European-American Evangelistic Crusades, Inc.
August 2000 Newsletter
John S. Torell
In my last newsletter I discussed the "CURSE OF SIN." This month I want to write on the subject of the Christian being able to live a victorious life in a world that is crumbling around us. Many people are waiting for me to write on current political situations, or to bring out teachings of future prophecies being fulfilled. Eventually I will come back to this, but for the time being the Lord Jesus Christ is directing me to deal with issues which cause people to stumble and fall into great despair. What good is it to know the latest prophetic happening if your personal life is falling apart?
Many people who receive my monthly newsletter are doing well in their personal lives, so when you read what I have to say, praise the Lord that this does not apply to you.
JESUS WARNED US OF WHAT WAS TO HAPPEN IN THE LAST DAYS
Let me quote Jesus:
During the last 1900 years, thousands upon thousands of Christians have been arrested, tortured and murdered for believing in Jesus Christ. But the intensity of the hatred for Jesus is now rising to a level never seen before. In years past, the Roman Catholic Church was the largest persecutor of born-again Christians, then came the different Communist regimes, and now the Muslims have once again declared an all out war on
Christians. Few people in the West know about the sufferings and killings taking place in Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and other Muslim nations, as well as China.
But the hate for Jesus Christ is growing in the United States. The unmasked glowing hatred can be seen in the current US Attorney General, Janet Reno, who, ever since she took office, has spearheaded a hate campaign against what she calls "right wing fundamentalist Christians."
But I want to share with you on a more personal level, how hate can destroy people. Some time ago I received a letter from a man who is incarcerated in a county jail. He told me that 18 years ago he and his wife came to our ministry and asked for help. At that time he was the principle of a Christian school, but in his personal life he had problems. His wife had a daughter from a prior marriage to whom he had become sexually attracted. He knew this was wrong and that he needed help. Unfortunately, he did not take the advice I gave him and he left. Now, 18 years later, he is asking for help and wants me to visit him in jail. Here is what happened:
THIS IS NOT AN ISOLATED CASE
Some time ago some Christians came to me as a pastor and asked for help. A man had borrowed money from several friends, his business fell on hard times and he could not pay them back. These friends went to the court system and filed charges against him. Before all the evidence had been secured by the prosecuting attorneyís office, the man who owed the money asked me to work up a settlement with the people to whom he owed money. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I was able to work out agreements, with payment schedules, including payment of interest owed. The man paid all his creditors principal and interest. One would have thought his creditors would be happy when they received all their money plus interest. Not so, they wanted revenge. One person told me, "I WANT THIS MAN TO BE PUNISHED." There was no forgiveness, no love, no mercy. Instead, the creditors wanted to see this man in prison. The case is currently pending in court. But I feel badly for the creditors. They rejected the warning that Christ has given us in Matthew 18:21-35.
WHAT CAN WE DO WHEN WE HAVE BEEN WRONGED?
Step One: If you are not a born again believer in Christ, this is the first step of recovery. This is what Jesus said:
The Bible tells us that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23). Acknowledge your sinfulness, tell God that you cannot atone for it, ask God for forgiveness of your sins, confess with your mouth that you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that he died for you on the cross, rose on the third day, and that through his death and resurrection you can be saved. (Romans10:8-13). When you do this, God will hear your prayer and you will be saved (born again). John 1:12-13
Step Two: If you are already a born again believer in Christ, you need to daily ask God to forgive you, since we are not perfect on this earth and we sin each day. (I John 1:4-10).This is where pride has to die. Learn to take responsibility, declare that you are not a perfect being and ask people to forgive you. When our pride causes us to be stubborn, it gives the Devil more ground to afflict us. When I ask someone to forgive me, it releases the power of God to begin to work, first in me and then in the person with whom I am in conflict.
Step Three: Make it a life habit to forgive those who hurt you. Jesus was very strong on this. If I do not forgive, I cannot be forgiven by God.
If you want peace and joy in your life, learn to forgive and forgive again and again. Regardless of how badly you have been treated, release the person in forgiveness. If the person is continuing to be abusive, you are not bound to stick around and take more abuse. Cut off the relationship, but forgive. Do not hold a grudge. If people have taken money or property from you, let it go. God will abundantly restock your supplies. There is a day of reckoning for the thief.
This particularly applies when it comes to inheritances. I speak from experience. When some of my relatives in Sweden died, everything was given to a cousin of mine. My first impulse was to become angry. But the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, "Forgive and release. The money in question is not worth the pain of bitterness, resentment and sickness that it will bring." I prayed and asked God to heal my broken heart and I forgave all my relatives. I released all things and the peace of God flooded my soul. God is my source and my provider, no one else. I wrote my cousin and told him I wanted to be his friend, and I praise the Lord for giving me His divine love.
If you have a rotten marriage, try your best to show the love of God. Remember this, God was patient with you until you turned around and got right with God. If your life is in danger or you are physically abused, then separate and go into intensive prayer and fasting for your spouse. Very seldom is one spouse guilty of destroying a marriage. It takes two. When you are separated, ask God to show you your mistakes, and then be willing to correct them. Love covers a multitude of sins! (James 5:19-20).
Step Four: Move on with your life. Donít live in the past! Yesterday is gone and will never come back. What you lost is gone. It cannot be recovered, but you can build something new and beautiful through the power of God. When you forgive you are also to forget. Do not dwell on old strife or rehash it over and over. Instead begin to proclaim that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. (Philippians 4:13) Rejoice at all times, even when there is a total disaster around you. (Philippians 4:4-8)
If you have been sentenced by a court to do prison time or to pay restitution, start praising the Lord and ask Him to help you. If you have murdered someone, and you have been sentenced to death, rejoice in the Lord. There is nothing you can do in the flesh, but your heavenly Father has all the power, and when we put our lives in His hands, He will be in charge. Have this attitude, I will pay my debts with the help of the Lord, and then I shall start my life over again, this time built upon the rock, Jesus Christ.
If you are diagnosed with cancer or any other deadly disease, donít panic, but turn to God. Most of the diseases we are facing today are caused by eating the wrong kinds of food which God did not create to be eaten, or the food God created has been destroyed through processing. Ask God for forgiveness that you have not paid attention to this earlier in your life. Renounce the practice of not taking care of your body, ask God for a healing, and while you are waiting for your healing, change your lifestyle and eating habits.
Step Five: Stop murmuring and complaining. This is a serious sin. It is the sin of being unthankful. God has warned us about this. (I Corinthians 10:10-11) When I complain I am telling God that I am not pleased with Him; He should have done better. The joy of the Lord is my strength! (Proverbs 17:22) Stop griping, stop the sniveling, stop the pity party! So someone plowed into your car, all your indoor plants died, some appliance in your kitchen broke down, you lost your job, people are lying about you, no one knows how hard you work and you are not appreciated, you got laid up in the hospital . . . . this list is endless.
DOES IT DO ANY GOOD TO COMPLAIN? NO! Sometime ago I saw this sign in an office:
Complaining makes us sick in body and soul; people shun us. No one wants to be around a person who is continually griping and complaining. It drives the Holy Spirit away from anointing us, and it grieves our heavenly Father.
I have learned that when things go wrong around me I need God more than ever. To bring God into my situation, I begin to call upon Him, praising Him, loving Him and telling Him that I need a little help. In faith I know that He will not always give me the solution that I think I should have, but what God knows that I need. (Hebrews 11:6)
Step Six:Be obedient to Godís commandments. If you do not read the Bible, you do not know what God has said, and you cannot be obedient. (John 14:15)
The spiritual formula for peace, joy and a close walk with God is:
The choice is yours, you can either be blessed or be cursed. (Jeremiah 17:5-8)
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Any scripture references are taken
from the King James Bible.
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