Bring the Hammer Down
Is it time to bring the hammer down? Careful: only the hard-hearted will reach for a hammer when a healing balm is needed. When tragedy, abuse or failure happen, always allow yourself or others time to mend. The shock to the heart must be honestly acknowledged. Much prayer will need to be made. The milk of human kindness should be generously applied. Grieve with those who grieve. Draw strength and comfort by drawing as close to God as you can. Above all, let mercy triumph: receive forgiveness and release it to everyone to the best of your ability. All of this will help anyone's heart to mend. Even so, it may not fully mend everything. Here is a rule of thumb.
If you have experienced a traumatic event long enough to have sufficiently grieved it, then it is high time to bring the hammer of God's Word down on it. How long is long enough? Maybe a year or two, but it varies with everyone. A better question is how long do you think the Lord wants you to be "killing yourself" with pain on the inside? Once you start feeling like you want to be free of the past, it's probably a sign that you're ready for sterner measures than the comforting actions described above. The hammer of God's word can smash through the hard shell of pain and bring true freedom, once you are ready to apply it.
The Magnificent Promise assures us that God can and will bring a greater good out of anything the enemy intended for evil.[i] This is the astonishing power of the redemption Jesus won for us, but it does us little practical good if we don't believe it over and above our areas of hurt and loss. Fall totally out of agreement with the perspective that the enemy tried to feed you. Your past now represents a treasure trove of future blessing--once you give it to God. So, forgive all, release all, repent of unbelief, and confess the truth until your heart fully believes God's promise of redemption. Leave no room for doubt or self-pity. Feed instead on the sweet meat of a redeemed life!
Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?" Jeremiah 23:29 ESV
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." Genesis 50:20 ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 ESV
Father, You have given me this promise of total redemption so it must be true; You have commanded me to forgive everyone so that must be what needs to happen for my life to be healed and restored. I choose by an act of my will to forgive the people in my past who have hurt me or wronged me, including myself. I release them from all my bitter judgments and give them to You for You to redeem. I also repent of my unbelief in Your Word and now choose by an act of my will to believe that the promise of Romans 8:28 is true for me--that greater good will come out of my past than all of the pain and loss the enemy sowed into it. I choose to believe in You!
[i] Romans 8:28: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
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