Confess your anger so it doesn’t lead you to sin. The suffering you endure from the injustices in our fallen world can rightly make you feel angry. But you need to be careful how you respond to the anger you feel. If you respond in destructive ways, your anger can break relationships, damage your health, distort your perspective of reality, and hold you back from living in freedom. However, if you respond to your anger by confessing it (honestly acknowledging your situation and the emotion of anger that you feel), you understand what made you feel angry and explore your options for resolving the underlying issues.

Forgive those who have hurt you so bitterness won’t poison your soul. If you refuse to obey God’s command to forgive the people who have hurt you, bitterness will take root in soul and poison it, distorting your thinking and blocking your ability to give and receive love. But if you choose to forgive others and rely on God to help you do so, you can experience the loving relationships that God wants you to enjoy with Him and other people.

Place your trust in God to help you deal with a world that’s not fair. Even though life isn’t fair, you can develop the faith and courage to live well despite that. Even though people can be untrustworthy, you can still trust God to help you relate to them in loving ways. Even though you’ve made mistakes in the past, you can ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind, emotions, and will so you can make a fresh start. 

Share healing stories with others. Talk with some people about what God has been doing in your life to help you move beyond struggles to healing, listen to their stories, and encourage each other to keep changing and growing as God leads you all into new adventures.

Adapted from Getting Past What You’ll Never Get Over: Help for Dealing with Life’s Hurts, copyright 2012 by John F. Westfall. Published by Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Mich., www.revellbooks.com.   

John F. Westfall is founding past of Harbor Church, a creative new congregation in the Pacific Northwest, and has pastored churches in Washington, California, and Minnesota. A former radio show host, an ordained pastor, and adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, and a popular retreat and conference speaker, John lives in the Seattle area with his wife, Eileen, and their dog, Maggie. Visit his website

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles. Contact Whitney at: angels@aboutguide.com to send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer

Publication date: December 17, 2012