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  • Betty A. Burnett

The Solution to Misery

Forgiveness is Freedom - Unforgiveness is Bondage

This message is a wake up call; an eye opener to all those who say it’s hard (difficult to forgive) those deep hurt (emotional) wounds, but Jesus took care of that - He came to set the captives free (Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4:18). Many of us have been deeply rooted in unforgiveness.

The message stems from a recent experience that I encountered; the devil was trying to get me to fall back into that trap of unforgiveness. Praise God for revealing to me a couple of weeks prior to the attack from the devil.

I had a bad temper and would curse somebody out in a heartbeat; when I became born again that stronghold was still there, but I chose to be intimate with Christ, therefore growing in grace helped me to overcome some of the deeply rooted strongholds and weaknesses.

So, when this situation arose, I passed the test. I consider it a test because the Lord allowed it to happen and I overcame that challenge that was so big, I was in a state of shock for a few days. I was not thinking about holding anything against someone; the shock of “I can’t believe that happened” stuck with me a few days.

In spite of the shock, after the thoughts came laughter- that was amazing, only God can help to be peaceful and our joy continues to be full, praise God!

This is the verse that came to me Tuesday morning when I got up out of my bed. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:11-12).

My brothers and sisters, harboring unforgiveness is bondage and it keeps us stuck in misery when God provided a way for us to be free. However, it is up to us as to whether we choose to walk in victory.

Holding things against others will hinder our prayers; it takes us out of fellowship with our Father (not relationship)-  If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.  (Psalm 66:18)

The Word of God tells us to forgive – we have been forgiven by Christ. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32).

 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?  Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven" (Matthew 18:21-22).

Remember this, Jesus the whole weight (sins) was on His shoulders- Yet He said:

Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do (Luke 23:34).


When Stephen was being stoned to death -  When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,  and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord;  and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”  Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep (Acts 7:54-60).

I never said it wouldn’t be painful, the hurt or “feeling some kind of way”- Jesus felt it too: For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Yet, we should want to forgive, just as Christ forgave us. Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed (John 8:36).

Betty A. Burnett ~

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