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By Cheryl Zelenka

“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness spring up to trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” Hebrews 12:15 (NKJV)

Dear One,

Have you ever been wounded by someone you never imaged would leave your side?  I have, and was greatly affected by the shock and pain. It started to affect my spiritual walk and hinder my growth in Christ.

Abandoned in a time of greatest need,  I struggled with a lot of anger over the rejection. Her words and actions caused great pain. Of course there are always two sides to a story and I am not without guilt, but her words were digging a hole of bitterness in my heart that needed to be uprooted.

Growing in faith requires a dependence on God. I had to throw all the unfair treatment I  endured to Him. I CHOSE to let it go.  He knows all the details of my betrayal and the unfair/unkind/unjust treatments. My decision to let go of the hateful words sent my way was an act of obedience and faith. I needed to trust in His power to right wrongs and heal broken hearts. He is my Redeemer and has used this sorrow to refine my ability to love unconditionally. Fruit has come from this lesson in suffering.

Christ Jesus died on the cross for ALL His children. This means I need to allow Him time to work in the heart of the one who grieved me. The Word of God tells us to love our enemies. Not that this family member of mine is an enemy, but when we are wounded it can FEEL like a friend or family member has become an enemy.

If you have been hurt, abandoned, or betrayed by one you dearly love, know that God is honoring you. He has granted you the privilege of sharing in the sufferings He endured by  facing the cross for our sakes. Don’t let unforgiveness or bitterness take root. If it stays too long in your heart, it will affect your walk with Christ and your ability to serve others.

Overcoming Unfair Treatment

The LORD is righteous within her;
He will do no injustice.
Every morning He brings His justice to light;
He does not fail.
But the unjust knows no shame.
—Zephaniah 3:5

Dear Lord,

We want You to find a yielded and quiet spirit within us. To make that happen, we need You to come in like a flood. Occupy us like water filling empty spaces. Occupy reserved portions of our lives where anger is festering and the secret places where grudges are being stored. Sweep through the houses of our hearts . . . don’t miss one room or a single area—cleanse every dark closet, look under every rug. Let nothing go unnoticed as You take full control of our motives as well as our actions. Deep within our hearts, sweep us clean of blame and revenge, of self-pity and keeping score. Enable each one of us to be big enough to press on, regardless what unfair treatment we’ve had to endure. Take away the scars of ugly treatment and harsh words. Keep us from licking our wounds. Forgiveness comes hard . . . but it’s essential. Help us forgive, even those who never acknowledge their wrongdoing toward us. Give us peace over turmoil, and erase the memories that keep us offended. We need fresh hope to go on! We ask this in the name of Him who had no sin and did no wrong but died, the just for the unjust: Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

See also Leviticus 19:15; Romans 12:19; Colossians 4:1; 1 Peter 2:20–24.

Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.


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