Break Every Chain
“How could church people be so mean?” I thought to myself. Just a few hours earlier, my pastor-husband had been told to turn in his resignation. Now, I was the sole supporter of our little family of four with only a part-time job. Bitterness and anger raged inside of me. I vowed, “I will never forgive the men who did this to us.” And I didn’t. Months turned into years, years turned into spiritual strongholds. Unknowingly, I’d built a wall of distrust with bricks of unforgiveness held together with the mortar of anger and hate.
One day I couldn’t get out of bed, it seemed as if a dark cloud hovered over me, blocking my view of God. A lie ruminated in my mind, “If God loved me and my family, He could have prevented those people from removing us from our job, our congregation and our life as we knew it.”
Pastor Paul and I learned about a seminar that was coming to our new church. Skeptically, we decided to attend. It was there I discovered the root of my deception: I believed the lie that I was unlovable, unacceptable and unworthy. I renounced the lies for each of these deceptions. I began to declare the truth of what God’s Word said about me and our situation.
I am very loved: John 15:9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.”
I am accepted: “John 15:15-16, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”
I am righteous: Romans 8:31-34 “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”
It was remarkable how God’s truth hammered through those bricks of unforgiveness, breaking through the hurt and hate. I took responsibility by claiming my authority in Jesus and accepting my part in the situation. I chose to forgive our offenders. It was something I didn’t and couldn’t do on my own. I forgave because Jesus asked me to do His will.
All of us will have opportunities to forgive, but some of us will have many opportunities. Forgiveness is a choice, a decision, a crisis of the will.
Jesus reminds us in Luke 6:36, “Be merciful, just as your Heavenly Father is merciful.” God has shown us mercy that we don’t deserve. When we show mercy through forgiveness, it is a way to keep the lines of communication open between God and us. In 2 Corinthians 2:10,11 we are told, “We must forgive, so that no advantage is taken of us by Satan for we are not ignorant of his schemes.”
If we want mercy, we are commanded to be merciful through forgiving those who don’t deserve it. Jesus is our substitute, who literally became sin for us. John 1:29 “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” Jesus’ crucifixion wounds belonged to us, He was punished in our place to satisfy God’s requirement. His sacrifice provided for our righteousness. “Christ had no sin, but God made him become sin so that in Christ we could become right with God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21. Won’t you choose to forgive your offenders, even if they don’t deserve it?
Dear Heavenly Father, I beg you to break every chain. Only you can break me free. Thank you for allowing me the choice to trust You with my hurts, habits and hang-ups. You know who hurt me, what they did, how it happened. Lord, you know I’ve carried this pain around for a very long time. I am thankful for the mercy you’ve shown me. I forgive them for hurting me with their harsh words. I release them into your care. Thank you for healing my bitterness and anger. In Jesus’ Name, Amen