Bible Study Notes:


Hindrances to YOUR Healing
Part 6


These notes are from a transcript of the postings during Bible Study on Monday Nights at 8 PM at Bible Study Chat at churchusa.com.
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Why are some not healed?

Here are some insights that the Holy Spirit has given me about the answer. There may be more reasons than listed here. None of these are meant to be a criticism or condemnation of YOU, but if any of these "rings a bell", maybe it's something you need to prayerfully consider before the Lord.

 

Hindrance to Healing # 24 Condemning rather than Forgiving

We’ve already talked some about unforgiveness hindering your healing. But some questions have arisen about just how do you forgive? And in researching this I realized that not only unforgiveness blocks healing, but a spirit of condemnation as well.

Luke 6:36-37 " Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."

Let’s break this passage down into its four parts: showing mercy, not judging, not condemning and forgiving. Mercy is compassion shown toward an offender or an enemy, a disposition to forgive or forbear, and act of kindness or compassion, a blessing. Mercy is also clemency, leniency, letting go of a penalty for a wrong deed.

Isaiah 38: 16-17 Lord, by such things men live; and my spirit finds life in them too. You restored me to health and let me live. Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.

King Hezekiah found healing when he received forgiveness from God. He had a illness that was due to result in death, and he turned his head to the wall and called on God. God answered his prayer and granted him 15 more years of life.

Micah 7:18-19 Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

Jeremiah 31:34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, `Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."

When God forgives us, He forgets - the Word says He casts our sins in the sea of forgetfulness, to be remembered no more. He puts our sins "behind His back", they are forgotten and put out of sight. He no longer holds our sins against us and forgives us the penalty of them.

Psalm 103:10-12 He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As far as the east is from the west, He removes our transgressions from us. When we confess our sins, the only thing written in the Lamb's Book of Life is just your Name and "Son of God" Glory!!!!!!!! Wow!!!!!! No sin, all cancelled out - if we've asked for forgiveness, it's given absolutely and unconditionally.

Sins are only recorded for the sinner who WILL NOT repent. They will have to appear before the Great White Throne, and the books will be opened, and ALL will be revealed. (see Revelation 12:11-12)

Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit,

But believers don’t appear before God’s Great White Throne of Judgement, they appear before the Bema - the Judgement Seat of Christ, not to be condemned for their sins, but be REWARDED for their faithfulness. Hallelujah. There is therefore NOW NO condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus.

When God forgives, He never brings it up again, He takes away the penalty for our sins, and never "brow beats" us because of past failures. Since God has been merciful to us, He expects us to be merciful to others.

Luke 6:36-37 " Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful DO NOT JUDGE, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."

Jesus said DO NOT JUDGE. Jesus did not relieve us of the need for discerning between right and wrong, but he condemned unjust and critical judging of others. Don't judge someone for something that you are guilty of.

Have you ever met anyone with a "critical spirit"? No matter what you did, it was wrong? They had a "negative attitude"? They are never wrong in their own eyes, but buddy, you couldn’t do anything RIGHT?.

The Pharisees in Jesus day were always trying to catch somebody doing something wrong. They were on the "lookout" for sin, you might say! That's why they were always criticizing Jesus. They had a standard they themselves couldn't follow, but buddy, if they caught YOU in a fault, watch out!

A judgmental or critical spirit is often a camouflage for hidden sin. Accusing, casting blame and placing guilt is a substitute for confessing and purging sin in one’s own life. I worked in welfare for a number of years and learned a lot about human behavior. One thing that I learned was that when someone is unjustly accusing you of something, that says a LOT about their own shortcomings!

Jesus said in Matthew 12:36 "But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."

Never set yourself up as judge, jury and jailer over another person! When we take a superior attitude over someone else, declare them guilty, and punish them, we are presuming to take God’s place in their lives.

Ultimately we are all responsible to God for our actions, and one day will have to stand alone before Him and account for every idle or careless word. And our own words will condemn us if we haven’t shown mercy, if we have been judgmental, condemning, and unforgiving.

Luke 6:36-37 " Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful Do not judge, and you will not be judged. DO NOT CONDEMN, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."

DO NOT CONDEMN, because there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus for those who believe in Him. How will the world accept this truth, if you are always measuring out condemnation?

Most "sinners" know full well what they are doing wrong. What they DON'T know is how to do it right. If we are always condemning their wrong behavior, and making them feel worse, how will we ever introduce them to freedom in Jesus? BY LOVING them unconditionally.

Man, this is HARD! To ignore, put up with, overlook, and forgive when they are unkind or even abusive to you. We need more of God's grace than ever before. We need more of the love of God (agape) that the Holy Spirit pours out into our lives.

How do you deal with someone who is hard to get along with? That's something you need to pray about A LOT. Consider this, you might be the only one who will stick with them during hard times, the only one through unconditional love who can get them to really get to know Jesus.

Luke 6:36-37 " Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful Do not judge, and you will not be judged. do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. FORGIVE, and you will be forgiven."

"Forgive and you will be forgiven". What if you don't forgive, what happens? YOU WILL NOT BE FORGIVEN PERIOD! OUCH you mean it isn't optional? Jesus said it wasn't. Do we ever need His love (agape) and grace to be able to forgive! If you do not forgive you are the one to suffer. Unforgiveness blocks our blessings from God including healing.

"Luke 23:34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

As He hung dying on the cross, Jesus declared that great word of pardon, "Father, forgive them". He is our example, and we desire to walk in His steps. If He could forgive His tormenters for killing Him, if He can forgive us of all our sins, how can we do less?

Why should we forgive? For one thing, if people really knew the love of God in their lives, they wouldn’t act so hateful. In other words, they don’t KNOW what they are doing. Jesus realized that even after He had been cruelly tortured and crucified. If they had KNOWN He is the Lord of Glory, they would not have mistreated and executed Him.

How many people hurt us because they don’t know the love of God? How many are acting out of hurt and rage impacted in their hearts for many years? How many hurt us because they don’t really know us, and say barbed things unintentionally?

Ephesians 4: 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Why should we forgive and practice kindness and compassion? Because in Christ God forgave us. This is the benchmark of all forgiveness. If someone hurts you, compare it to the forgiveness you’ve received from Jesus. Have they hurt you more than your sins hurt Jesus hanging on the cross, being separated from the Father? NO? Then forgive in the same way that you were forgiven!

To forgive is to quit holding blame or resentment about an offense or an offender, to cancel or let off a debt and to overlook, excuse or pardon. Forgiveness is NOT primarily an emotional feeling; it is an act of the will. As an act of your will, you refuse to hold the person guilty of their offense toward you.

You let it go and put them in God's hands. Then you refuse to bring it up, talk about it, or think about it. Instead, when thoughts come, make it a matter of prayer. And eventually you will FEEL positively towards them, but the act of the will comes first.

Forgiving in the Greek is charizomai {khar-id'-zom-ahee} literally meaning to do something pleasant or agreeable (to one), to do a favor to, gratify, to show one’s self gracious, kind, benevolent, to grant forgiveness, to pardon, to give graciously, give freely, bestow, to forgive, graciously to restore one to another, or to preserve a person in peril.

Charizomai comes from the root word charis {khar'-ece} meaning grace: that which provides joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, loveliness: grace of speech. Yes GRACE, as in AMAZING GRACE how sweet the sound that SAVED a wretch like me!

Charis also means good will, loving-kindness, favor, particularly of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.

Charis also includes that which is due to grace: the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace, the token or proof of grace, benefit, a gift or bounty of grace. Charis also is used to mean to give thanks, (for benefits, services, and favors), recompense, or reward.

Jesus said in Matthew 10:8b "...Freely you have received, freely give." Everything that is ours in Christ has been given to us FREE OF CHARGE, including forgiveness. When we refuse to forgive, we are CHARGING someone for our affection and good will. They have to "make it up to us" before we forgive them.

I Corinthians 2: 12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.

Forgiveness comes to us freely as part of God's gift of grace, His unmerited, unearned favor. This means you don’t work for it or can’t earn it by doing good works. When we forgive we are in turn presenting that gift to someone else.

Forgiveness, as all of the results of grace, brings joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, and loveliness. It is a gift we give because it has been given to us. When we withhold forgiveness, we are in effect "charging" the offender with his offense, and not freely releasing him from guilt as God has released us.

I Corinthians 13: 4-5 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

We often use the phrase "forgive and forget". To forget means to cease or fail to remember, to cease or omit to think of something. Although we forget a lot of things unintentionally, you can also intend or will to forget an offense. Love keeps no record of wrongs.

Jesus said in Luke 6:27-29 "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic."

When the thought of what that person did to you (or someone you love) comes up, and that bitter hatred begins to rise again, make it a matter of prayer. In addition to praying that the Lord will help you forgive that person, pray for that person’s needs. Pray for their salvation and deliverance. Pray blessings upon them. You cannot hate someone and bless him or her at the same time. You'd be surprised how quickly you can get over an offense when you start praying for the offender!

Romans 12:17-21 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

What principles of forgiveness do we see in this passage? Not returning evil for evil. Doing what pleases others. Living at peace. Not taking revenge. Caring for the needs of you enemy. Overcoming evil with good.

1 Peter 3:9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

 

And then go the "second mile". Actually do something good for the one who has offended you. Overcome the evil they did by doing something good for them. If you are honest, a lot of times evil recycles itself. Someone harms you, you "get back" at them, they "get back" at you, and on it goes. Evil never overcomes evil. You overcome the evil-evil-evil-evil-evil cycle by doing good to your enemy. Forgiveness breaks the cycle and brings blessing!

Forgiving and forgetting are not easy, and often it takes time for the process to be complete. It's hard work! And a lot of times, crud from our childhood can interfere with forgiveness and acceptance of others.

I have had a hard time letting people get close to me in my life. I know part of my problem came from being raised in a dysfunctional home - my father was an alcoholic. And love always meant *not quite* trusting somebody, because you never knew when the bottom would drop out. It mean *hiding* your true feelings at times, because it would enrage my father and endanger us. It meant *stuffing* feelings and pain deep down inside, it meant *not* being a child.

Something in your childhood may have affected you this way too. Just between you and the Lord, examine your heart and see what wounds still exist. Time does *NOT* heal all wounds. Unless and until the healing balm of Jesus covers them, they continue to fester. If you have leftover pain from your childhood or teen years, acknowledge it and let Jesus heal you.

Part of the healing process is forgiveness - when these things come to light, with the grace of God as an act of your will (because you won't *FEEL* like it) forgive and ask God to cast these things in the sea of *HIS* forgetfulness, to be remembered no more.

Matthew 6:12-15 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Jesus commands us to forgive. In fact, our forgiveness from the Father depends on it! But who can obey such a command, when it hurts so badly? Again, this bears repeating. You CAN forgive because forgiveness is NOT a feeling. If forgiveness were based on feelings, who would ever feel like forgiving?

Hebrews 10:30 For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people."

Forgiveness is an act of obedience, an act of the will. It frees your spirit from bitterness and looses the offender into God's justice. It doesn't free the offender from the consequences of his/her actions, but it does free *YOU* from the defilement of bitterness. In faith, you give up your right to revenge, "pay back time", and release it to the Lord, who will handle it in His way in His time.

Ephesians 4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. How do you get rid of bitterness, rage and anger, which leads to brawling, slander and malice? FORGIVE!

Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

A person that is bitter is full of intense hostility, resentment and cynicism. Forgiveness frees us from bitterness, an evil root that will make us defiled, unclean or sinful. This simple act of obedience to the Lord also keeps us from a lot of illnesses and emotional pain that unforgiveness causes.

What if the other person does not apologize and does not ask me to forgive them? What should I do then? You still are required to forgive them whether they ask for an apology or not. Many, many times we are tricked into bitterness by the devil because we are waiting for an apology (that might NEVER come) before we forgive!

What if they don’t apologize? What if they continue to hurt me? If the other party is truly repentant, then God wants us to continue fellowship with him/her. However, if they are not repentant, I know of no scripture that requires us to continue fellowship. Pray for them, yes, wish them well, yes, but continue to let them use and abuse you? NO.

I don't know of any "doormat" scriptures in the Bible that requires us to allow someone who has abused us to continue to do so. I do know that it says, "Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might"! Christian love is a mighty force and sometimes love has to be "tough" and "just say no!" And even if we do let people take advantage of us because we love too much, God is pleased with our efforts. It's better to love too much than to hate any.

2 Corinthians 7:10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

Some will ACT like they are sorry for their acts, and may even apologize to you, but they continue to behave the same way. The Bible says, "godly sorrow brings repentance". This doesn't mean merely being sorry you "got caught", it means grieving over your actions, being so sorrowful that your heart is breaking, and through God's grace and help, turning in the OPPOSITE direction, "doing a 180", and not doing those things again.

Matthew 18:15-17 "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that `every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 'If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

This passage contains principles for dealing with offenses specifically with other Christians – notice it says "brother" here. If you have a fellow Christian who actually sins against you – hurts you in some way – then first you should go to him and try to resolve the matter. It may have been something unintentional. Or maybe he/she was having a bad day and truly regrets what they said or did. You can make up and forgive them and restore the relationship.

But if he/she will not listen to your concerns, go to them again with 2 or 3 other Christians and try to resolve the matter. If this doesn’t work, take it before the church, and if you still can’t resolve it, then do not fellowship with them.

Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.

The key word here is RESTORE. If a fellow Christian is caught in a sin, the intent of the Word is to forgive them, have them repent and restore them to fellowship. We should never be vindictive or judgmental. The intention of our actions is helping a fellow believer who has sinned is to gently restore them to fellowship.

So if someone offends you, you are commanded to forgive as an act of your will, and turn vengeance against the offender over to God. If the offender truly repents, we are to gently restore him/her to fellowship. If not, we are not to be evil or vengeful in return, but as the Lord leads, discontinue fellowship.

Well what about unbelievers? What if someone assaults you, robs you or does you some other kind of bodily harm? Should we just "forgive and forget" and let them do it to us again or let them hurt someone else?

In a situation like that, you need to make a decision whether to take them to the law or not, based not only on your own personal safety, but the safety of others. When I say "forget" I mean remove the offense and the hurt from your own heart. It still may be appropriate to turn them in to the authorities.

Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times [or 70 times 7].

However, we are commanded to keep on forgiving. One source says seventy seven times, one 490 times! Basically then, there is no limit to how much we forgive, as there is no limit to how much God forgives us.

A lot of Christians do not understand the relationship between the spirit, mind and body. In the flesh, we pretty much do what our bodies want us to. Then the mind tries to cooperate, but a lot of stress comes from the fact that our bodies want to do what our mind says is wrong. The conflict causes a lot of emotional problems, distress and unhappiness.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

In the Bible we are taught first of all to be reborn from above, to have our spirit recreated in Christ - we are a "new creation" spiritually. When our spirit is reborn, we can receive wisdom from God, which in turn renews our minds, which in turn controls our bodies. When we are in order, in right relationship with God, our bodies do not rule us, we rule them, and therefore we CAN control our emotional state.

When I say that forgiveness is an act of the will - first the Word commands us to forgive, which we cannot receive or do without our spirits being reborn in Christ. Our unregenerate spirits are rebellious and do not want to obey God. But when we are born again in Christ Jesus, our spirits CAN receive God's Word and CAN be obedient. Then our spirit commands our mind to forgive as an act of the will. And then our emotions (it may take a while) will eventually agree with our spirit and mind.

To cooperate with this process, DON'T bring the offense up over and over again. It will only aggravate your emotions, and cause bitterness. You may have a prayer partner that helps you deal with it, but don't bring in a third (or fourth or fifth, etc) party into the conflict. It only perpetuates the original offense.

The Lord has freed me from the pain of my past (95% at least) and I feel free to share with those like you that I feel need to know some of what I've learned. But to continually repeat offenses like they happened yesterday to any and all who will listen, that's not of God but a product of a bitter and unforgiving spirit.

Be gentle with your own heart. Don't beat yourself up because you don't "feel" towards others like you think you "should". Be obedient to the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. As you bring your spirit into line with God's will by being obedient to the Word, your mind will be renewed and your emotions will be cleansed as well. And your healing will not be hindered by an unforgiving, condemning spirit!

 

Remember, whenever God gives us a revelation, the devil tries to steal it from us. Guard your hearts and meditate on what you've learned! And put it into practice.

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Original lesson 3/22/99
Revised: May 02, 2001