The Bible tells us that God is asking all of His people to live on a higher level than the nonbeliever. The Bible tells us to forgive those who will trespass against us, to turn the other cheek if warranted, to love our enemies, and to do good to those who will deliberately hurt us. God is so insistent on us being able to forgive those who will hurt us, that He tells us that He will not even hear our prayers and forgive us of our own trespsasses if we are holding any unforgiveness toward anyone else.
However, as we all know through real life experiences, all of the above commands by the Lord are easier said than actually done. How do you handle negative feelings such as anger, bitterness, the desire to seek revenge, and sometimes outright hatred towards someone who has viciously wronged you?
How do you handle and get a grip on these types of negative feelings and emotions when:
- Some drunk driver has just killed your son or your spouse
- Someone has raped or sexually abused you
- Someone has just abducted and killed your daughter or son
- Your husband has been physically abusing you for years in your marriage
- Some scam artist has just stolen all of your life’s savings
- You have just found out that your spouse has been cheating on you
- You are a victim of false accusation and your reputation has been damaged by a smear campaign
All of the above scenarios are torpedo shots that can knock anyone of us straight to the ground. However, how we handle these types of adversities and how we bounce back from them will determine the quality of our lives with what time we still have left.
If you do not get a grip on these negative emotions when they start to try and settle on the inside of you as a result of a vicious wrong – then these negative emotions will start to eat you up alive the same way cancer will eat and ravage a human body. These negative emotions will steal most, if not all of your joy, love, and peace that you have obtained as a result of your close walk with the Lord.
Some Christians will even lose their faith or their close personal relationship with God as a result of taking this kind of serious hit. They get mad at God. They start questioning God. How could He allow this wrong to occur? Why didn’t He protect them?
When I first made the discovery that the Holy Spirit is alive and well on the inside of each believer and that it was His job to transmit knowledge to us in this life, I started tapping in and asking questions on many different topics and issues. The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit will “teach us all things” and “guide us into all truth.” The Holy Spirit can and will communicate to those who will seek after His knowledge.
I went directly to God the Father on all of the above and asked Him – how can someone possibly get a grip on some of the above scenarios where some of these attacks are so vicious and so evil? How can you ever forgive someone who has just raped you or killed a close loved one, much less ever get over the anger, wrath, and bitterness that will settle in on you as a result of this type of extreme trauma?
I believe the Lord has given me very good insight and a bottom line answer on this dilemma. Again, this answer came in the form of a one-two punch – it has two sides to it.
In order to be able to truly forgive someone, and to be able to truly let them go into hands of God where you can then get an “inner healing” on all of the negative emotions that may have built up in you over the course of time, there are two things that each Christian must get a firm and solid grasp on. These two principles are as follows.
1. The Big Picture
The first thing each Christian must “realize and see” is what I call the big picture. You first have to step away from your problem and see things for the way they really are.
Bottom line – the time that we will all spend on this earth is just a blink of an eye compared to the time that we will all be spending in eternity once we die and cross over. Heaven is for eternity – our life on this earth is just for a very brief moment compared to the eternal time frame that is operating up in heaven.
The Bible tells us that not only is God our Father – but He is also a Judge. And as a Judge, He will be judging every single one of us when we die and cross over – which includes both Christians and nonbelievers.
When Christians die and cross over, the Bible tells us that we all have to appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ to directly face Jesus for all the good and bad things that we have ever done in this life. This judgment will not cast us into hell since we have all been saved and born again through the blood of Jesus. However, I have a very funny feeling that this judgment that will be rendered upon each Christian will somehow determine what kind of reward and place they will have in heaven.
Per the article I recently did titled, “Rewards in Heaven,” the Bible says that there will be crowns and rewards for those who have done good in this life as compared to those who have done very little with the allotted amount of time that has been given to each one of us in this life.
In the case of the nonbeliever, the Bible tells us that all of them will be pulled up out of hell at the end of the 1000 Year Millennium Kingdom to face God for what is called the Great White Throne Judgment. The Bible says there is a Book that records all of our works and deeds that are done in this life, and God will be judging each one of these nonbelievers according to all of their works and deeds. The implication is that most, if not all of them, will be thrown into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone where the smoke of their torment will ascend forever and ever.
If someone has raped you, sexually abused you, or murdered a close loved one – many of these evil people will end up being cast into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone, and that will be for all of eternity! Justice will have been more than done for you in some of these more extreme cases where their final fate and end will be them being cast into the most horrible place imaginable for all of eternity!
When you watch some of these criminal court cases on TV – closure is only partially granted to the victims when the murderer has been caught and successfully tried and prosecuted. Depending on the state where the trial takes place, the convicted murderer will either get life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty if that state has it.
When the victims of these evil crimes are interviewed after the jury verdict comes in, they all say they feel some relief and closure as a result of this person getting caught. However, the victims of these types of extreme crimes are now stuck with the task of getting their lives back in order, and they will now have to deal with all of the negative emotions that have settled in and built up in them over this course in time. So the first thing each Christian must grab a hold of if faced with this kind of worst case scenario is that even though the criminal just got caught, tried, convicted, and properly sentenced – that is just the beginning. Where the real judgment will occur is when that person dies and crosses over to meet his Maker – God Almighty Himself! This person will then face their ultimate and final judgment for the serious wrong they have inflicted upon you, and this judgment may then possibly get them thrown into the real hell for all of eternity!
This is why God tells us in the Bible to cast all of our cares and burdens upon Him, because it His job to take complete care of them for us and to right all of the wrongs where they do exist.
Sometimes God will right the wrong for you in this lifetime. The person who has wronged you will reap the consequences of his actions, and God will make sure that those consequences hit him full force while he is still living down here on this earth.
Other times, this person will not face the eternal consequences of their actions until after they die and they come before God for their own personal judgment. Some people will literally get away with cold-blooded murder in this life. The police or the criminal justice system will never catch them. However, their days are numbered in this life, and as soon as they die and cross over, they will all have to face God Almighty Himself for their ultimate and final judgment.
It always amazes me that so many criminals think they can just live out this life doing whatever they want, and think they can actually get away with it because they have managed to evade the law for such a long period of time. Boy are they going to be in for a big surprise when they die and cross over and find out what is really waiting for them on the other side!
However, even if you have grasped and believed in all of the above, you are still left with one more problem. You now know God will eventually be righting all of the wrongs ever done to you when it is all finally said and done. However, how do you get rid of the negative feelings that have settled in on you as a result of experiencing some of these vicious wrongs?
You know God does not want you carrying around feelings of hate, anger, wrath, bitterness, and depression. You keep telling yourself that you are not going to allow these types of feelings and emotions to have any part of you – but no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to get any victory over them.
You can still feel these negative emotions rolling around down in your soul and spirit. These negative emotions and feelings continue to rob you of your joy, peace, and love for God and others. You have lost your zest for life and you just can’t seem to get it back – no matter how hard you try, no matter how many pep talks you give yourself, no matter how much you pray to God and talk to others about it, and no matter how many counselors you see.
You feel like you are carrying around a 50-pound anchor around your waist. Everything is a chore. Nothing brings you any happiness anymore. You hardly ever smile anymore. These negative emotions are eating you up alive on the inside. You feel like you are a walking dead man, a zombie.
You are really trying to forgive the father who has sexually abused you during your childhood years – but you just cannot seem to really do it no matter how hard you try. These negative feelings are like a “yoke” – they just seem to keep sticking to you on the inside. The Bible talks about the “yoke of bondage.” These negative feelings have you bound up and you cannot seem to break them off you.
So what is the answer? How do you break these negative feelings off of you? There is only one way and that leads us to the second principle of this one-two punch and that is the right cross – the power of the Holy Spirit!
2. The Power of the Holy Spirit
We as human beings only have a certain amount of natural strength, not only within our natural physical bodies, but also within our souls and spirits where our intellect and emotions reside. Each person only has a limited amount of mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical strength at their disposal.
Some people can bounce back from adversity better and quicker than others. We have all seen that. However, we all have our personal breaking points, no matter how strong we think we are. We can only lift so much with our physical bodies, no matter how many steroids a bodybuilder may take.
We all have different levels of mental and emotional strength. Some are stronger in their minds than others. We see this mental strength in many of our professional athletes. Some of these athletes can do and accomplish things a normal person cannot do – not only because they are physically stronger, but also because they are mentally stronger. They do not give up as quickly as someone else would. How many times have we seen professional athletes amaze us when in the heat of extreme adversity, they plow through on sheer will power and mental strength to achieve total victory?
Some are also stronger in their emotions than others. We can see this in the different ways people react to severe tragedy. Some people can bounce back quicker and they do not hold any grudges against anyone for the tragedy. Life is too short for them to dwell on the negative aspects of the tragedy, and they would prefer to press on with the rest of their life and let the past go. Others cannot do that as easily.
They cannot let the past go. They do not have the emotional strength to get a grip on the negative emotions that have settled in on them. Before they know it, they are mired down into a depression, and they are holding grudges against the wrongdoers and are mad at everything and everybody in the world. They cannot get over the negative feelings they are experiencing and before long, they have lost all of their joy and zest for living.
Too many Christians are in this second boat. They have been hit with some serious torpedoes and they cannot seem to get back up to start living again. The negative emotions that have set in on them are literally killing them! Many in the medical profession believe that negative emotions can help lead to cancer and other various diseases and illnesses. Not only can these negative emotions kill you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually – but they can also lead to diseases and illnesses that can physically kill you.
To those Christians who cannot seem to get back up and get over the evil wrongs done to them by others, who do not have enough mental, emotional, and spiritual strength within their own makeup to work these negative emotions out of themselves – there is only one answer for them. If you go direct to God the Father with a sincere request to help you out with this kind of a dilemma – God will help deliver you from the bondage of these negative emotions and feelings. God will literally do “inner spiritual surgery” on you to help pull these negative emotions out of you.When you ask God to take these kinds of negative emotions out of you – it can sometimes happen very quickly – possibly within seconds, minutes, days or weeks. Or it could take a bit longer, perhaps spread out over several months, which would be more of a progressive type healing. God is the Surgeon, so let Him decide how He wants to work this inner surgery and how long He wants to take to do it with you.
The Bible says “You have not because you ask not.” Many times, God will not move in with His deliverance power on your situation until you first ask Him to do so in prayer. Sometimes it really is that simple!
Too many Christians are running to psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors, not to mention the drug store for their favorite tranquilizer or anti-depressant medication. The number one selling prescription drug for the year 2001 was anti-depressant medication! And I have to believe there were many Christians in that boat. The Holy Spirit can also get at the root of your problems – especially when you get into the emotional realm of your being. He will pull these negative feelings out at the roots so they do not keep coming back on you. Anti-depressants just cover and mask the problem. They never get at the root of the problem. The same with doctors and counselors. They can talk all day long about your problem – but they do not have God’s full supernatural power to literally pull these emotions out at their roots to bring about a full inner healing on these negative emotions.
The above principle also applies to trying to forgive someone who has seriously wronged you. You know God wants you to forgive this person, but your feelings are not lining up with what is coming out of your mouth. You tell God you have forgiven this person, but yet you still feel the anger and bitterness against this person.
What you do in this case is to tell God, with a confession out of your mouth, that you will forgive this person – even if your do not really feel like you have forgiven this person within your own feelings and emotions. God will take and accept the confession out of your mouth that you have truly forgiven this person, even if your feelings are not lining up with this confession. But then you go to part two and ask God to take these negative feelings of unforgiveness out of you, and He will do it just like He will do with your other negative emotions.
All of a sudden, after a certain length of time, you will feel it on the inside of your heart and spirit that you have now truly forgiven this person and that you are no longer holding any grudges or feelings of anger, bitterness, or resentment toward this person.
Article courtesy of http://www.bible-knowledge.com