Freedom Series: Part 1 – Session 7
In relationships and in life, there are occasions for all of us when we get hurt, offended, or experience a loss. When this happens in your life, you might ask, “where do I begin in resolving a hurt, offense, or loss, and how do I restore relationship with the other person?”
I believe the real answer to that question is always the same:
What does this mean? In essence, it means making your heart (Proverbs 4:23) and your part, your number one priority – for the sake of your relationship with Jesus Christ!
In practical application, “GO VERTICAL!” includes three R’s:
Between you and Jesus, take responsibility for your attitudes and actions in response to the offense, hurt, or loss. Humble yourself. Ask Jesus to forgive you for any way you have “missed the mark” in thought, word, or deed. Forgive (Ephesians 4:32) the one who has hurt or offended you. Submit to God’s Sovereignty and give thanks for what God has allowed in your life. Ask Him to use it for your good and His Glory, and for the benefit of others.
Not only forgive the person who hurt or offended you, but be willing to reconcile too. Your part is to forgive and seek the other person’s forgiveness (Matthew 5:23-24) for any offenses they have with you. Or, to ask his/her forgiveness based on the conviction of the Holy Spirit in your heart—even if the other person wasn’t offended or hurt by you in that instance. If, both you and other person fully participate in forgiving one another and seeking forgiveness from one another, the outcome will be reconciliation. In other words, if you both GO VERTICAL, the result will be reconciliation!
A key perspective with this part of the process is for you to simply be willing to experience restoration in a relationship where there has been hurt, offense, or loss. But, realize this: restoration includes the process of rebuilding mutual trust—through truth and relational integrity—in the relationship. In some situations (example: when truth and integrity are lacking) it is not wise, advisable, or even possible for the relationship to progress beyond reconciliation and become fully restored. You, however, can still be at peace in your heart, if you have made your heart, and your part your number one priority – for the sake of our relationship with Jesus!
Finally, as both you and the other person GO VERTICAL by PROCESSING THE ISSUES OF YOUR HEART, it will be for your mutual blessing and benefit, and for the Glory of His Name!
Pastor Steve Peterson
Fresh Start For All Nations
Freedom Series: Part 2 – Session 1
Freedom Series: Part 2 – Session 2
Dabbing at her eyes with a tissue, Bella apologized for her tears. “I’m sorry for unloading on you. It’s just been so hard recently.”
Two miscarriages in the last few months had left her raw. And as the wife of someone in church leadership, it seemed she had no one to talk to about it. “Unless you’ve lost a baby, you can’t understand how how much it hurts,” Bella explained. “And well-meaning people can say such insensitive things.”
All I could do was listen and cry with her. “It’s so hard to trust God in all of this,” Bella confided before we said goodbye. “But I just have to believe that He’s doing something good in me in the process.”
Giving it to God
Here’s the rest of the story, in Bella’s own words.
I hit bottom on my first baby’s due date. I felt so discouraged. Nine months, two lost babies, and still empty-handed. And now I was scared that not only would I have to deal with losses, but would I now have to deal with infertility again?
I remember one day having a very honest conversation with the Lord. I told Him that I was angry, frustrated, and tired. It felt like I was coming to a place where this burden of pain and loss was more than I could bear. I wanted this season of pain to be over. And I told Him I was so disappointed that I didn’t get pregnant, and to please have mercy on me.
And in that moment I felt His presence so strong with me. I heard Him tell me to just hang on a little longer, that this season would soon be over, and that He was holding me by my hand and would not let me go. I also felt Him say that I didn’t conceive because He was answering the very thing I had asked Him, and that was to not allow it to happen until it was His time. But then I heard Him say that my time was coming very soon and to just be patient.
I felt such a peace come over me about having another baby and the timing. Even the way I felt about the babies I lost… God gave me such a peace about that. There is no way to explain what He did. It was completely effortless on my part. I just felt different. I felt such a healing work from the Lord. It was like although He knew already what I was feeling and thinking, I needed to be honest with Him and myself first.
That night that we spoke, I didn’t know yet, but a few days later I found out that I am expecting again! Naturally I am nervous, but I must say that I feel different than with the last pregnancies I lost, especially the second one. With that second one I lost, I was in a constant state of anxiety, panic, and worry. I knew something was wrong, and I felt completely helpless to save my baby.
So here I am now, expecting again. Hopeful, but cautious. I know I have a long road ahead of me before I can feel completely at ease about whether this baby will make it. But I am trusting in the Lord. I know He is with me.
Do you have a secret pain? A private grief? Your secret pain doesn’t have to consume you. Give it to Him today. Let Him hold you and give you His peace in the midst of it. And trust Him to do something good in you and through you in the process.
“You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”
Genesis 16:13 (NIV)
Freedom Series: Part 2 – Session 3