Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. Matthew 5:44, KJV
Make a list of all the people who have hurt and mistreated you or whom you do not like. Then pray for each by name and sincerely practice forgiving each one. Ask the Lord to bless them. Tell the Lord that you want to mean this. Repel the thought that after all you are “justified” in your resentment.
Then speak kindly about these persons to others. Go out of your way to help them. This will, in time, break down many barriers, but even if it shouldn’t, the effect upon you will be amazing. It will clear the channel through which spiritual power flows into you.
~ ~ Norman Vincent Peale
There is freedom in forgiveness. God’s peace won’t enter a bitter, vengeful heart. So many physical ills are alleviated by forgiveness. Holding on to hurt eats away at our bones, tissues and our very soul. If you harbor unforgiveness let it go. Do as the Proverbs say, laugh, joy is healing to the bones. It’s hard to remain unforgiving when you’re full of God’s joy.
If you harbor unforgivenss let it go and pray “Lord, forgive me as I forgive those who have hurt me. Just as you forgive my transgressions I forgive those who have transgressed against me.”
Step one – who do you need to forgive.
Step two: Forgive. Forgive repeatedly until it’s no longer an issue with you.
The Story of Joseph
Joseph was born to be blessed but through some youthful, but wrong decisions he created a jealousy in his ten brothers which would change the course of a nation. Joseph loved God and his father. He knew he was destined for greatness and enjoyed taunting his brothers with this fact.
Joseph was only a teenager when his brothers plotted to kill him but God had other plans and instead they sold Joseph into slavery. He was taken to Egypt where he would live the rest of his life. He was later sold to an Egyptian named Potiphar. Joseph flourished in Potiphar’s home; he was promoted and given responsibility over much. Again, Joseph would be at the hand of another who wished to control and hurt him. Accused of rape by Potiphar’s wife he was put in prison.
Joseph was still being blessed by God, even in prison he excelled and was placed in charge of much. One day the pharaoh’s baker and wine taster were put in prison until it was determined which was guilty. These men both had dreams and Joseph interpreted the dreams as he was given this gift by God. The baker was found guilty and the wine taster set free just as Joseph had predicted. Joseph asked him to put in a good word for him with pharaoh but he forgot.
Sometime later pharaoh had a dream that terrified him. None of his magicians or wise men could interpret the dreams and then the wine taster remembered Joseph and told pharaoh about the man who interpreted his dream. Joseph correctly interpreted pharaoh’s dreams and was released from jail as a result.
Joseph’s gratitude is rewarded with promotion, reconciliation and restoration
Because Joseph was faithful, because he was grateful to God and didn’t complain he was promoted in the land of Egypt. He was in charge over all of Egypt, second only to pharaoh. Just as Joyce Meyer says, “complain and remain, praise and be raised”. Joseph praised God in times of trouble and was raised above more than he could imagine. He never gave up and never blamed God.
The dream he interpreted foretold of seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. Joseph was in charge of the food storage during the years of plenty and of giving out the food during famine. Among those who came for food were the brothers who sold him into slavery. God took all of Joseph’s troubles, his hardships, his damaged reputation and he turned it to good. Joseph was the instrument through which two nations, Egypt and Israel, were saved.
What is God love to do? Why the Jubilee Journey? Reconciliation and restoration. Joseph was reconciled and restored to his brothers and to his father.
Read the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50.