On The Potter’s Wheel. Finding the Beauty in the Ashes.
By: Carmen Love
Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
Do you know that the person who hurt you years ago and caused you the most pain…is actually your greatest teacher? They are the sharpest tool on the potter’s wheel, cutting, poking, and grinding deeply into the clay. Painful! Sometimes these people dead or alive are still controlling us as we find it extremely difficult to let go of the wrongs. Take a moment and reflect on what they’ve done and then ask God how He can use it for your good and His glory. Many times, what was meant for evil will eventually work for our good when we let go of grudges and allow God to vindicate us. Strongholds of bitterness, anger, resentment, and prolonged grief can become chains of addiction that must be broken, if you want to see and experience the promises of God’s will for your life.
Bitterness, Resentments, Anger, and Misery can become Addictions!
Addictions of any kind are hard to break and deliverance must come through total and complete surrender beginning with confession, and then comes the irony of admitting that you are weak in your own strength in order to gain God’s strength. You may be wondering if restoration and a renewed mind are even possible at this point. Frustrated, maybe you’ve even given up after trying for so long. Maybe you think that the person who hurt you doesn’t deserve forgiveness and that you’d rather continue holding on to the hatred and resentment. Maybe, right now at this very moment, while reading this article, someone who deeply hurt you comes to mind, and you can feel the anger rising. After years of abuse and many failed relationships, it may be hard for you to imagine or accept that you actually deserve a better life and that God desires this for you. Yes, even with all of your mistakes, you deserve God’s unconditional love and forgiveness through Christ Jesus. Maybe God is speaking to you through your present storms, saying that now is the time to bury the anger once and for all and experience the freedom that only our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ can provide. Forgiveness= Freedom=Victory.
Benefits of Releasing the Pain through Forgiveness
•The act of forgiving does not justify or condone what happened, yet instead, releases a flood of God’s ultimate justice and power over the wrong that was done to you, and while we should never gloat when our enemies fall, forgiving the offender causes God to move in a mighty way in that individual’s life towards correction, out of His love for them. Loving and praying for the offender frees you!
•What God chooses to do to vindicate you and your circumstances is His battle, and not yours. Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God. While God has an appointed time for dealing with those who hurt us, He is more concerned with us healing than what they did to us.
•There is so much beauty in the ashes of life. Sometimes we get so caught up in the appearance of things, how someone has wronged us, and what was taken away from us, that we miss the true lessons of the trials and tribulations we face. We miss the very thing that God intended to use in order to get our attention and lead us towards a victorious more fulfilling life.
•Your God consciousness is so much greater and more powerful than anything coming against you. Time to change your focus. Time to forgive yourself. Time to experience greatness, better relationships, and peace.
•Realize that everything under the sun happens for a reason, and although you may not understand why, you must trust in God’s divine wisdom. The very thing that devastated you can be the best thing that ever happened to you.
•Self-forgiveness brings an unimaginable freedom because you are surrendering negative self-defeating thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in exchange for a brand new perspective on everything. As a result, relationships will be healed and broken hearts mended. If your thoughts are not in alignment with God’s word, then your actions will work against the will of God.
•The enemy’s stronghold over your life is defeated and that bitterness pulled up from the root when you begin to confess a negative attitude and ask God to change your heart. He is aware of everything that has happened to you and He cares.
•Practice saying that you forgive the person daily. Let it be your daily mantra, especially when the enemy brings the painful deed to your mind. Make forgiveness a prayer and eventually it will begin to resonate in your heart. Instead of anger, you will begin feel compassion and love. Again, this does not condone what they’ve done nor does it mean you should re-establish a relationship. Each situation is different. I will elaborate further as you continue to read and allow God to bless you.
The Roller-coaster of Anger Fueled Emotions
Finding it in your heart to forgive someone who has wronged and deeply wounded you, is by far one of the most difficult acts of complete and utter surrender to the Heavenly Father we may ever have to address and deal with in our hearts. It’s not easy when our bitter heart is afraid of letting the anger go and taking the risk of getting hurt again, but holding on is even worse, it causes us to repeat mistakes of the past as we begin unleashing a gamut of negative emotions onto others, leading us right back into more toxic relationships. It’s like getting on a roller coaster that refuses to stop. We go up and down emotionally, fueling angry thoughts, and creating unhealthy patterns. Forgiveness is by no means an easy thing to do for anyone. For some, it may take years to let go of something that may have originated in your early childhood years which involved painful encounters with people you trusted, people you thought only had your best interest at heart, and if it involves the murder of a loved one it can take even longer, but God is able to heal any and every wound. His love is greater than the pain.
Perhaps you were betrayed and deeply wounded by a loved one you thought would never hurt you, and now your heart is so guarded; even grace and mercy cannot get in. You may be asking… But what if I, have hurt so many people? How could I ever forgive myself? And, does God forgive me? God’s word clearly says, (1 John 1:9) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Refusing to forgive yourself for past iniquities that have been confessed, turned away from, and covered by the blood of Jesus, keeps you trapped on emotional roller coasters, attracts even more pain, and fuels anger which is an open door for demonic influence. What does the enemy do to keep us stuck?
•Satan constantly reminds us of the painful things of the past to keep us from walking into our full destiny. He will oftentimes use family and friends to bring up things in your past that were confessed and forgiven. Remind them in the most loving way that God has forgiven you, and so should they.
•Satan gains a stronghold through anger, bitterness, and resentments.
•Satan’s stronghold can lead to mental illness in the form of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation, and other health issues such as heart attacks, hypertension, stomach discomfort, headaches, and other stress related illnesses.
•Satan manipulates the mind into to dwelling on past hurts and enjoys attending our pity parties. God would never keep reminding us of what someone else did to us, but instead, would encourage healing, loving, and forgiving thoughts.
•Satan’s goal is to steal present and future blessings if he can get you to doubt God, or become angry with God while cursing others.
•Whatever you dwell on becomes bigger, it grows, so it’s vitally important to let your thoughts be Christ centered. The more Christ centered your thoughts are, the more of His promises and love will be manifested in your life, and the more healing you will begin to experience.
Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
Forgiveness is a supernatural act of faith and obedience to God, it is an essential, holistic, divinely orchestrated requirement in order for us to live our lives to the fullest, regain the right perspective according to the will of God for our lives, and also enables us to embrace abundance, prosperity, and everything good that the Heavenly Father has promised us.
1 John 4:4 Greater is He that is in me, than He that is in the world.
How do you forgive your loved ones killer? How do you forgive the man who walked out on you and the children to be with another woman? How do you forgive the woman who slept with your best friend and the friend who betrayed you? How do you forgive an abusive parent who rejected, abandoned, and made you feel worthless? The addicted wayward child who cursed, deceived, and abused you? A sibling who used, criticized, and took advantage of you? And more importantly, how do I forgive the awful things I did to myself and others? The list goes on and on, and so does the enemy’s power, control, and deceptiveness in your life as you ask yourself these questions and struggle to let go of something so very toxic, a stronghold by the enemy of your soul designed to steal, kill, and destroy everything that God has placed within you. God has divinely equipped every believer with the strength, power, and courage it takes to move forward and to live a healthy productive lifestyle regardless of what they tried to do to you. Remember, the anointing of God is so much stronger than any satanic plot, plan, or scheme devised against you and God intends for us to believe, receive, and exercise faith towards the light of healing.
The Bitterness Waltz
Push the stop button on the recorder and don’t replay it again. Let go of all thoughts that bring you grief… knowing in your heart that better days are ahead if you can just step out of your comfort zone of holding on to painful angry thoughts long enough to receive what you really deserve. Stop the emotional waltz with people in your past or present who deliberately cause unnecessary pain, grief, and continuous suffering. Like a trampled rose, these weed connections keep us bitter, and only cause us to regurgitate that bitterness onto the next person who comes along, someone who deserves not half, but all of you. Life is too short to keep dancing to a boring old song that never ends. This unresolved inner conflict with those who have most likely been the culprit of a bitter seed planted into your life years ago, spills over onto our innocent children. They observe, embrace, and copy what we teach them. Verbally or nonverbally, it’s still just as powerful. While you may have a legitimate justifiable reason for your bitterness, it only serves as a conduit for more pain, and their lives become an imitation of all of our stored, repressed, and regurgitated resentments.
Does Forgiveness mean having a relationship with the person who hurt me?
Absolutely not! Forgiveness is an act of faith which does not condone the wrong act or evil. Choosing to forgive does not mean that you have to have a relationship or communication with the person who wronged you, especially if contact is life threatening, dangerous, or traumatizing, and it is not the will of God to continue allowing someone to deliberately and continuously abuse you. We are to pray for them but keep ourselves safe, at the same time, using wisdom and depending on God’s protection. Forgiveness is simply saying, “I choose not to hold you responsible anymore for my bitterness, anger, and resentments. I choose freedom, deliverance, and a fulfillment of my dreams, hopes, and desires, over what you did to me. Therefore I choose to love and not hate. I choose obedience to God over evil. I choose to embrace that what was meant for evil, God will turn it around for my good and His glory. Choosing to forgive does not justify the wrong inflicted on you nor does it necessarily bring instant relief, because we reap what we sow, no matter who we are. Forgiveness is not a carnal intuitive gesture or feeling, and it is quite excruciating to even think about forgiving someone especially at times when our hearts are heavy and flooded with grief. Nevertheless, God says, if we make a conscious effort to speak forgiveness instead of hatred, and pray for the offender instead of seeking revenge, then He will add His super anointing power to our natural effort, equipping us with supernatural authority over all of our hurts. Forgiveness is therefore a supernatural act of obedience which breaks the chains of resentment and leads to our deliverance and the deliverance of others.
Why is it so difficult to let go of the anger?
One of the reasons why people are having a difficult time accepting the concept of forgiveness in the wake of a tragedy, such as the mass shooting that took place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015, is because the act of making the choice not to hate, yet instead forgive, is truly an act and the omnipotent language of God. Anything that is of supernatural caliber will be difficult and confusing to the carnal mind. I recall some painful dark moments in my own life I thought would eventually destroy me. My pain was great, and my resentment even greater. Growing up in a chaotic filled environment, being physically abused by a sibling, blamed for sexual abuse, and then beaten by a spouse, was too much for me to bear, and at times I wondered how a loving God could allow so much pain in such a young life. I hadn’t even begun to live yet. I realized later on in life after I’d surrendered it all to Jesus… “All things do work together for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:28. The entire time I was facing my tests and trials, and while others were tearing me down, God was building character in me, making me stronger and more resilient. Today I can see the beauty in my ashes and I can embrace persecution expecting something wonderful to emerge. I am more loving, more faithful, and more grateful, as I strive each day to be more and more like Jesus. I love the beautiful heart that the creator and ruler of the universe stitched together within my soul, a tapestry of His divine love. I have chosen forgiveness and freedom over all past, present and future hurts, relinquishing into the loving arms of the Heavenly Father all of my griefs, that only He can bear.
The enemy attacks your thoughts because he knows that your thoughts determine your manifestation. The spiritual realm operates in high frequencies, higher than anything in the natural realm. The low frequencies are found in fear, anger, abandonment, rejection, hopelessness, and low self- esteem. Never allow others to destroy the dreams you have or the motivation you have to move forward. Be fierce in your determination to see your dreams unfold. How do you do this? In order for you to manifest the promises of God into your life, your thoughts and words have to match this higher frequency which is based on the word of God. Remember, whatever you focus on will continue to show up in your life and will get bigger and bigger.
Beauty in the Ashes!
Everything that feels bad has a beautiful component to it and everything that glitters isn’t gold. Sometimes the best gifts come wrapped in ugly paper, but this does not change its value. Jesus was led to the cross under the worst of circumstances but look at the value of his obedience. If you fail to learn the lesson in your pain, you will repeat the same course over and over again until you finally get it. History will present repeatedly in a variety of different forms, and your greatest teachers will be the ones who anger you the most. The only thing that will change the outcome of ANY trial…is a changed mind. Change your perspective about what is happening to you right now and watch the situation change in due season. When you relinquish hateful thoughts, you win! When you hold on to them, the enemy wins! There is so much beauty in the ashes, and the seeds you sow will influence the outcome. Embrace only this truth and you win all the time. Patience while (HE= God) works…is the key, and maintain the faith that anything is possible! ~Author Carmen Love
Father God remove the spiritual blinders so that your people will know your truth. Rebuke the enemy’s power in the form of anger, resentments, and bitterness, and bring deliverance and peace like only you can… In the name of Jesus. Amen.
© January 4th, 2015
Author of: They Loved with a Closed Fist: Spousal Abuse, Family violence, Addiction, Depression, Forgiveness.