Straight Talk, by Joyce Meyer

Find Your Freedom

To receive from God what He has promised in His Word, we must obey Him.
Why me, God? was the cry of my heart for many years. It filled my thoughts and affected my attitude daily. I had been sexually, physically, verbally and emotionally abused from the earliest time I can remember until I left home at the age of 18. I was rejected, abandoned and betrayed.

Because of the wounded emotions I had from a lifetime of suffering, I lived in a wilderness of self-pity. It was a huge problem that kept me from fulfilling the plan of God for my life.

Many people are hurting terribly and crying out for help, but they are not willing to receive the help God has to offer. It is amazing how often we want things our way. No matter how much we may want or need His help, we are never going to receive it until we are willing to do things God's way.

When someone hurts us, we often react as though that individual has stolen from us. We feel that they owe us, yet Jesus wants us to let it go. He said, "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop" (Mark 11:25, The Amplified Bible).

If we refuse to forgive, what hope do we have of receiving what we need? To receive from God what He has promised in His Word, we must obey Him, regardless of how difficult it may be. We must become doers of the Word.

The greatest deception that Satan has perpetuated in the area of forgiveness is the idea that if our feelings have not changed, we have not truly forgiven. Many people believe this lie. They decide to forgive someone who has harmed them, but the devil convinces them that because they still have the same feelings, they have not really forgiven the person.

You can make the right decision to forgive and not "feel" any differently. This is when faith is needed to carry you through. You have done your part, and now you are waiting on God. His part is to heal your emotions, to make you feel well and whole. Only God has the power to change your feelings for the person who hurt you.

Another common misconception is that all we have to do is make the decision to forgive and our job is finished. Jesus also said, "Invoke blessings upon and pray for the happiness of those who curse you, implore God's blessing (favor) upon those who abuse you [who revile, reproach, disparage, and high-handedly misuse you]" (Luke 6:28). In addition, Romans 12:14 says, "Bless those who persecute you [who are cruel in their attitude toward you]; bless and do not curse them."

In this context, the word bless means "to speak well of." It is extending mercy to people who do not deserve it.

We are also to pray for them to be blessed spiritually. We are to ask God to bring truth and revelation to them so they will be willing to repent and be set free from their sins. Do you see what is missing when we just decide to forgive someone and go no further?

Above all, the No. 1 key to forgiveness is to receive the Holy Spirit, who provides the strength and ability to forgive. Realize that you cannot forgive apart from the Holy Spirit's help. None of us can do it on our own.

Have you been hurt? Misused? Abused? Rejected? Do you really want to be healed?

Then I ask: Will you forgive?

Pray and release the person who hurt you by repeating this prayer aloud: "Holy Spirit, breathe on me and give me strength. I forgive (name) for (whatever was done to you). I loose this person from (his/her) debt, and I ask that You bless (him/her) in Jesus' name.

"I choose to walk in Your ways, Lord. I love You, and I turn this situation over to You. I cast my care upon You, and I believe You for my total restoration. Help me, Lord. Heal me of all the wounds inflicted upon me. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen."

Now by faith leave it all in your Father's hands.

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