pray this with me:

Dear Father, please uncover areas of unforgiveness in my heart and help me to release them to You. I choose to forgive those who have been used to wound me, because I want more of You.

Say out loud the names of those who have offended you. See them as victims of satan's manipulation to hurt you, and release them by saying that you forgive them. Pray for them and bless them. Now, go on and fulfill your destiny!

Victoria Boyson
Speaking Life Ministries
Email: victoria@boyson.org

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Posted: 11/15/2011 at 4:21am | IP Logged Quote Tonia Delvalle

Moderator wrote:
Forgiving Ourselves
by Os Hillman, June 8, 2007
 
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. - 1 John 1:9

The apostle Peter was one of three disciples who walked with Jesus closer than the other nine. He was the most enthusiastic and the one man who was willing to step into territories where others would not dare. He was the first to step out of the boat and walk on water. He wanted to protect Jesus at times when Jesus rebuked him for having a demon influence him. He cut off the ear of the guard who wanted to arrest Jesus in the garden. As Peter matured, the Holy Spirit harnessed his many extreme emotions.

The greatest trial for Peter was when he denied the Lord just before Jesus was crucified. Three times he denied knowing Jesus. Jesus predicted that the cock would crow after the third time just to reinforce the prophecy to Peter. Peter was crushed when he realized he had failed His Lord so badly.

The Lord forgave Peter for his denial. However, gaining forgiveness from Jesus was not the most difficult part for Peter. The hard part was forgiving himself. As we mature in the faith, we begin moving in victory after victory with our Lord. Then out of nowhere, an event happens that reveals our true sin nature, and we are confronted face to face with this reality. We cannot believe that we are capable of such sin. There is no good thing in us save the grace of Jesus Christ and His blood that cleanses us. When God looks at us, He looks at the blood of Christ that has covered our sin. He does not look at our sin once we confess it.

When we have difficulty forgiving ourselves, this is pride at its deepest level. We are making an assumption that we should never have sinned and that we are too mature to sin. This is a trap from the enemy of our souls. People who cannot forgive do not recognize from what they have been forgiven. That includes us.
 
 
MY RESPOSE:
 
The sad part is I know this yet I cant find it in my heart to forgive myself. I know what its like to feel free because I was there but life in general has its way of tearing a person down..disappointments of all sorts come..circumstances and ''people'' come into your life you dont expect.The enemy knows our weaknesses and knows just who to bring into our lives to trip us up and sometimes were caught off gaurd and not prepared and before you know it that freedom you onced walked in is gone..and your wondering and asking yourself, how did I get here? Suddenly your questioning your purpose..even your salvation?? Suddenly you feel so empty inside and lost..you feel you have failed and have gotten so far away from the truth and God, you cant seem to find your way back..This is where Ive been and yet at today...Im just breathing... 

Life's Issues prayer counselors or available to help you send an email to: Larry Silverman nhministry@yahoo.com  or post a reply to this message.

Or you can contact us by email here: http://www.openheaven.com/contact/

 




Edited by Tonia Delvalle on 11/15/2011 at 4:25am
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