,

Shake Off The Pain & Be Set Free

The question is – when you’ve been hurt, how can this be done?

Let’s let the Holy Spirit help us here through what He gave the Apostle Paul to record:

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:31-32 

Just reading verse 31 alone – Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. – could send us on a frustrating works trip, but God wouldn’t do that.

What I’ve come to learn is, if I read the Bible with the context of the surrounding verses, the answer to the problem is always there.

Ephesians wasn’t meant to brow beat us into submission. God doesn’t do that either!

Aren’t you thrilled that verse 32 follows 31? I am!

32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

The first half of the verse reminds us to live out of our true identity while the second half brings in the good news as to how we can follow all the instructions given.

But hold on to your seat belts because this is complicated…hahaha, not really! If there’s one thing Steve and I have learned, it’s that the good news is never complicated. In fact, when it starts getting complicated, that’s one way you can know you are hearing a mixed gospel – the good news plus the bad news. Or the good news with a “but.” Or the good news with a “catch.”

I read something today that someone wrote that was so confusing and complicated. It’s because the person who wrote it was trying to mix the good news with bad news. They were trying to mix grace with self effort. But the two don’t mix.

Mark 2:22 says,

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.” – (NLT)

Nope, it’s never complicated. Jesus did it all!

When we know Jesus did it all, we can and we will follow instructions. When we know how much we have been forgiven of by God and we understand this was only made possible because of Jesus, it produces heart change in us. The result of this heart change is we will find a natural desire welling up in our heart to forgive others!

So the main thing I want to encourage you with in this post is to focus on the right person.

For instance:

Rather than saying to yourself:

”I’m feeling bitter, enraged and angry towards so-and-so and I better stop feeling this way. I need to stop acting like this. I gotta stop thinking these thoughts. Can you sense the frustration? (This is focusing on yourself.)

Try this instead: focus on the truth that, as a Believer, You are forever forgiven for all of your sins – past, present and future sins – all because of what Jesus did for you through His finished work! (This is focusing on Jesus!)

Simply receive and relax in the forgiveness that was provided for you through the blood that Jesus shed. Take a deep breath and rest in God’s unconditional love because His love isn’t going anywhere.

I don’t mean His love isn’t going anywhere as long as your behavior is perfect. I mean His love isn’t going anywhere even when you are struggling with bitterness, rage, anger, speaking to others with harshness or all types of evil behavior.

I’m not saying God loves everything we do because some things we do hurt us and He loves us so much that He doesn’t want us to hurt ourselves. There are natural consequences for sin that our good, good Father doesn’t want to see us have to endure.

But God never stops loving us no matter what we do.

In fact…

This, my friend, is what living the grace life looks like. It’s continuing to receive God’s grace – His unmerited favor – no matter what.

So remember you are:

Kind

Tender-hearted

and

A forgiving person

Do you believe it?

Say it out loud about yourself right now.

”I am kind”

”I am tender-hearted”

”I am a forgiving person”

“This is who I am because Jesus lives in me”

How much better is this than trying to “not feel” angry or bitter or enraged. It’s not only better. It actually works. It actually brings freedom!

I want to see more Christians asking themselves, “Is the way I’m doing my Christian life actually working?” Am I living in peace? Am I reigning in life by being able to freely forgive when someone hurts me? Am I receiving God’s love for myself on a regular basis and seeing His love flow out of me to others?

If these things aren’t true of you and you want to learn how to reign in life through Jesus Christ, I encourage you to get my book, I Tried Until I Almost Died.

If you live outside of the United States, my book very well may be offered in your country. You can go here to see!

And if you don’t find your country on the list, my book is available through the Book Depository with FREE delivery worldwide!

Finally, did you know that I Tried Until I Almost Died has been translated into Korean? You can go here for the Korean edition!

In closing, I definitely want to clarify something about this blog post. What I’ve said in this post does not in any way mean you need to let other people mistreat you, abuse you, control you or manipulate you. I do not recommend this. If they insist on doing so, here’s what you do…you say “Goodbye!”

Sometimes that goodbye will only be temporary while God separately works on both hearts involved, while at other times the goodbye will need to be permanent.

I have a friend who has a “friend” that is so controlling and manipulative that it has forced her to have to completely severe the relationship. She’s done everything in her power to keep from doing this but it is literally sucking the life out of her.

I’m so proud of her for understanding how loved by God she is and loving herself enough to put an end to the abuse!

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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