en English

In Freedom Part 5, Ashley and Carlie explain how to live in freedom from disappointment. After all, hope deferred makes the heart sick. The good news is that peace is the antidote to a troubled heart and Jesus gave us peace that surpasses all understanding!

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The primary scriptures explored in Freedom Part 5 are Proverbs 13:12 and John 14:1-27.

Transcription

Carlie: Today, we’re going to be talking about the power of forgiveness and how that can help us to walk in freedom in every area of our life, and see our prayers answered. Stay tuned.

Announcer: Why live a normal life when you could be living the abundant life? Welcome to the Abundant Life program, with Ashley and Carlie Terradez.

Ashley: Hello, and welcome to the Abundant Life program. We’re so glad you’ve joined us today here in the lounge. Praise God. My name is Ashley Terradez, this is my wife, Carlie, and we’re excited. We’ve got a great program for you today. We’re talking about freedom and living in freedom, the freedom that Jesus paid for.

Carlie: Absolutely. Our signature verse for this whole series, if you’re just joining us, is from Galatians five, verse one. And it says that it was for freedom that Christ has set us free. But we need to stand fast, stand firm in that freedom, that we have a choice, we have a response to… We have to respond to the freedom that Christ has provided for us. We have to hold onto it. And there are some things… We’ve been going through a number of things. If this is the first point of the series that you’ve joined us, I would encourage you to go back and watch some of the previous episodes so you don’t miss anything, but sometimes we just struggle to receive from God because… Not because God hasn’t provided freedom in the area for us, but because there are some things in our heart that hinder us, that actually become an impediment for us, in seeing our prayers answered. I don’t know about you, Ashley, but there’s been times in my life where I feel like I’ve been praying, and praying, and praying, and just nothing, just crickets. Nothing’s going on there.

Ashley: Oh, yes. Crickets, silence. Silence.

Carlie: Right.

Ashley: Well, first of all, people need to understand, when you’re praying, God hears us. God always hears us, praise God. It’s not like God’s not hearing us or deciding not to listen to us. He’s always hearing us. But yeah, just as you said Carlie, sometimes there’s things going on in our hearts that hinder us, hinder our prayers. First of all, they hinder what we say, they shape what we say in our prayers. Sometimes, I’ve prayed for people and they say… Sometimes I say to them, “You pray and I’ll listen.” Basically, I want to see how they’re praying, I want to see what they believe Him for. And they’ll pray things like, “Lord, you know about my husband, he’s a dirty rotten loser.” That’s not a good prayer.

Carlie: It’s not?

Ashley: No.

Carlie: Oh, man.

Ashley: You don’t pray that prayer, do you? I hope you don’t. Not anymore. She quit praying that prayer now.

Carlie: I’m just teasing you.

Ashley: She used to. But if you pray prayers like that, that’s not prayer of faith. It’s all very well letting God know how you feel and things like that, but really we don’t want to make that the driving force of our prayers, we want our prayers to be prayers of faith. And if we have things going on in our heart, if we have a fence, unforgiveness, things that are hindering us, when we pray, they’re going to come out in our prayers.

Carlie: Right.

Ashley: And it can actually hinder our prayers being answered, because really we were asking the wrong prayers in the first place, we’re saying the wrong things in the first place.

Carlie: Absolutely. Absolutely. And those things that we’re talking about there, experiences, maybe past trauma, negative experiences, disappointment, hurt, anger, upset. Last time we talked about the trap of offense, and unforgiveness in our heart is a big trap, and it’s one that Jesus was really specific that we need to deal with. We can’t just live with unforgiveness. It’s not acceptable for us to hold a grudge against somebody.

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: It’s really not. When we start to look at it in light of the forgiveness that Jesus has extended towards us, when he went to the cross, he paid the price. He never sinned.

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: And yet, he paid the price for every sin, past, present, and future, that we’re ever going to commit, the ones that we haven’t committed yet. Okay? It was a free gift. We didn’t deserve that. This is the grace of God. Amen. His blood was enough to pay for all of the sin that we were ever going to commit. But if we look at things in light of that, whatever people have done to us, when … It’s like this, I like think of it like this, when we’re holding somebody’s sins against them, and Jesus has already forgiven those sins, it’s almost like we’re saying, “Jesus, I appreciate what you’ve done. I appreciate you went to the cross and all, and that was awesome. And I appreciate that you’ve forgiven them, but I’m still going to hold their sins against them.”

Ashley: Mm-hmm.

Carlie: Man, I don’t want to be in that. That’s dangerous ground.

Ashley: Right. You’re saying that what Jesus did on the cross wasn’t enough.

Carlie: That’s what we do when we hold people’s sins against them, when Jesus has forgiven them.

Ashley: Yeah. And I know we have viewers watching literally all around the world, so there’s people with different types of things that have happened against them, some terrible things. We’re not being unsympathetic for what you’ve been through or what people have done to you, or haven’t done to you that they should have done, and things like that. But what Jesus did on the cross was so awesome. It paid the sins, it paid the price for everyone’s sins, past, present, and future. We’re talking about, pick out the worst type of person you can think of. Whatever they’ve done bad, Jesus paid that price on the cross. God, the Father poured out his wrath on Jesus, so it’s done now. That sin is forgiven, so if you’re holding it against them, you’re saying, “Well actually, I need to add to what Jesus did. I need to add to his atonement, that wasn’t quite enough. The pain, and the suffering, and what Jesus went for, went through for those sins, wasn’t enough, I need to add to it. I need to hold my grudge against that person.

I need to add… And this could be from extreme cases obviously, to people that have experienced loss and all sorts of things, to cases where it’s just something silly, some small offense. I’m like, “I’m going to show them, that’s not fair, and I’m going to get my own back on them.” Whichever it is, you know what, Jesus paid the price for it. You trying to get your own back, you trying to make up for it yourself, is not godly, because you’re saying that what Jesus did wasn’t enough. And either we trust in Jesus’ forgiveness or we don’t. And Jesus’ forgiveness… It’s easy for us to say, well, Jesus forgives me, all that I’ve done, that’s great. But then when you say Jesus forgave someone else, what if we don’t even think they deserve it, or they don’t even seem apologetic?

Carlie: Well, this is a challenging thing, isn’t it? What we’re talking about here is not something that’s easy, but it is something that’s necessary. This is one of those things in the word of God that challenges people. People love to accept the grace of God. Jesus paid it all, hallelujah.

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: Amen. And that’s awesome. But we still have a part to play in receiving what he’s provided for us. And then, and then letting that work through in our life. And just like what you’re saying Ashley, it’s good for us to receive forgiveness, but we need to extend that to other people, too.

Ashley: Mm-hmm.

Carlie: And there’s a reason for that, when we don’t, actually, we’re the ones that end up the most hurt.

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: I think having unforgiveness in our heart, it’s like drinking poison and hoping it’s going to hurt somebody else.

Ashley: Right, that’s a good way to put that, yeah.

Carlie: It doesn’t actually make any sense.

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: God doesn’t tell us to forgive others for their benefit, it’s for our benefit. We need to walk in forgiveness with people, otherwise, it’ll actually twist us up.

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: And we had a neighbor one time, next door neighbor, and we lived next to him for like four years. I’m sure you remember him. And we’d see each other over the garden fence, hanging out at the laundry, or doing the garden, or whatever. Our kids were young.

Ashley: Right, very English.

Carlie: Very English

Ashley: The English thing you do, hanging out in your garden.

Carlie: Hanging out in the garden.

Ashley: Put your laundry out to dry. We don’t do that in America, they have dryers.

Carlie: That’s right. But one thing I noticed with our neighbor was, over the course of that four years, he became more bitter and more twisted. And he’d fallen out with his family over something, some offense had happened. He didn’t actually talk to his adult children anymore, so he didn’t have any contact with his grandchildren. They didn’t come around. There was just… And he wasn’t a believer, but-

Ashley: As far as you know.

Carlie: As far as… Well, he didn’t behave like he was, put it that way. There was no evidence of salvation working in his life, put at that way. But this process will work the same, whether somebody is a believer or not, because when we hold unforgiveness and bitterness in our heart. We’re hanging on to a fruit of the enemy.

Ashley: Mm.

Carlie: Okay? So it’ll work regardless. And through the years, we watched our neighbor become more and more angry, and bitter, and twisted. And in the end, it literally twisted him up.

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: Do you remember, he got more and more crippled with arthritis. You could see in his face, the anger and hatred that he held on the inside. It wasn’t hurting his family. They just didn’t talk to him. It was out of sight, out of mind, but it was hurting him. It was hurting him. I want to challenge you today, if you’ve got… Maybe you’ve been through a trauma. It’s easy for us to talk about these things if somebody’s just broken your favorite mug.

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: Okay, or said an unkind word, or maybe not treated you with as much attention as you feel like you’ve deserved.

Ashley: [inaudible].

Carlie: Okay. Ashley, this is an area, this is actually a thing. [crosstalk].

Ashley: I’m saying, I use a hairbrush to brush my hair. I still have hair. And then people come in and steal my hairbrush, and now I can’t find my hand brush. I’ve bought about 10 hairbrushes over the last two months.

Carlie: Tell them what you did to your hairbrush.

Ashley: No, I’m not saying that on television. There’s no way. Okay. In our old house, not in our new house, in our old house, there’s one of those towel arounds.

Carlie: Okay, before you repented.

Ashley: There was a towel around next to where I brush my hair, so I happened to have a clip-on thing for my bag, a little shoulder strap [inaudible]. Hey, if I clip it here and clip it to my hairbrush, maybe people won’t steal it.

Carlie: So is that one of those pens that you have at the bank, with the chain to the counter? He did that with his hairbrush.

Ashley: It worked. For a whole year, I had my hairbrush and no one stole it. Anyway, that got me offended. I come in there, I’m in a rush, I’m running late, I want to brush my hair, hairbrush gone again.

Carlie: Rather than dealing with the root of offense, you jut decided to avoid the problem.

Ashley: The unforgiveness to my family members, who stole my hairbrush.

Carlie: By chaining your hairbrush to the side.

Ashley: It worked. I didn’t deal with the unforgiveness, I just chained my hairbrush. Just fix it another way, you don’t have to forgive people.

Carlie: Oh, my [inaudible]. But the problem is, because Ashley had unresolved hairbrush anxiety-

Ashley: Yeah, I did.

Carlie: Even though now his hairbrush isn’t chained to the sink, there’s still a tense moment when our daughter comes into a bathroom, isn’t there?

Ashley: She’s got like 20 hairbrushes. You know what I’m saying? What does she need my one? Anyway.

Carlie: Anyway.

Ashley: As you could tell, none of this is scripted. I was not planning to go down there. Now, I’m tough embarrassed that the world is going to know about my hairbrush problem.

Carlie: That’s all right. It’s forgiveness [crosstalk].

Ashley: But people will start sending me hairbrushes in the mail now. I’ve got a friend who, when he preaches, he purposely starts talking about a type of coffee he likes. I’m not going to mention him, because I don’t want to advertise him on air. But the type of coffee he likes.

Carlie: Should I send a gift card to him?

Ashley: And he says, “I mention it and I know that the next week, I’m going to get gift cards sent to me.

Carlie: Anyway. Okay. My goodness.

Ashley: Don’t send me hairbrushes. I don’t need any more hairbrushes. I’m good. I just need a daughter that doesn’t steal my hairbrush. Love you. Love you, Hannah.

Carlie: Just so you know, Ashley is working, is actively working, on forgiveness to get past his hairbrush anxiety. And we’re just having fun here, but let me tell you, there are things that people have been through that aren’t trivial. They aren’t… There isn’t hairbrush anxiety. There’s deep-set wounds, where they really are a victim. For many years, my story, my testament is, I went through years and years of abuse. That, in me, created just a deep-set insecurity, deep-set fear, all kinds of trauma, PTSD basically, is what it was, from going through those different events. I’m not talking about something that’s off-the-cuff, that we don’t have any point of reference for. But what I’m saying is, God spoke to me shortly after I was born again, I think I’d been born again about six months, and there’s some scriptures that I want to go through that God really spoke to me. And he had to show me, and this was hard.

This isn’t an easy thing. Forgiving people isn’t easy when we’re talking about a major life event. And there’s a part of us sometimes when we’ve been through a trauma that feels justified in holding on to the anger, and the hurt, and the bitterness, and holding that person, like some sort of justice that we’re holding in our heart. But let me tell you, it’s like a cancer. It’s like a cancer. We need to come, we need to work through this and come to a place where we can forgive that person. And when we make a decision to do that, the Holy Spirit’s going to help you, but we have to make that decision in our heart that we want to begin, because it’ll help us in the long run.

It’ll help us to see our prayers be more fruitful, because it’s going to remove the impediment. When we hold unforgiveness in our heart, what we’re doing is empowering the enemy to operate in our life, and I know that you don’t want to do that. I know that you want to walk in freedom that Christ has provided for you, or you wouldn’t be watching this program. You would have turned it off 11 minutes ago, right?

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: But the fact is, God wants you to walk in freedom, in every single area, and unforgiveness in our heart is holding you captive, not the person that’s the offender. Amen. So we’re going to look at some scriptures. We’re going to get into this in just a moment and then come back and give you some steps to actually begin this process of releasing people from unforgiveness, walking in forgiveness, even from people that have deeply wounded you. We’re going to really see some breakthrough, so stay with us and we’re going to be back with some steps to help you reach your breakthrough.

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Ashley: We’ve been looking at walking in freedom and what it means to forgive people, and the freedom that you experience when we forgive.

Speaker 4: Yeah.

Ashley: When we forgive someone who’s offended us, who’s done something wrong to us, it sets us up for freedom, it sets us into freedom, and it can hinder our freedom if we don’t forgive people.

Carlie: Absolutely. When we hold people in unforgiveness, like we refuse to forgive them, even if they’ve committed a crime against us that’s hideous, and we truly are a victim of circumstance, of their hatred and poor behavior… We’re not talking necessarily about trivial things here.

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: There are some really tough situations that people have been through, but that doesn’t justify us in holding people in unforgiveness, and we’re the people that get hurt the most when we do. Even though it’s difficult, even though it’s hard, even though it’s traumatic, it’s a necessary step for us in order for us to walk in the freedom that Christ has paid for us to live in.

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: There’s some scriptures, let’s get into the word here. And you’re probably real familiar with this, maybe not for these reasons, but in Mark 11, Mark 11:22, we’re going to start there, this is often used as a faith chapter.

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: It’s often used as a great faith example because Jesus is teaching us how to speak to things, how to speak to circumstance, how to speak to the fig tree and see our prayers answered. But I’m going to start here, and then there’s a verse at the end I want us to pay particular attention to. If you have your Bibles, join us. This is Mark 11:22. Jesus said to them, “Have faith in God.” It takes faith to forgive people.

Ashley: Amen.

Carlie: It takes faith. It’s a trust in God, it’s an absolute point of trust in God, especially if the wound is deep, it is even harder, but we need to be able to trust God in this. “Have faith in God.” He says, “For truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain…” Maybe the offense in your heart that’s causing the unforgiveness seems like a mountain. Maybe it’s been there a long time. Maybe it’s just massive. Maybe you’re living in the shadow of that and have for many years, but look at what he says, “Be removed and thrown into the sea and does not doubt in his heart, but believes what he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says.” Jesus here has given the example, he’s teaching us how to speak to problems and see them removed. You can speak to unforgiveness in your heart and see it removed. Look at this.

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you will receive them and you will have them.” But look at this in verse 25, “And…” In other words, in addition to that, “When you stand praying, forgive if you have anything against anyone.” Does that include believers?

Ashley: Yep.

Carlie: Absolutely. Does that include unbelievers?

Ashley: Yep.

Carlie: That’s everybody. There’s no one excluded from this, right? No exceptions. “So that your Father who is in heaven may also forgive your sins.” Now there’s a clause here, isn’t there, and it doesn’t look like something we’d find in the grace message. Let me just explain this a little bit. In order for… Jesus provided the payment of sin. He provided forgiveness for us. He’s already forgiven your sin, but if we refuse to forgive others, it’s like we are refusing to accept Jesus’ payment for that sin.

Ashley: Mm-hmm.

Carlie: So if we refuse to accept the payment for our sin and refuse to accept the payment for other people’s sin, then it’s holding God outside of that situation. What it’s doing is, we are holding ourselves in captivity because of the resistance of our own heart. God wants you to walk in freedom. He wants you to walk in forgiveness. He wants to get good things to you. Amen. He wants to see power release through your words, but sometimes our own prayers are hindered because in our heart, we are hanging onto something that’s keeping us in bondage. We’ve fallen into a trap that is an offense. We spent a whole episode talking about offense. Offense is a trap, unforgiveness is a trap of the enemy. And while we hold on to the offense of others in our heart, through unforgiveness, we are holding God’s payment, holding Jesus’ sacrifice at arms length.

Ashley: Mm-hmm.

Carlie: It takes faith to trust God, to allow the power of the Holy Spirit to come into our heart and heal our hearts. Now, we’ve been through a lot of opportunities in our own marriage, right?

Ashley: Mm-hmm.

Carlie: To walk in forgiveness.

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: Is it fun?

Ashley: No.

Carlie: It’s painful.

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: It’s painful.

Ashley: I think part of the thing is, whatever it is, as Carlie said, it’s an act of faith, and it’s not something you feel like doing. You can’t go by your feelings, you can’t go by even your logic. Logically, you might think, “This is not fair. This is not justice.” And things like that. And obviously, depending on what the situation is, if it’s something that’s ongoing, we’re not saying that you forgive and forget, or things like that. And also, let me insert this here, this is not… We’re not talking about trusting people. There’s a big difference between forgiving them and then trusting them. And a lot of the times, people will say, “Well, I forgive them. Therefore, I’m just going to trust them and let them back into my life.” No, that’s not going to happen either. I had a business partner once that stole from me, and did all sorts of terrible things against our business, and basically cost us our business. And you know what? That felt bad, that felt… That was not good.

I had a lot of resentment, it was painful. It cost me a number of things financially. It costs me a reputation in that town and everything. Now, I had to forgive that person and that was tough. I had to think about him and forgive him. Every time I thought about him, I got angry and I got… The feelings of resentment rose up in me because the pain he’d caused me. But you know what I didn’t do is, I didn’t act on that. I didn’t go… And in fact, I did see him one time and I actually ran towards him thinking I was going to give him some five-fold ministry. But at the time, I started to pray, I was thinking [inaudible], and by the time I got there, you know what, those feelings, I decided to see him as Jesus saw him. And I was praying for him, and Jesus just had love for him. And I realized, even though he’d done these terrible things, God saw him as Jesus saw him. Jesus loves that person, even though… Praise God that Jesus loves us in spite of us.

Carlie: Right?

Ashley: So therefore, I chose to forgive him, and it had to be a choice, and it had to be something I did daily whenever I thought about that person. At first, it was like minute-by-minute. And I’m sure some of you had experience with this, and if you’re going to take this step of faith to forgive someone who’s wronged you, it’s going to, at first, it might be minute-by-minute. It’s like, I forgive them, through gritted teeth, and then it might be hour-by-hour. And then it might be day-by-day. But when you think of that person and you start feeling those emotions, that’s when you’re going to have to use your faith, you’re going to have to step out in faith and say, “No, I choose to forgive them. I choose to bless them. I choose to accept the forgiveness Jesus has for them. The price that Jesus paid on the cross was enough for that sin they did against me.”

Carlie: Amen.

Ashley: And it’s an act you’re going to have to do, it’s something you’re going to… It’s an action you’re going to have to take. And it takes time, and it can be painful.

Carlie: That’s right, and what we have here is three steps to forgiveness. Okay? People like to have a plan, they like to have a formula. But the first one is, the desire to forgive, the recognition that it’s necessary, and the desire to forgive. That’s the first step. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be overnight. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be fun, but it’s recognizing that it is necessary. Jesus was strong about this, because remember, when we hold people in unforgiveness, we are holding onto the power of the enemy in our life. And we don’t want that operating. If we’re going to walk in freedom, we don’t want to give the enemy a doorway into our hearts. Look at this in Matthew six, verse 14. Actually it starts up there in verse 12. These are the words of Jesus, they’re red. They’re important, right?

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: He says, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Unforgiveness is holding the door open to evil. We don’t want to be there. It goes on in verse 14, “If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” What Jesus was saying is here, if we don’t receive the forgiveness for our sin, then we are holding onto it. And just like God has forgiven our sin, he’s forgiven our neighbor’s sin.

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: He’s forgiven the offender’s sin. So we can’t hold somebody in offense when God hasn’t. This is powerful. I remember when… I mentioned in the first half of this program, we’ve been through stuff as a family, we’ve been through… There was that guy that took us to court and it was a whole mess. For me, when I got born again, God really spoke these scriptures to me. And one of the ways he helped me to get past the trauma and the offense I had suffered as a child, was to show me a picture of that offender as a baby.

And you might think, well, why would he show you a picture of him as a baby? Because people see babies as helpless, as they haven’t had an opportunity to sin yet, they haven’t had an opportunity to commit a crime yet. You see them as sweet and innocent. And then he showed me a picture of the life that he had intended for that man, for that offender in my life, that caused so much pain, that caused so much trauma. And he says, “This is the life. This is how I see him without sin.”

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: Because remember, Jesus didn’t only pay for my sin, he paid for his sin.

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: So he showed me a picture of what he looked like, how he saw him in the light of Jesus’ sacrifice. And when I saw him in that, and who he is created to be, and the life that God had planned for him, God started to deposit in my heart a love for that man, for that man that caused so much pain and so much offense, that I’m not… I can’t hold this man’s sin against him anymore. That began in me a desire to forgive, a desire to forgive, to separate the offender from the offense. And so I want to encourage you, if you have a desire, if you’re listening to this and you realize, this is me, this is me. Maybe this is the Holy Spirit convicting you. You’ve realized that in your heart, you’ve held something. Actually, you’re the one that’s hurting the most. Then the first step to forgiveness is that desire to forgive, and it’s to ask the Holy Spirit, “Lord, will you come and will you help me to let this go? That’s the first step. Amen. That’s powerful.

Ashley: And the second step, you have to make a decision to forgive, right?

Carlie: Absolutely.

Ashley: It’s a desire to forgive, and then you have to make a decision. It’s an act of faith. You have to make a conscious decision, I’m going to forgive this person.

Carlie: Yeah. And that, is a little more tricky. I think that’s a little more tricky. So when we’ve made that decision to forgive, we’ve invited the Holy, the power of God, into that situation. That decision, you might need to make it multiple times a day, right? That’s… just with the example that you used, those thoughts are going to come to us again, those emotions are going to come to us again. There’s a point at which we decide, I am going to walk in forgiveness. I am not going to hold onto this anymore. And that decision sometimes is minute-by-minute, especially with the big stuff, right?

Ashley: Yep.

Carlie: The big stuff, because our thoughts come to us, and there’s still a lot of emotion. There’s still a lot of emotion, and maybe there’s anger, maybe there’s bitterness. When you think about that person that’s hurt you so badly, there are emotions that are attached to that.

Ashley: Yeah.

Carlie: But that decision, that’s an important step.

Ashley: Amen.

Carlie: And then what happens, we actually forgive by faith, not by feelings.

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: I think that’s worth saying.

Ashley: The disciples even said to Jesus, “Increase our faith.” Talking about forgiving your brother.

Carlie: Yeah.

Ashley: “How many times should I forgive my brother?” And they were like, “Are you serious Lord, 70 times 7, basically, you’ve got to always forgive them.” He was like, “Increase our faith.” They didn’t ask to increase their faith to heal the sick or anything like that.

Carlie: That’s a great point.

Ashley: They said, “Increase our faith.” The disciples said to Jesus, “Increase our faith, help our faith.” Because they realized how difficult it was going to be to always forgive, to walk in forgiveness. It’s going to take a lot of faith to walk in forgiveness. It’s going to take a lot of faith to not be offended. And when you do get offended, to uproot them things, and when someone does wrong you, to forgive them. It’s going to take faith. It’s going to be… If you want to use that faith for things like raising the dead and healing the sick, that’s great. But right here to forgive someone, that’s going to be one of the greatest uses of your faith.

Carlie: It is. And sometimes people confuse forgiveness with justice.

Ashley: Mm-hmm.

Carlie: Part of the faith part of this is trusting God for the justice. In Deuteronomy 32:35, God says, “Vengeance is mine.” Can we trust God to deal with the situation? Can we trust God to bring about justice? That’s irrespective of us forgiving them. We need to forgive them anyway.

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: Regardless of the outcome. Forgiveness is for our benefit, not for theirs, but there is a trusting portion of this. We forgive by faith and not by feelings.

Ashley: Amen.

Carlie: And then the third step is, we fight to stay in forgiveness.

Ashley: Amen.

Carlie: There’s a fight. When those thoughts, when those emotions come, we have to fight to stay in a place of peace. Second Corinthians, chapter 10, talks about this. We need to take captive our thoughts, take captive our thoughts and any vain imagination, anything that rises up against us in judgment. Unforgiveness will rise up in judgment against us.

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: And it’s in those moments, those thoughts that come to us, when we think about that person, that we literally take that thought captive. I like to say, we put it in a prison in our minds and isolate it. Where’s that thought coming from? Is that thought coming from that person that I’ve just forgiven?

Ashley: Right.

Carlie: Or is it coming from a place of pain and hurt? It’s certainly not coming from the Lord. And I would encourage you, if those thoughts come to you, the best way to fight, to stay in that place of peace, of forgiveness, is to speak a blessing. When we speak blessing over even our enemies, I’ll tell you, we bless them and don’t curse, whenever their face comes up before us, whenever we see them, whenever we hear them, whenever we hear their name, determine in your heart to speak a blessing over them. I tell you, that releases power.

Ashley: Amen. It really does, praise God. Hopefully, this has helped you today. If there’s someone you’ve been thinking about during Carlie’s teaching, that you’re thinking… You know that’s the person that you haven’t forgiven yet, that’s offended you and you have unforgiveness for that person, I want to encourage you by faith, with the help of the Holy Spirit, forgive that person. Make the decision today to forgive that person. Let them go. Just say out loud, just say, “Lord, I forgive this person.” And even though it feels, on the inside, it might feel your emotions might stir, do it by faith. And the Lord is going to help you because ultimately, he’s already forgiven them, so we should too. And he’s going to help you, he’s going to help you walk in freedom. When you forgive and walk a life of forgiveness, you’re going to have a life of freedom. Praise God. He’s really going to help you. Amen.

Carlie: Amen.

Ashley: Thanks for watching today. We’ll be back real soon, but remember until next time, don’t just settle for living a normal life when you could be living the abundant life.

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