For just a moment, envision your heart like a pitcher. When you've been hurt by another person, the habit we still retain from our old nature is to feed the heart-injury with incessant mediation. The water in the picture soon becomes cloudy, even contaminated. Praying about the person we need to forgive is the means by which we tip that pitcher heavenward and slowly begin to pour out negative feelings and frustrations out to God. As we pour out, a wonderful thing happens: we make room for God to pour in. Our omniscient God know that a heart heals when a heart changes. Until we make room for fresh contents that changes our hearts, we will never be healed from the injury and subsequent feelings of unforgiveness.
After we've practiced pouring our hearts out to God through praying about the person, it's time to additionally begin praying for the person. I already know what you may be thinking because I use to feel the same way. "Why should I pray for a person who has hurt me so badly?" God's ways are not our ways. He created our psyches, and He alone knows how they operate. He created our hearts so uniquely, so in His image, that they are forced to forgive in order to be free. God greatly honors our willingness to bless others when our human reaction would be to curse them. First Peter 3:0 says it all: "Do not repay evil for evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called, so that you may inherit a blessing." Don't miss the phrase "to this you were called." I've heard many people say, "God could never expect me to forgive or pray for blessing for that persona after all she/he has done." Oh, yes, He could. In fact, to this we were called! The invitation to bless when the rest of the world would curse is one of the very characteristics that sets us apart and causes people to take note of our faith. What have we gained if we do it our way? An ulcer? A bad heart? Unending depression? Such bitterness that no one wants to be around us? God knows what He's doing. He created the rules of the heart. When we choose to go against everything our own humanity would tells us and, instead, approach our struggle God's way, we are shocked once again to see that He was right.
Praying God's Word- Breaking Free From Spiritual Strongholds; by Beth Moore, pages 240-241, Broadman & Holman Publishers, ISBN 0800542351-6
In Touch Ministries
The Restorer of Lost Hopes
Dr. Charles Stanley
Not only is Christ the source of genuine hope; He is also the restorer of lost hope. Unless we're vigilant in guarding our perspective, many situations can erode opti-mism and trust. Biblical principles are the best defense against such discouragement.
Unchanging difficult circumstances can cause despair and rob life of meaning, but Romans 5:1-5 tells us that God has a much different view about the value of trials.We are eager for our Father to just fix the problem or relieve the suffering, but He has an eternal goal in mind. His purpose in trials is to produce proven character in us, which will result in hope, not disappointment.
Personal failure is another thief of hope. Sometimes discouragement is caused by a failure to meet our own expectations. This may be evidence that we have trusted in our own abilities and plans rather than in the Lord. Remember that "our adequacy is from God" (2 Cor. 3:5).
At other times we might lose hope because, despite all our efforts, we cannot live a victorious Christian life. Old flesh patterns may seem to be winning the battle. But just as the failure originates within us, so does the solution--with the indwelling Holy Spirit. If we surrender to His authority and live in dependence upon Him, He will begin to transform us from the inside out.
Hopelessness is a miserable trap that blinds a believer from seeing the Lord. The only way out is to deliberately focus on Christ through praise, prayer, and Scripture. This is probably the last thing a discouraged person wants to do, but hope awaits those who are willing to see life from God's perspective.
Trading My Sorrows (Yes Lord)