Tag Archives: Restoration

Forgiveness is the Key

The Wound

Have you ever been so wounded or abused by someone whom you swore you would never forgive them?

After talking with a close friend of mine recently, I was thinking about our conversation.  Anna (not her real name) is healing from a tragic childhood abuse of the worst kind. Over the past year, she and I have become very close as I have helped her deal with this horrible pain that keeps rearing its ugly head in her life.

Recently, a good friend of Anna’s almost died; Anna was very distraught about her friend. This friend has reached out to Anna just a few months ago. I think it would be good for Anna to work on building some friendships that she has cut off over the years. She fears letting others into her world, because they may hurt her. She has been betrayed by two very close friends. I mentioned not everyone wants to hurt her, and that she is missing out on the friendship and love of others. However, they are missing out on what she can offer them as well. As I was mulling over her fears one day, and through some reading and praying I realized a missing link in Anna’s healing and seeking friendships. Forgiveness . . .

She struggles to forgive the monster who stole her childhood and innocence. I can completely understand. Who would not? However, he is stealing her life now, and he is deceased. She is afraid to live. Her pain doesn’t stop with this one person it seeps into all her relationships. She is on a journey of healing, and will have a story to share with others. There are so many people out there just like her who nobody knows the hell they are living in. She will be their voice one day. God has a plan and a purpose for her, as He does for each of His children.

Open Hearts

Here is the connection I made for my friend to complete her healing. She needs to forgive the monster. Not because he deserves it. Not because he is dead. We forgive, because God has called us to forgive everyone as He has forgiven us (Eph 4:32). This will not happen in a moment, but will take time to peel back the layers of pain, grief and sorrow by releasing it to God. Somehow God has designed it when we quit clutching our pain and forgive those who hurt us then our heart is open to love and forgive others. You see my friend is clutching her pain tightly, and has for so long that it hurts to even look at it. Forgiveness looks impossible, because it has become a part of her like having a permanent scar from a gash 20 years ago, but the pain does not go away. However, God has promised us that if we make the decision to forgive – EVEN if the person NEVER asks for it – He will complete the healing process for us through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Will it be easy? No. Will it be worth it? Resoundingly YES! Ask anyone who has forgiven the murderer of their child, the cheating wife or husband, the prodigal son, or the betraying friend, they would tell you the same. It is hard to describe what God does in your heart when you are obedient to forgive. You are able to look at the pain, and not feel the deep wound anymore. The anger is washed away. Joy and love take up residence where all the poison used to reside. You make room for God to fill your heart with His love that spills over into others even the one that has hurt you the most.

For me, I have someone whom I forgave for a horrible thing they did to me a long time ago. I now just feel sorry for them. To be honest, I don’t feel a gush of love for them, but I love them as a part of God’s creation. I don’t know if they have Christ or not. If they do not have the love of Christ in them, they are missing out on so much life!

So Hard to Believe

Corrie ten Boom had a similar excruciating painful experience as my friend. She and her family were severely abused in a German Nazi Concentration Camp. She watched her sister starve to death days before they received freedom. Her family was put in a prison camp for hiding Jews from Hitler’s regime. After her release, and in the midst of healing from all the torture, she spoke at a meeting in Munich, Germany about what she had been through in the camps and about God’s forgiveness.

Afterwards, a former guard came up to her, and said that he had become a Christian recently, and he wanted to personally ask her forgiveness. She remembered him. She remembered being paraded by him naked. He stuck his hand out in an offering of peace and forgiveness. It was all she could do to shake his hand. She knew that she should, but she had this internal battle raging. She finally extended her hand out to shake his and when she did, she could feel the power and presences of God move from her shoulder down to where her hand met his. She had this overwhelming sense of love for the man. The forgiving power of God overwhelmed her. You see she stopped clutching her pain, and could forgive and love through the power of God.

Forgiveness Is . . .

Forgiveness is more about letting go of our right to be hurt, than it is freeing the other person from their responsibility. Forgiveness frees us to love others more deeply. I know it is hard, because there are times that I struggle with it too. When you are repeatedly hurt by the same person for the same thing over and over again, you want to curl up in your corner to have your pain party. Although, that is not what God designed us to do. Unforgiveness holds us in bondage and keeps us from the pure love that God has for us and the love we could share with others. Forgiveness is the key to get out of bondage.

Is there someone you need to forgive today? Maybe you need to forgive yourself and allow God to heal you. We are to be responsible for own actions, but that does not mean we drag that mistake, sin, or pain with us for the rest of our life as penance. This is the beauty of God’s design. His mercy and grace wash away our sin and our pain to open our hearts to be filled with His love. I pray that you allow Him today. Forgive as you have been forgiven by the Almighty Savior and Friend. He will flood you with His love.

This verse below became real to me during a particularly difficult time in  my marriage.  God revealed to me that He had forgiven me and I needed to forgive my husband just like He forgives me.  Talk about a spiritual 2 x 4!

Ephesians 4:32 “Instead, be kind to each other,

tenderhearted,  forgiving one another,

just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

Please feel free to share how forgiveness helped you or any other comments on this post. I look forward to reading what you share!

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Falling in the Pit: Part 4 of 5

Falling in the Pit: Part 4 of 5

Repentance . . . Renewal . . . Restoration

 

Verse For Today:

Psalm 51:1-4

Background Passages: 2 Samuel 11; 12:1-5

We started our journey with David one sleepless night on his rooftop and ended up with the horrible news that his child was going to die.  Where does a broken man go from here?  Unsuccessfully, he tried hiding his sins, and Nathan came for an intervention session.  David finally breaks and confesses the lies he has been trying to hide.  Read Part 1 to 3 to know more about David’s journey. Today, we will peek into David’s heart as we read Psalm 51.

Repentance

“Have mercy upon me, O God . . .” is a great place to start when we are broken and stop running from the truth.  I need God’s mercy on a daily basis too, and He has more mercy than we can fathom.    I love how David so eloquently puts his prayer of repentance in Psalm 51.  (If you have not read the whole chapter yet, please take a minute and do so now.)  David stopped running and turned back to God with all of his heart.  Nathan held up the Holy mirror of God, and David could see the blackness of his empty soul.  He had lied to everyone, pretending he was taking Bathsheba to console her.  Pretending her pregnancy occurred after their “marriage.”  Having Uriah killed in action, so he could cover his own trail of lies and betrayal.  Where do the lies stop?  How long do you keep pretending and wearing the mask?

Are you in the middle of a trail of lies now?  How do you stop the freight train of lies that keep moving down the line so fast? God sees it all.  He patiently waits for you to turn it to Him.  No sin is too large.   You cannot out love God.  Give Him the pain, the fear of the consequences, and He can bring healing and restoration to your life.  God has done a restoring work in my life from seeking my own way to seeking His way.  This has been a painful process of letting go of my will and surrendering to His.  However, after letting go, I find peace and joy living in God’s will.  My life has not been easy in His will, but I know His plans are best.

Renewal

David uses vivid images in his prayer of repentance.  In verse 1 is, “Blot out my transgressions.”  Blot was a financial term used to blot out with ink your debt either when paid or canceled.  Through the power of Jesus dying on the cross our sin debt of death was paid in full.  “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”  The cleansing work of the Savior is completed when we give Him our rebellious and selfish hearts.   David “acknowledged” his sin to God means that he confessed specifically all the sins that he had done.  Even though he had hurt many, David prays “Against You, You only, have I sinned . . .” None of his sins were as serious as the sin against God, because he was not living by the standards God set for him.   God is not fair in our economy of right and wrong, but He is always just.  It may take years for you to wrap your mind around that concept.  However, the longer I live and the more I read how God handles things throughout the Bible I see He is just.  Even today I may not understand why God decides to do certain things or allows others to happen, but I know that He has plans we can’t completely understand (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Restoration

Restoration begins in our hearts when we have confessed our dark sins to the Savior and turn to Him for wisdom on how to live our daily lives.   God can mold and move in our lives when we soften our hardened heart towards Him.  You soften   your heart, when you decide to follow God in obedience to His word and listen to Him when He speaks to your heart.  David knew God wanted more than just lip service or some ceremony of repentance by offering a sacrifice.

“For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;

You do not delight in burnt offerings. .

The Sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,

A broken and a contrite heart –

These, O God, You will not despise.”

~ Psalm 51:16-17 NKJV ~

The Work of Revival:

I find comfort knowing that David committed some of the most atrocious sins possible, and is still known as a man after God’s own heart.  David found revival in his life after falling into the depths of the pit and turning back to God.  This gives me hope, knowing that whenever I mess up God will still have mercy on me when I turn back to Him in repentance. There is peace just waiting for me when I turn my heart back to Him.

Where are you today my friend?  Is your heart breaking right now?  God desperately wants to draw you near.  To cleanse you.  To heal you.  To set you free from the bondage.  Maybe your sin is not something you have done, but bitterness of what has been done to you.  Jesus wants to set you free from the poison of bitterness seeping into every area of your life.  Spend time with Jesus right now, and ask him to reveal any sin you need to confess. Then you will be in sweet fellowship with your Savior.  Revival of the heart is a journey, but worth the long road we travel to the feet of Jesus.

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