By Danni Moss
Copyright protected, all rights reserved.
Originally published in a slightly different version.
This man has violated our trust. I have to wonder, does God like that? If He is so just, why did He sit by and let this happen? I am hurt, my child is hurt, other families are hurt. And he gets a few years in prison for all this pain he has caused, which will never end for all of us whom he
has hurt. How do we go on from here? Where is God’s justice?
We’ve looked at the questions about God’s justice and your hurt. But how do you actually walk in God’s healing for you and your life? I mentioned in the section about your hurt that God uses the pain of our circumstances to alert us that there is a problem and to train us how to walk in the truth.
Hebrews 12:12-13 says since this is the case —
… lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
This is what this section is about — lifting up your hands and making straight paths for your feet so that you can be healed. This is the balm and bandages, and even some physical therapy, for your brokenness.
I. Establish a daily habit of spending time with God and make this an absolute priority.
This is not a “to do” to add to your life! This is about developing a real relationship, not just about checking off your Bible reading and prayer time each day. You can talk to God just as simply as you would to your dearest friend standing in your kitchen. You can say exactly what you think and feel — He’s not going to be shocked! Look at the example of David. David laid it all out there — even his ugliest emotions. And God recorded it in His Word for all of time.
Simply start by asking the Holy Spirit to teach you. Ask Him to do that every day. He WILL. And remember that God is a gentle healer. He will lead you in tiny baby steps, day by day.
The Psalms are a great place to start. In a month’s time you can read through the Psalms. On day one, you can read chapters 1, 31, 61, 91, 121. On day two, you can read chapters 2, 32, 62, 92, 122. See the pattern? Start with the date, then add increments of 30. That will take you through the book of Psalms in 30 days.
Now, the truth is that can be a lot of reading. So I recommend that you just read until the Holy Spirit speaks to your heart. Write down what He points out to you in a journal. Over time, you will start to see that He is speaking directly to you, with love and healing.
II. Clear the decks with God.
In our hurt, Satan deceives us into making sinful choices. James 5:16 indicates that there is a direct and specific correlation between our confession of sin and God’s healing in our lives. Here again, we need to understand what repentance and confession really is. It’s is not a chest-beating, sack-cloth and ashes, back-lashing session of guilt and groveling! Repentance is simply agreeing with and turning to the truth and turning away from the sin. Confession is simply stating that fact. We seek God’s forgiveness, not with shame and humiliation, but as a child simply running into daddy’s arms for reconciliation. We repent, confess, ask forgiveness — and it is done.
The first thing for you to confess to God is your sin in hiding from Him and abandoning relationship with Him in an attempt to protect yourself. Again, remember, this is not a shameful or humiliating thing. It is a positive, not a negative. Your sin is a fact and you want to restore the lost relationship. This is how to do it. God is just waiting for you to take the first step.
Another thing to remember is that this repentance/confession/forgiveness cycle is one that will be a daily thing for the rest of your life as you walk in relationship with God. God’s work in our lives, from the time we accept Christ until the moment we are perfected in heaven, is to expose our areas of unbelief and conform us into the image of Christ. That always necessitates repentance, confession and forgiveness as the Holy Spirit reveals to us these areas of our lives.
III. Forgive your abuser with an open hand and heart.
This is a hard one but absolutely critical.
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
That’s pretty clear-cut! God goes into this principle in more depth in Matthew 18:21-35.
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin
against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until
seventy times seven.
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee?
And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
The truth is that God has forgiven us far more than we will ever be required to forgive another. If that doesn’t seem to be real to you, ask the Holy Spirit to show you the truth of it. The magnitude of what God has forgiven us for is truly staggering.
There are several basic things to remember about forgiveness. First, forgiveness is a choice not a feeling. We can choose to forgive, regardless of whether we feel like forgiving someone. Forgiveness is simply making the choice not to hold that person responsible to ever make it right with you or to acknowledge the truth of what they have done wrong. Once we have made that choice, Satan will probably still challenge it in our emotions. When that happens we need to go back to the fact — I forgave it and I refuse to take that offense back on my shoulders.
Second, forgiveness may need to be extended repeatedly. Especially in an un-reconciled relationship, the other party won’t necessarily stop offending! But learning how to forgive enables you to forgive immediately and not hold onto those offenses, causing you further damage.
Third, forgiveness does not require, nor is it dependent on, reconciliation. You can forgive regardless of whether the other person ever changes. And just because you do forgive, does not mean that God requires you to put yourself in a position that invites that other party to hurt you again. God cares about your protection, too. As you go along in your relationship with God, He will teach you how you can build in limits in your relationship with a person who persists in hurting you.
Finally, lack of forgiveness ALWAYS carries a huge price tag. Unforgiveness always results in bitterness. And bitterness has serious physical and spiritual consequences. Bitterness will stand as an insurmountable wall between you and God, denying you access to His grace for your everyday life (Hebrews 12:15). It is just not worth clinging to!
IV. Release your abuser into God’s hands.
This goes hand-in-hand with forgiveness. You have to let go of your abuser. As long as you emotionally hold your abuser “captive” for hurting you (unforgiveness), you are hindering God from working freely in his life. For one thing, while you are holding him captive even your prayers are ineffective — because they are manipulative at their heart. You are trying to “get at” your abuser through God. You have to let him go and let God deal with him in His way and in His time — with no conditions!
Healing is available, but we need to cooperate with God’s process and give Him permission to take whatever time is needed to gently restore us. It may seem impossible today, but if you are willing to walk it out one day at a time, months from now you will be able to look back and see how God has been faithful.