Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Mental anguish, headaches, anger, knots in the stomach, sleeplessness, fatigue, fear, depression, guilt, and shame are a few symptoms we suffer when circumstances arise that require us to forgive someone. The first reaction to the situation may be, “You have got to be kidding! I did not mean it that way! They just need to get over it! It is their problem, not mine!” This gut reaction often indicates conditions requiring forgiveness.
In the scripture verse above, Jesus calls the “weary and burdened” to find “rest” in Him. Sadly, many people never find that rest. The anguish and pain linger for many years. Sometimes people develop bitterness, anger, resentment, and negative attitudes, and before you know it, all facets of life are affected by the painful experience.
Our spiritual life is also impacted by unforgiveness. It is not easy to forgive. Still, I passionately believe God can help us move beyond the situation of anguish, releasing all the pain to him permanently, even if the other person refuses to respond. I hope this book provides a path for you to seek and find peace with God, yourself, and others. The results are definitely worth the effort. My experiences have taught me the value of forgiveness and its significance in everyday situations. I have peace with God, myself, and others, and I know that you can find peace in forgiveness too.
The following pages reveal practical methods to help you release your relationship pains to Jesus and gain peace. The suggestions are established from research and experiences on forgiveness and overcoming personal pain. They offer valuable guidance in seeking and finding forgiveness with God, yourself, and others. The book is different from others because it provides practical tips from a spiritual perspective. It involves calling on the power of God to overcome pain and begin living in peace.
The first chapter of this book asks whether we can forgive and find peace with God, ourselves, and others. Tough questions are asked as we work through the beginning of the forgiveness process. In this section of the book, we discuss deception and false thinking, how God makes it possible to forgive and receive peace, and the significance of having head knowledge of God’s forgiveness but also accepting it in your heart. The chapter is critical in understanding how to get beyond the relationship pains and find peace with God, yourself, and others. A case study and questions are provided at the end of the chapter.
The second chapter of this work provides a dialogue on the biblical meaning of forgiveness. The section highlights forgiveness illustrated by biblical characters such as the Israelites, Joseph, the apostle Paul, and Jesus. Secondly, the conversation focuses on defining our worldview. It is significant since how we perceive God impacts our thinking about forgiveness. Such foundational understanding is helpful as we advance. The second chapter concludes with another case study and questions to consider, offering insights into how you could perceive forgiveness.
The third chapter guides readers in identifying potential persons or situations that may produce some painful emotions or memories. We create a list of people who may need to be forgiven throughout the process. We consider understanding our limitations and expectations in relationships. I have heard people say that you cannot fix the problem until you identify it. Gaining this understanding and identifying the problem people or issues is critical before continuing. The chapter wraps up with a case study and questions to consider before advancing.
The fourth chapter looks at recognizing and experiencing the power of God. We talk about our perception of God and how worldviews influence how we see and expect him to work in our lives. Following this conversation, we talk about how to experience God’s transforming power. We offer some methods to experience His power, such as praising God, reading the Bible, praying, practicing His presence, and finally, through God-given forgiveness. The chapter concludes with a case study and questions about our mindset and thinking about God’s power.
The fifth chapter provides a more in-depth view of how one can experience personal forgiveness from God. There is a dialogue about Christ’s death and resurrection. We discuss methods to leave the past behind and focus on allowing God to mold us more into His image. Readers are challenged to be decisive in getting beyond the current painful circumstances. Sample prayers are provided for interested readers before discussing self-forgiveness. The chapter is concluded with a case study and some questions to apply what is being learned.
The sixth chapter introduces the topic of forgiving others. There is a conversation on responding to unforgiving hearts. Here, readers discover that depending on God during such times is crucial. The next section of this chapter expounds on how God transformed my life and helped me work through painful relationships. The chapter concludes with a case study and questions to prompt further thinking.
The seventh chapter discusses how a person moves beyond the pains of the past. There is a dialogue on becoming aware of warning signs that might identify the presence of unforgiveness. The next section of this chapter provides both Old and New Testament scriptures of encouragement as you advance in mending relationships. After this section, you will discover a discussion on seeking out ministry opportunities to help others. The chapter wraps up with a case study and questions for application.
The eighth chapter brings everything together by highlighting the main points from all the previous chapters. The section can easily be an excellent tool for people who are genuinely looking to get beyond their pain. As you advance through the book, it is hopeful you will not read the book as only another leisure reading. Hopefully, you will discover the help that will aid you in finding peace with God, yourself, and others for a lifetime.