Bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness afflict all

As this Thanksgiving season is upon us, give thanks for what Jesus did for us on Calvary. He was the substitute for you and me and all our sins. In the book of Luke 23:34 Jesus spoke from the cross, saying, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”

Over the years while ministering to all types of Christian people, one of the important problems that I have encounter is that of bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. It is the major reason why people don’t heal.

Practically all churches have courses on knowing Jesus, but they very seldom have a course on knowing yourself through the revelation and teaching of the Holy Spirit.

God refines by allowing afflictions, trials and tribulations, the heat of which separates impurities such as unforgiveness, anger, envy and so forth from the character of God in our lives. Everyone looks and acts perfectly until fiery trials hit you, then these impurities rise to the surface.

It’s time to see your true condition. Quit blaming people and look into your mirror of self-righteousness and see the true you. It is the revelation of truth that brings freedom to all of us.

When the spirit of God shows us our sin, he always does it in such a way that it seems separate from us. This brings us conviction rather than condemnation. Remember when the devil shakes, it is to destroy us. When God shakes, it has a purpose of refinement.

Find the time to read the story of Joseph in Genesis. Joseph had an incredible gift of interpretation of dreams, but there was a lot wrong with Joseph. He was sold off to the Ismaelites and began to work in the house of Potiphar where Potiphar’s wife tempted him.

Joseph refused and Potiphar’s wife accused Joseph of rape and he was put in prison. This was the beginning of a period of preparation for Joseph.

A very wise man spoke on this to me and said, “The worst thing that can happen to you is to succeed before you are ready.” Sometimes you have to stew in your own juices for several years like Joseph did and then embark on the next phase of your life’s work.

I’ve watched so many people promote themselves and fall flat on their faces. God knows when you are ready and he will move you along when He knows you are ready and not when you think you are ready.

When Joseph saw his brothers, he didn’t attempt to kill them. Those last two years in prison transformed him into the man of God that God wanted. Joseph, filled with love, demonstrated total forgiveness to his brothers.

Joseph was a hero in Egypt. By interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams, he saved the nation from starving and his brothers who betrayed him. God will forgive us all, just ask for it, after your forgive yourselves first, and watch as God removes you from the prison of unforgiveness.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

(Stead is pastor of Christ Healing Center in Wintersville.)