Forgive the Hurts – Final Stretch

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Last weekend, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder continued our series, Final Stretch. His bottom line for the message was, “You can SPIRITUALLY FOCUS when you PURPOSEFULLY FORGET.” Ben gave us three key takeaways on the topic of spiritual amnesia. Today, we will unpack the importance of not hanging onto past hurts.

Has someone hurt you? Obviously, this is a rhetorical question. We have all been hurt by someone at some point in our lives, whether it be through something they did or something they neglected to do. The way we handle those hurts determines our ability to move forward in our spiritual growth, and to know more peace.

Isaiah 43:18 (NIV)
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”

Living in the past is easy, but it needs to be left behind. Once a hurt is over and done with, although painful, it is only a feeling or a thought. Cease the replaying of what happened and your desire for a different outcome.

How do we stop the backward wishing?

We need to grieve what happened by allowing ourselves to see it and feel it, and then we need to give ourselves permission to move on. There is no need to stay hurt! Forgetting our hurts allows us to shift our focus to what is happening here—right now—where God is at work.

Jesus invited us to forget the hurts so they would not define who we are. When we live in the past, it’s easy to miss the gifts we’ve been given this season. It makes it difficult to see where God may be inviting us to Know Him, Find Freedom, Discover our Purpose, and Make a Difference.

Ephesians 4:31-32
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

We need to experience healing from our hurts, and the Biblical way of healing is through forgiveness.

What is forgiveness? At its very core, forgiveness is giving up all hope for a better past. We cannot change what has already transpired—we can only change how we feel about it. Dr. Wayne Dyer, an author and speaker on self-development and spiritual growth, phrased this process so eloquently: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

What hurts are you hanging on to? Are you allowing them to define your life?

Can you see the benefit of spiritual amnesia?

How good would it feel to experience the healing from these hurts?

Where is God inviting you to know him and find freedom from your hurts?

Next Steps:
Thoughtfully reflect on the hurts that you’ve healed. Journal about the process that helped you find forgiveness. Your past equips you to help others who are hurting. If you encounter someone who is suffering from the same type of hurt, be prepared to offer your redemptive help to them.

Please, dear God, hear my prayers. Grant me the wisdom to know how to forgive those who have hurt me. Show me ways to grieve my hurts so that I may experience the healing of forgiveness. Help me to move my focus from the past to what is here and now. Thank you for sending Jesus to this earth to be a shining example of forgiveness. In his name I pray, amen.

This post was written by Jennifer Macke. Jenn has a son, daughter, granddaughter, and grandson, and she thanks God every day for them. She is enjoying retirement and feels blessed to be writing for LivingItOut. She was raised in an Evangelical Church, but her spiritual life awakened when she started attending CedarCreek.

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3 replies
  1. Tamara Ann Huss
    Tamara Ann Huss says:

    I Love This Message!! I tend to hang onto the past and to my past mistakes. In turn, I feel bad about myself. Also, I find that by forgiving others who have hurt me, I feel free and peaceful. Thank you for all of your messages, which are so helpful and are inspired by God.

  2. Karen P
    Karen P says:

    Without a doubt, we give ourself an amazing gift when we intentionally forgive. It is futile to wait for someone to ask for forgiveness – that may never happen. The “wrongs” inflicted in life do heal as we apply the penetrating ointment of industrial strength spiritual salve – genuine forgiveness. Thank you, Jennifer, for the powerful prayer!

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