Where do I begin to deal with disappointment and trauma?
Everything starts and ends with choices we make. It also concerns our attitudes towards the problem that we need to deal with. You have to do this on your own as the Lord will not interfere with our free will. Here is a quick step guideline:
- Deal with the situation and also the emotions with faith. Bind it in faith and in the name of Jesus Christ so that it will no longer have a negative effect on you. Use the tools from the Word of God. Deal with the three aspects of the trauma and disappointment:
- The event itself;
- The pain and emotions linked to it;
- The shame or any negative cloud that may overwhelm you
- Repent where necessary and receive forgiveness. From God and man.
- Forgive and set people free from any wrong doing so that you can be set free.
- Even forgive God if you experience bitterness or resentment towards Him.
- Forgive yourself of the bad choices you have made in the past.
- Refocus on your relationship and service in the Lord and sort out any negative attitude. Start to worship and praise the Lord and get involved with positive things.
- Make a positive choice not to allow any negative feelings/emotions to stay attached to you. Allow the Spirit of God to guide you through this process especially when you have to forgive someone of wrong doing.
Personal Testimony of the power of forgiveness:
A couple of months after the Lord has given me this lesson on how to handle disappointment, my first test came when I had to forgive and set the people free that was part and parcel involved in this whole process. (Refer to Part 1 and 2 of this series)
Due to the distance between us, they being in the USA and myself in South Africa, I decided to write them a personal letter of forgiveness. But looking back and reading the letter again, I can only now sense that the pain and bitterness of the whole event was still very much being embedded in that letter. At least it has set the process starting and it did clear my mind and thoughts to some extent.
My brother in the Lord from the USA came through to South Africa earlier in the year, and we arranged for a meeting. The first meeting did not go well at all and somewhere during this time we spend together, we just traded “spiritual blows” to one another and accusations of mutual wrong doings. At least we could agree that we should have another meeting before he leaves for the USA again.
The night before our second meeting, my wife asked me if I am ready for this meeting the following morning. I said yes and no. YES, I am prepared with all of my emails that I have send to him over the last 2 years as proof of my innocence, but NO I am not spiritually ready to talk to him. At that moment in time I was still geared up and willing to “wring his neck” so as to speak because of the pain and disappointment that we (and so many other people as well) experienced through his decision to terminate our involvement in the Foundation projects.
Even though I had forgiven him nearly a year before, I knew that I still had a problem in this regard the moment when the real test of forgiveness came. The Lord has dealt with me numerous times on the point of forgiveness, to such an extent that I think I can now write the manual on it. But each and every time, He takes it a bit further and deeper. Later in this teaching you will find out why He does it!
At our early morning meeting, we exchanged courteous greetings and ordered breakfast. It is also a good way to start off such a meeting as it settles the emotions and brings a sense of “forced peace”, because we are sitting in a public place and therefore have to act like civilized people. Right at that moment in time, the Lord clearly showed me the problem on hand of the danger to form assumptions. Usually our assumptions are all wrong as it is formed from our sub-conscious, and if that is negative or prone to be negative from past experiences, then the very next one to be formed, will be wrong as well. Right at that moment I experienced the awesome power from the Lord where He equips and empowers you to deal with a specific situation. When we ask and then also allow Jesus to be present in our lives in all situations, He always comes through for us at the right time. It was like a flood of His love and peace and through the power of His Spirit, I could look my brother in the eye and first of all acknowledge for who he is in the Lord and what I have learned from him and his ministry during our years of fellowship. I praised the Lord for our previous fellowship and also blessed him in his future ministry. Thereafter he also did the same and we stood up and greeted each other with a good hug. When I left, I felt at complete peace with him again and with myself. I also knew I was only now ready for a new beginning in my ministry.
The Power of forgiveness:
Never do underestimate the power of forgiveness. When you can forgive someone else, you are becoming Christ-like. But I must add – forgive unconditionally! We cannot hold anything back. When you are able to do this, you are experiencing exactly the same emotions and compassion that Jesus did as He forgave the people who crucified Him. “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing” Luke 23:34 (NLV) We so easily sing that the Lord should change us, to be more and more like Jesus, but when we come to this point where we have to forgive someone who do not deserve it, then it becomes very difficult.
I usually mention it to people who need to forgive other people, that forgiveness and grace are the two most unfair words in this world. Because you have to give it to people who do not deserve it! Sometimes we like to move back under the LAW – “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”. We want so desperately to give pain for pain and injustice received. Unfortunately history shows that this method is not the solution – it only enlarges the problem and starts a process off which we can call: “The vicious circle”. And when this happens, nobody would be the winner. The fight and personal attacks would only get bigger like a consuming fire and it will destroy all involved. The only thing that will change is the methods, the level of attack and the pain growing bigger. Eventually people in a marriage will then split when they run out of ammo – meaning they do not have any new strategy of attack that they can launch at each other. When this happens, they tend to stay bitter and angry at each other for many years which negatively affects the children from the marriage.
What is the point to forgive someone from a wrong doing if he/she deserves it? Then it is not forgiveness through grace anymore! The Lord usually deals with the offended party to give the forgiveness to the offender who does not deserve it! The same what He did to you and me! He has forgiven us even when we did not know Him and most of all did not deserve it!
So next time when the lord speaks to you to forgive, listen up and do it with everything you have in you. You can follow this simple process:
- Write a letter to the Lord Jesus and explain the whole incident(s) to Him. Yes, I know it sounds stupid because He already knows everything, but the thing is it will help you to remember every fine bit of the event(s) and the pain and emotions involved;
- Write everything that is in your heart as if you are now speaking to the Lord about the problem and the pain it has caused you;
- When you are finished, then pray about each incident and person involved. Forgive each one by name by just simply stating that you “forgive so and so in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ for this specific event or incident” that has taken place in your life.
- Speak up in an audible voice as you would speak to another person because you also need to hear the words that you are now forgiving this person in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and is setting him/her free.
- If you still experience bitterness or any other negative emotions or thoughts about someone, then repeat the prayer and say the words of forgiveness again, until you can feel the flood of love and peace coming through;
- If you have been molested or even raped by another person, or a relationship or a marriage has ended in a bitter divorce settlement, it would also be wise to cut the soul ties with this person. This is also only a prayer away where you acknowledge the soul tie between you and the other person, and then cut it “through the power of the Holy Spirit and with the Sword of the Word in the name of Jesus Christ.” You can also do further study on this topic or write to us by leaving a comment in the box below and we will provide you with more info.
- Allow the Spirit of God to lift up any other incident or situation that you need to deal with. Forgive and set people free and you will also be set free through this process.
- When you are finished, then you need to deal with the emotions and the pain. Ask the Lord Jesus to take it away and fill you with His love.
- Deal with the shame of any situation by giving it up to the Lord. Turn your shame into a testimony so that the stronghold from Satan on you through the shame can be broken off. Once you have confessed your sins and mistakes, then accept the forgiveness of God. It is a done deal. If you confess, He forgives! (1 John 1:9-10)
- Then – go and burn that piece of paper (the letter that you wrote) as it is all gone and forgotten. Do not keep a copy on your computer.
- Refocus on a new vision to serve the Lord. Write it down if you want to and keep it to track your new progress.
My advice to you is that you first go through this process as described above before you want to speak to a person who you feel is at fault. Get your thoughts straight and your heart in line with God. Do not:
- Expect a desired result from this that the person(s) involved will all of a sudden now confess their wrongdoings against you. In most cases the people involved do not understand forgiveness and therefore will not even give you the time of day. They could even go further and try to upset you by saying something stupid or degrading again;
- Do not allow your emotions to run wild and lead you; Stay focused and do what needs to be done;
- Try to weigh or measure your fault against the other parties fault as this is a futile exercise. Forgiveness means to release the other party from all guilt and wrongdoing irrespective of the size or volume of it.
- Allow yourself to be pulled in by the other party in another fight or mudslinging. In some cases they will even try to attack your “Christian-ship” by pointing out flaws in your life. Remember, if you have repented your sins before God, then your ARE forgiven and NOBODY has the right to dig them out again. Confess your wrongdoings to the other party where necessary but merely as a recognition of the fact and that it belongs to the past, because you have been forgiven by God already and therefore the party in question should also now forgive you. If they don’t want to then it would remain to be their problem and not yours anymore.
Go and forgive someone. Get rid of the bitterness and negative emotions. Forgiveness will set you free in more ways than one. It will completely change your life and circumstances. It will even save your marriage and you will be blessed. There is a slogan that reads: Life is a journey! But I want to change it to:
Forgiveness is part of life – so enjoy the journey!