In 1995, I met with three women at my church and I went through a time of prayer. We prayed through Neil Anderson’s, The Steps to Freedom. I was about ready to go to Israel to share my testimony. I had been chosen by Global Mission Fellowship to go own a missions trip, to share my testimony. My testimony was based on Psalm 103: 1-5 .
Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
When it came time to do step three in the Steps to Freedom, I had many reservations because this step was about forgiveness. According to Neil Anderson, forgiveness is a choice. God says it is a necessary choice. Peter asked how many times do we forgive, seven times seven? Forgiveness is not forgetting it is remembering without the pain. Forgiveness is not tolerating sin or abuse. Forgiveness is not denying our pain but shedding our pain, we forgive to heal. We forgive because when we do we set the captive free and we find out we were the prisoner. Forgiving is agreeing to live with the consequences of someone else’s sin. We live with those consequences anyway but when we forgive we have peace. Forgiveness leads us out of bondage and bitterness to peace. Forgiveness is letting God be the Avenger. Forgiving is letting the person off your hook and letting him or her be on God’s hook. Forgiving is unlocking the chain that is choking you.
I started with these words. Father God, I choose to forgive___________________for ___________________ and it made me feel_________________________. Unless we get to the very core of how we feel when we were hurt the healing of damaged emotions does not occur. But if we admit how it made us feel this is where emotional healing begins. You stay with each person until every remembered hurt has been reviewed. You must decide to forgive whether you feel like it or not. Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Romans 12:19-21 never take your own revenge.
I went to Israel feeling on top of the world. I wanted everyone to know Jesus. He had forgiven me so much. I walked the hills of Nazareth in the Baptist Quarter and shared my testimony. Sophia and Jarius accepted Christ and a young girl decided to rededicate her life and let Jesus sit on the throne of her heart.
Freedom In Christ is a ministry at my church and I have led women through the Steps to Freedom since 1996. It never ceases to amaze me how forgiveness works. When we forgive from the depth of our heart, our damaged emotions can heal. In my career I am a nurse, sometimes a wound will not heal and the wound has to be opened up and then the wound has to heal from the inside out. This is what forgiveness is, it is letting out all the bitterness, hate, anger, and pain come to the surface so that the healing ointment of God’s love can heal the festering wound from the inside out. Matthew West wrote a wonderful song called, Forgiveness. If you click on the word Forgiveness I have chosen this one because it is about a woman who lost her daughter to a drunk driver. I am thankful today for God’s command to forgive, I am thankful that I have learned to walk in forgiveness, I am thankful that God sent Jesus to forgive me of my sins, I am thankful that I have been redeemed, and I am thankful that you are reading this post.
Father God, I know that it is difficult to forgive. I know that when we forgive we are agreeing to live with the consequences of the sin. We are letting that person who hurt us so badly off our hook. God you are the only fair judge. Lord, perhaps tomorrow on Thanksgiving day a person has to be around someone who has hurt them, let her spend some time forgiving this person. We know that reconciliation takes two and that she may never reconcile with the other person but she can forgive him or her whether they reconcile or not. Lord, restore each of us, redeem us, enable us to walk in forgiveness because you have forgive us much. Blessings.
Your turn, I am thankful for……………………
It’s the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those who don’t deserve
It’s the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real
Takes everything you have to say the word
It’s always angers own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you’ve got a right to hold a grudge
It’s the whisper in your ear saying, “set it free”
Lord, show me how to love the unlovable
Teach me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible
It can clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what its power can do
So, let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of Grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you
– See more at: http://www.matthewwest.com/the-stories/the-story-forgiveness/#sthash.rsFjXLBS.dpuf