Give It All to Jesus

Posted: September 28, 2020 in Uncategorized

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Ephesians 4:31,32

My heart pounded, my mind raced. Tears poured down my face. The chaotic flow of horror, terror, and brokenness surged over me. This storm driven riptide of rogue waves overwhelmed all perspective. The agony of betrayal, the anger: I wanted retribution and a place to run all at the same time. Have you been there? Has your world crashed? Been betrayed? Slandered? What to do? How do I respond? I have gone to the dark side of my soul. I have nurtured that hurt. I know the root of bitterness. I cultivated it like a rare orchid. My heart shriveled, love died, the presence of God drifted to a place I could not see or cared to pursue. I needed a miracle.

Pain, we all carry the scars of deep wounds. Memories flash uninvited, the lump in the throat returns, the eyes moisten. Some pain never departs this side of heaven. My Grandpa Brown never got over the loss of his two children. I wouldn’t either. But he didn’t carry bitterness, nor did he carry a spirit of resignation. Why? He knew a God who loved him, who loved his wife, who loved his children, especially the two who left him too early. “God is good, blessed be the name of the Lord.” My grandfather understood without having to understand, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”” Isaiah 55:8,9 But what of abuse, slander, and worse? The heart of man is evil, it knows no bounds. Surely I am justified. This man or woman deserves my hate. That hate will destroy you as surely as your imagination destroys the object of your hate. Run!! As fast as you can to Jesus. Unload that junk, that morass of pain. It may take a thousand trips, dump it. Only then can you find freedom, the freedom to love, the freedom to live.

Martin Luther King said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” Hate drives the present BLM movement. And the hate will destroy its own. Only a voice of forgiveness and reconciliation will move the wounded hearts of men and women. Jesus said, You have heard it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48

Today, I pray the moment any hurt surfaces, I pray over difficult relationships. I pray for everything I can imagine in their lives. I pray for breakthrough, I pray for blessing. I pray for the divine purposes to be lived out in the lives of individuals that would be so easy to hate. Why? No longer do I do it because Jesus told me to. I pray because I know God grows a love in me for those who wished me harm. “In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out fear.” 1 John 4:17,18. The flesh cannot conjure this love, it comes directly from the heart of God. Don’t own the hurt, the bitterness, the anger, the malice. Give it all to Jesus. Live in freedom, live in Christ’s love.

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