Overcoming the Pain of Yesterday
One of the biggest challenges many face is overcoming pain in their lives. Many people verbally say to those around them that they forgive them, yet deep down inside the pain has taken residence in their heart. If this pain is not released through the power of forgiveness, it begins to affect our actions and our everyday lives.
Do you find yourself bringing up hurtful situations often? Are your social media statuses subliminally being used as platforms to vent your frustrations and pain? When you have conversations with others, are you continuously bringing up the hurtful situation that has brought you pain? If you have answered yes to one or more of these questions, it is time to take steps to truly overcome the pain in your life.
The Bible tells us in John 16:33:
“In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
I truly love this verse because we are reminded that God has not promised us a world without pain. He has not promised that we won’t ever cry or that we will never experience disappointment. He is honest with us and lets us know that because we are in this world, we will have trials and tribulations. If this verse simply ended there, that would be a depressing moment in the Bible. Yet, the verse continues as Jesus instructs us to “be of good cheer!” In the midst of pain, this is often the last thing we are thinking of doing. However, it’s the response that Believers are called to have when experiencing tribulation! We are to be of good cheer! Our cheerful attitudes are not without reason. The verse ends by simply saying, “because I have overcome the world!” That’s something to get excited about.
Now you may be reading and say, “Well this verse says that Christ has overcome the world. But how does that help me overcome my pain?” John 15:4-5 tells us:
“Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.”
If we are abiding in Christ, then we are able to overcome in all things because He is within us! If you are abiding in Christ by spending time with Him, praying, worshipping, and studying His Word, then when trials come, your fruit will be evident.
Last month, I experienced my share of family trials. My father experienced a drug overdose and at one moment, I was close to losing him. Drug addiction has been something that my father has struggled with most of his life. Upon receiving a call from my mother about my dad, I rushed to her house. When I arrived, the same time as the paramedics, my father was not breathing. As they worked to revive my father, I began to pray. I am thankful that my father is able to live another day and God spared his life. But I am even more surprised at my reaction afterwards.
There were times in the past that I allowed my father’s drug usage to hurt me. There were times that I walked in anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness because of his addictions. Yet at that very moment after my dad was revived, all I could do was hug him. The compassion of Christ took over and I was able to speak words of life to him at that very moment straight from the Word of God. Was I hurt? Absolutely. But when we abide in Christ, we have the power to do things we wouldn’t normally be able to do in our own strength.
So my challenge to you is to stop allowing the enemy to press the rewind button in your mind! Our mind wants to replay bad experiences like its your favorite song! You continue to download negative experience after experience every time you rewind or replay the event in your mind. And the truth is you may never forget that hurtful situation. But if you are abiding in Christ and release the situation to Him, then one day you will notice that the sting of the experience is removed. As the power of Christ works in you through your intentionality to abide in Him and release whoever has hurt you, you will begin to overcome the pain and walk in total forgiveness.