Faithlife Sermons

How to Overcome Hurt

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In the course of our lives, we will be hurt. The world is filled with broken relationships. People offend and are offended so easily. You will get hurt in life. Maybe you have been hurt by what people said about you… by what someone thought about you… You may have been hurt by what people have done to you emotionally, physically, verbally or financially. You will be hurt by what people say and do.
Listen to me. You will have to learn how to let go of past hurts. It’s not easy. The only antidote for painful memories is FORGIVENESS. Nothing else will free you from the past except forgiveness. Nothing else works.
Many people say they could never forgive … I get it, but it’s really because we don’t understand what forgiveness is and isn’t.
Let me start by saying what forgiveness isn’t.
1. Forgiveness is not minimizing the seriousness of an offense.
Dont minimize the offense by telling someone… it’s ok… it’s not. If someone does something to hurt you, it’s a big deal… don’t cheapen it by saying something like… it doesn’t matter. It hurt you so it’s important. The answer is firgivenness not minimization.
2. Forgiveness is not an instant restoration of trust.
Forgiveness and trust are not the same thing.
Forgiveness is instant. Trust may take years to rebuild. Forgiveness is by grace. Trust is based on works.
ILL - say a woman has a husband who is alcoholic and is abusive. Every night he comes in and beats her. She can kick him out of the house. Say he comes back in a few hours and asks for forgiveness. She has to forgive him. If he wants to come back, that’s another matter. He has to earn her trust back.
Trust is built or rebuilt over time. It takes a long time to rebuild credibility. It can be lost in a second, but it takes time to build it.
3. Forgiveness is not resuming a relationship without any changes.
A lot of people are afraid to forgive because they think it means getting back into a dysfuntional, hurting, unhealthy relationship or situation. That’s not forgiveness at all.
For a relationship to be completely reunited, to be completely reconciled, the offender has to do three things: repentance, restitution, and rebuilding of trust. That’s what has to be done to restore trust. But I am not talking today about that… I’m talking about you and me.
Our role when we have been hurt is forgiveness. It’s independent of whether they ask for forgiveness or not… whether they deserve it or not. They don’t deserve it. Jesus doesn’t want us to forgive them for them, but for us. When you forgive someone, it benefits you.
We want to answer three questions: Why should I let go of my hurt? Where do I find the power to do it? How do it do it?

Why should I let go of my hurt?

1. Because God has forgiven me.

We forgive because God forgives us.
You will never have to forgive anyone more than God has had to forgive you. God forgives you and I completely… unconditionally… constantly. God forgives you even when you don’t know you are blowing it. He forgives you and he wipes all of your sin away.
You will never have to forgive anyone more than God has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:32 NLT
32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
The reason it’s hard for us to forgive is because we don’t feel forgiven. When you don’t feel forgiven, it’s hard to forgive. When you don’t feel God’s grace, it’s hard to be gracious. When you don’t feel like you have been let off the hook, you don’t feel like letting someone else off the hook. When you don’t feel like anyone cuts you some slack, it’s difficult to cut someone else some slack. When you don’t feel good about yourself, you sure don’t want others to feel good about themselves.
The number 1 reason it’s hard for you to forgive is that you don’t feel forgiven. Once you really experience the forgiveness of God, you can begin to forgive.
If you have never experienced the grace of God, you’ve never felt forgiven by God… you will have a chance to experience the forgiveness of God.
Until you accept the forgiveness of Jesus, you will have a difficult time forgiving others.

2. Because Resentment doesn’t work.

Resentment is self-defeating & self-destructive. It causes you more pain than the person you are upset with.
The Bible tells the story about a man named Job who lost everything in a day. Terrorists came in, killed all his kids, stole all of his cattle, ruined his crops and on top of that he got a terrible disease. Everything went wrong. If anybody had a right to be bitter about the circumstances of life, Job did. But he didn’t.
Job 5:2 TEV
2 To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do.
When we fill our lives with resentment we do really dumb stuff. If you have ever seen anybody get angry in public and they make a fool of themselves. Why? Because when you are resentful and angry, you lose your mind. When you are angry and resentful… you try to get even, you are dumber not smarter. Resentment always makes us look foolish.
Boudreaux joke - about Boudreaux strapping dynamite on his chest to blow Thibidoux’s hand off.
Resentment does not hurt the other person, it hurts us.
Ecclesiastes 7:9 NLT
9 Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool.
Why? It will not change the past. It also keeps you in the pain. We allow people to keep hurting us by holding onto the resentment.
Job 18:4 TEV
4 You are only hurting yourself with your anger. Will the earth be deserted because you are angry? Will God move mountains to satisfy you?
Resenting a person, carrying a grudge, is like taking a shot gun, pointing it at yourself, pulling the trigger and hoping to hurt your enemy with the kick of the recoil. You’re going to hurt yourself more than you hurt that person.
Job 21:23–25 TEV
23 Some people stay healthy till the day they die; they die happy and at ease, their bodies well nourished. 25 Others have no happiness at all; they live and die with bitter hearts.
Research has shown that the most unhealthy emotion known to human beings is bitterness, resentment. When you hold it in your heart, it’s like taking cancer in your heart.
Most hospitals would empty out if people knew how to get rid of guilt and resentment. God did not make your body to carry guilt and resentment. Pain .... probably is coming from the stress of guilt or resentment… Unresolved anger will take it out on your body.

3. Because I will need more forgiveness in the future.

Forgiveness is a 2 way street.
Matthew 6:14–15 NLT
14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Jesus is saying that we cannot expect to receive what we are not willing to give. He is saying that God cut you some slack… cut them some slack.
Who has ever said the Our Father or Lord’s Prayer? Do you realize what you were saying? Father forgive me just like I forgive those who hurt me. Do you really want to pray that prayer? We will always need more forgiveness, so don’t burn the bridge of forgiveness with un-forgiveness.
A man went to John Wesley and told him how much a man had hurt him. Wesley asked him if he forgave the man and the response was that the man could never forgive the man who had hurt him. Wesley told him that he hoped he never committed another sin…
I want forgiveness… mercy. If I don’t learn to forgive and show mercy, it won’t be shown to me.
You may be thinking that you cannot forgive the hurt someone has caused you… You are right!
You don’t have enough love in your heart. You cannot manufacture forgiveness.
You have to have a bigger source than yourself… an unlimited source of forgiveness.

Where do I get the power to let go?

unbroken -
You may not be tortured in a prison camp, but you will ecnouter pain and hurt and you will have to have God’s power to be able to forgive.
2 Peter 1:3–8 NLT
3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. 5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. 8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 14:19 NIV
19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

How do I let go of those who’ve hurt me?

3 quick steps.

1. Relinquish my right to get even.

You may not think its fair to let them off the hook for what they did to you. Forgiveness isn’t fair.
They don’t deserve forgiveness but neither did you.
Forgiveness is not what we deserve, it’s what we need.
God will hold them accountable…
Romans 12:19 The Living Bible
19 Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God, for he has said that he will repay those who deserve it. Don’t take the law into your own hands.
Let God, who is perfect, be the judge. You give it to him.
You may have to forgive over and over again… as long as the feelings of revenge keep coming.
Matthew 18:21–22 NLT
21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” 22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!
You just keep forgiving. Forgiveness is a continual thing… not just a one time shot.
Every time you remember the hurt, you release it. remember - - release.

2. Refocus on God’s purpose for my life.

You have to take the focus off of the hurt and onto God and his purposes for your life. The more you focus on the person who hurt you, the more you will become just like them. Change your focus.
There are 3 steps in this verse of JOb.
Job 11:13–16 The Living Bible
13 “Before you turn to God and stretch out your hands to him, get rid of your sins and leave all iniquity behind you. 15 Only then, without the spots of sin to defile you, can you walk steadily forward to God without fear. 16 Only then can you forget your misery. It will all be in the past.
1. Get your heart right.
“get rid of your sins.” Forgive them because God forgave you… because resentment doesn’t work… because you need more forgiveness in the future.
You may not ever feel like forgiving someone… you choose to do it anyway. When you get your heart right with God, then you forgive.
2. Turn to God.
Have you done this? Have you received Jesus into your hearts and lives? Opportunity at the end of the service.
You cannot forgive others without the love of Jesus in you and the power of the Holy Spirit working in you. He has an unlimited supply of forgiveness to handle all the hurts you will go through.
3. Face the World again.
He says only after getting your heart right and turning to God can you walk forward in life. Resume living. Don’t isolate yourself from others thinking that you will never allow yourself to be hurt again.
You have to live a life that’s vulnerable … that’s full of love.
When Jesus comes into your life, you will have the power to say, “I’m not a victim anymore.” You take control of your life back from those who have hurt you.
This passage says that when you do these three things, all your troubles will fade away. That would be nice wouldn’t it?
How can you tell when you have released someone? You can think about them and it doesn’t hurt anymore. You can actually pray for God to bless them.
Luke 6:27–28 NLT
27 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.
Doing an injury to somebody puts you below the person. Getting even with the person puts you on the same level as them. You’re no better when you get even. Forgiving and doing good puts you on a higher plain than your enemy. It all depends on where you want to be.

3. Respond to evil with good.

Romans 12:21 NLT
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
Learn this verse.
It’s easy to fall into the culture war mindset. We cannot expect lost people to act like saved people. We don’t win the culture over to Jesus by criticizing them, we overcome evil with good. Our job is to love people with the loveof Jesus and see them come into relationship with Him.
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