Strongholds of bitterness and resentment are like toxic thorns and thistles that root down in your soul. Roots of bitterness cause torment in your soul, setting up deadly strongholds which the enemy then accesses to torment you further.
The Cost of Forgiveness-
When betrayal or a wound from a friend or loved one knocks us down, our old nature wants to rush to our rescue, defend us and place blame. Forgiveness denies our carnal nature any right to cry out for pity, comfort and reassurance of what we have suffered at the hands of another. Forgiveness denies our right to protect our hurt, to pet and stroke it and pack it around for all to see. Forgiveness denies our right to tell our pitiful story.
Forgiveness says we will pay the price for the other person's act. This is what Jesus did when He died on the cross to pay for the forgiveness of our sins. Can't you see what forgiveness meant to Jesus? There was no holding back on His part, no grudges, no silent condemnation, no cessation of love or giving. He paid the full price for our sins- not with words- but with His life.
Much of the world's forgiveness is only empty words. People are very casual about saying, 'Sure, I forgive you," when they actually bear considerable ill will in their hearts. Often the one who asks forgiveness and the one who says he forgives both know neither is being truthful.
Real forgiveness is not cheap. It carries a very high price tag. When you forgive, you release the one who is guilty and place yourself in their stead. The saying "someone has to pay" really is true. When you forgive, you are the one who has to pay. You are the one to bear the loss instead of the one who caused the wrong. Jesus gave His life to prevent the loss of our lives. He was so serious about forgiveness, He gave His all for us before we knew Him or loved Him or even cared.
Nothing Can Replace Forgiveness-
You can repent of your sins until you are hoarse, confess your faith to all, pray without ceasing, give everything you have to the work of God, read the bible everyday and STILL block God's forgiveness by an unforgiving heart. Jesus said,"...If you forgive people their trespasses (their reckless and willful sins- leaving them, letting them go and giving up resentment) your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. BUT if you do not forgive others their trespasses- neither will the Father forgive your trespasses".(Matt.6:14-15) When you refuse to forgive, you cut yourself off from forgiveness.
Forgiveness is not: tolerance.
generosity of spirit.
looking the other way.
making a joke of a wrong.
a passive non-response.
Forgiveness is something much deeper!
Forgiveness is: a deliberate act of the will.
a full pardon.
a substitutional act.
obedience to God's word.
the key to freedom.
God Will Take Care of The Details-
Trust God to take care of whatever else needs to be taken care of- trust him to work out His will and purposes in every situation. Jesus did. "When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made not threats." The world wants us to believe we must be recompensed for every wrong. This is a message our old nature loves and it will lay hold of any validation, affirmation and reinforcement. The world says, 'You are entitled to your hurts and anger and destructive behavior! Look what happened to you."
God says, "You can't hold onto those things, child. I cannot allow these sins to be covered over, you must destroy them before they help Satan destroy you. Let Me show you how to make room to receive My mercy and grace. Let Me show you how to forgive. Submit your will to mine and I will give you a new will. Submit your mind to the washing of my Word and the mind of my Son and I will give you a new mind. I will give you peace and power and freedom." This is God's way.
(Liberty Savard- Shattering Your Strongholds)