The last few blogs have been discussing forgiveness. We started this series to tap into how to be healed, mainly physical; however upon research and studying the Word of God, there are hindrances to receiving our healing and most of it deals with issues of the heart – unforgiveness, bitterness, fear…the list goes on. We discussed what unforgiveness and bitterness does to our soul in the last few blogs, and even went into the bondages of not forgiving yourself. Today, we are sharing what the Word says about forgiving ourselves and ultimately walking in freedom spiritually and physically!
In Psalms 32, King David is expressing his joy from being released from his great suffering. It’s actually divided up into 2 parts – verses 1-5 King David proclaims the joy of seeing his fault remitted by God and in verses 6 – 11, he shows his confidence in the fact that God is the guide on the right path. Let’s take a look:
***Read Psalms 32:1-11***
From the Psalms during the time of King David, believers were increasingly becoming aware of their own sins and found confession as a ray of hope. There was a particular pattern you can follow :
- The recognized their sins
- They realized their sin was rebellion against God
- They admitted their sins to God
- They trusted God’s willingness to forgive
- They accepted His forgiveness
Psalm 32 alone could be a whole new blog. Reading just verses 5-7 illustrate God’s willingness and grace to protect you from life’s storms when you confess to Him. Instead of hiding our sins from Him, when we confess, the opposite happens – HE becomes our hiding place!!! He can’t protect us if we are running from Him!
As Adam and Eve hid themselves when they realized they had sinned, we too hide in shame from ours, BUT when we run TO Him, no matter the depth we have found ourselves in, HE promises to forgive and shelter us! God doesn’t hold us in condemnation, WE DO!
And if we can’t forgive others or ourselves, how can we even accept the forgiveness of God?
***Read Matthew 18:21-25 in the Passion Translation***
Here are a few scriptures that guide us along the path of how to walk in forgiveness. Once you make that choice to forgive, you don’t just feel great and everything’s peachy! You most times will still FEEL the same!! You have to replace those negative and unhealthy thoughts with thoughts that are pure, holy, empowering… Meditate on scripture day and night, Joshua 1:8 tells us… You’re going to have to fill your mind and thoughts with the Word of God to dissipate all the negative thoughts, bitterness, anger and fear you have allowed in.
Philippians 4:8 – “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”
God is a Father. He wants His children walking around in harmony, not division. When we don’t forgive ourselves, there is still a poison in us and it won’t take long for us to infect those around us, too.
Some principles to help you on the path to forgiving yourself…
As you meditate on the Word, study scriptures that help you focus on praise and worship, accept and declare that you are a new creation in Christ – old things have passed away and all things are made new! That’s truth, not a feeling!
Hebrews 8:12– “For I will demonstrate my mercy to them and will forgive their evil deeds, and never remember again their sins.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 –18– “Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new creation. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new. And God has made all things new and reconciled us to himself, and given us the ministry of reconciling others to God.”
Pray without ceasing and don’t depend on your own strength to forgive or walk this journey – you won’t be able to do it without God. We are fickle, wishy-washy human beings in our own strength BUT with the power of God infused through us, there’s nothing we can’t do! 2 Corinthians 12:9states that His strength is made PERFECT in our weakness!!!
Philippians 3:13– “I don’t depend on my own strength to accomplish this, however I do have one compelling focus: I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead.”
Another way to help in forgiveness and dealing with our own pain is to take the focus off of ourselves and begin to help others. On our journey to healing, we are so focused on ourselves and so close to our situation that we need to step away and put our focus on helping others in their journey. Often times seeing the struggles of someone else and walking them through theirs ushers in our own healing too!
Scientific studies have actually proven that helping others while we ourselves are in pain help boost, motivate and encourage us! A recent study done in 2018 suggests one way our well-being can benefit from practicing pro-social behavior is: helping others regulate their emotions helps us regulate our own emotions, decreases symptoms of depression and ultimately, improves our emotional well-being.
Another recent study from Columbia University has revealed that when helping others navigate their stressful situations, we are enhancing our own emotion regulation skills, and thus, benefiting our own emotional well-being.
We all need one another. We are called to walk in unity, harmony and edify and uplift each other…not just when we are good, but mostly when things are tough! We need that encouragement and it unifies and uplifts our confidence and spirit man!
A few scriptures to help along with that:
1 Thessalonians 5:14– “We appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, to instruct those who are not in their place of battle. Be skilled at gently encouraging those who feel themselves inadequate. Be faithful to stand your ground. Help the weak to stand again. Be quick to demonstrate patience with everyone.”
Galatians 6:2-3– “Love empowers us to fulfill the law of the Anointed One as we carry each other’s troubles. If you think you are too important to stoop down to help another, you are living in deception.”
James 5:16– “Confess and acknowledge how you have offended one anotherand then pray for one another to be instantly healed, for tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer!”
Proverbs 27:17– “It takes a grinding wheel to sharpen a blade, and so one person sharpens the character of another.”
Romans 12:16– “Live happily together in a spirit of harmony, and be as mindful of another’s worth as you are your own. Don’t live with a lofty mind-set, thinking you are too important to serve others, but be willing to do menial tasks and identify with those who are humble minded. Don’t be smug or even think for a moment that you know it all.”There are tons more, but hopefully that gave you a good start! Next blog, we will be delving into faith and how faith is needed to activate the healing power of God in your life and body!
Stay tuned as we discuss the power of faith with regard to healing next week and how activating your faith can usher in your healing!