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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

He Never Wastes a Hurt

Have you ever been hurt by another person? If you are human, you have been hurt. Do you harbor that pain instead of forgiving the one who inflicted it? Might you unknowingly blame God for the pain? No, you exclaim! You love Him. He is your Savior! If asked you would never believe you are angry at God. You are angry at the one who inflicted the pain. But isn’t it a possibility that anger toward the one who hurt you might actually be toward God for allowing something so devastating? The inability to forgive is a terrible cancer. It eats at your spiritual health, and not only destroys human relationships. It ultimately destroys your relationship with God.

“Do not judge,” Jesus instructs, “and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37). Isn’t the inability to forgive really judgment of that person? Personal betrayal or rejection does not give you a personal license to be angr
y at God or anyone else. The Holy Spirit invites us to acknowledge our pain so we might forgive. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom,” Paul writes (2 Corinthians 3:17). To receive forgiveness we must give ourselves away—freely as Jesus gave his life. We are forgiven as we forgive others.

Rick Warren imparts in his popular bestseller, The Purpose Driven Life (Zondervan, 2002), that God never wastes a hurt. He writes, “If you really desire to be used by God, you must understand a powerful truth: the very experiences that you have resented or regretted most in life—the ones you’ve wanted to hide and forget—are the experiences God wants to use to help others.” When you forgive, God never wastes your hurt. If you want to be used by God, you can’t harbor feelings of anger and hurt toward anyone. Give yourself away in your heart to the one who has hurt you, and you face the pain with the power and freedom on the Holy Spirit. You will discover that in giving yourself away, you will receive.

Jesus waits for our response. Are we willing to return what He has given? Will we actually do as He asks? Make something good come out of what is bad. Turn it around for God’s glory. Open your heart to the Holy Spirit’s forgiveness so others might be healed, too. Out of your life will flow rivers or living water.

“I will give you a new heart,” the Lord promises, “and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).

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