“Let me tell you the worst story I’ve ever heard,” Ed Silvoso told the thousands in attendance at Kingdom Invasion 2018.
“I met someone who had been raped by her father from the age of 2 to 17. As a result of the abuse, she became bipolar and had a split personality. Her schizophrenia resulted in episodes which almost saw her running her husband over in a car and killing her baby.”
This was a woman trapped in great suffering and pain. How could she be expected to forgive someone like her father?
Hurts that aren’t resolved go on constant replay for the rest of our lives.
The founder and president of Harvest Evangelism and the International Transformation Network followed this up with the story of a man whose wife was full of fear because she had once been robbed.
“Every night between 2am and 3am, the wife would wake up, scream and shake her husband awake, telling him there was a thief downstairs,” said Silvoso, speaking at the Singapore Expo on March 16, 2018.
“For 20 years the husband would faithfully check the house. One night, however, there actually was a thief in the house. He pointed a gun at the husband and said, ‘Give me all your money or I’ll blow your brains out.’
“I’ll give you anything and everything,” replied the husband cooly. The thief was shocked at how cooperative his victim was.
“… On one condition: You come up with me and meet my wife. She’s been waiting 20 years just to see you.”
THE DAILY PAIN OF THE PAST
Said Silvoso gravely: “Even though she was robbed only once, she was robbed every night for 20 years.”
His point was that many people still live in the pain of their past – every single day.
“Hurts that aren’t resolved go on constant replay for the rest of our lives. Especially hurts which are inflicted by people close to us. Those closer to us who hurt us; these are people we can’t simply delete from our memory.”
“We must dispose of the old things, the hurts inflicted on us — the traumas — by learning to apply God’s grace to them,” said Silvoso.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
“The grace of God is designed to forgive our sins and also enable us to forgive the sins of those who have sinned against us — even if they have not repented,” said Silvoso.
“The moment we are saved, the grace of God comes and touches every terrible thing in our lives and turns them into new things. And that’s what the devil doesn’t want us to know.
“We have a choice to look at the person who sinned against us. We can look at them in the flesh, or in Christ.”
THE STING OF DEATH
Silvoso then told another story about a girl and a father who encountered a bee. The girl was terrified of being stung by the bee, and ran behind her father. Her father caught and held the bee in his hand. In the process, he got stung.
The father showed the trembling girl the now-stingless bee, and said: “It can’t sting you anymore.”
“That’s Jesus. Christ has already taken the sting for that terrible thing done to you – or by you. When He wrapped grace around the Cross, the emblem of the curse became the symbol of blessing!”
When grace is applied to sin, God can bring good out of a bad situation. Silvoso pointed to Stephen in the Bible. As he was being stoned to death, Stephen looked up and didn’t see the angry faces of men. Instead, he saw Jesus (Acts 7:55-56).
With his last breath, Stephen said, “Father, do not hold it against them.”
Watching all this was a man named Saul. Within a few chapters of the book of Acts, this great destroyer of the early Church had became Paul, the builder of the Church.
“Look at the power when grace is applied to sin. When grace is applied to sin, God can bring goodness out of a bad situation.”
“For your city to be transformed, we need to understand the dynamite power of grace so we can be set free – totally free.”
DON’T GIVE UP
Silvoso then returned to his story of the lady who had been raped by her father. She asked Silvoso: “Pastor, why did this happen to me?”
Where was God while her father was raping her? “Fair question,” said Silvoso. She had tried to kill herself twice in her life. The first time was at just 5 years old: She wanted to jump into the river after her mother beat her when she told her of the rape.
“Well, why didn’t you kill yourself then?” Silvoso asked her.
When the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future: He is going to get thrown into the lake of fire!
“Her mouth began to twitch. And she remembered that Jesus was there with her at the river, and He had put His hand on her head.”
Eventually, through clenched teeth, she managed to pray to God about her father. “Even though I hate him, I forgive him.”
Silvoso repeated: “When grace is applied to sin, God can bring good out of it.” He prayed over her and she was healed, something clicked within her spirit — fusing her split personality into wholeness.
“Sometime later, I met her again. She didn’t have a split personality, she was whole. And she had a ministry for people who were abused. Today she is a mighty restorer of the downtrodden,” said Silvoso.
CHOOSE TO FORGIVE
You can choose to forgive even if you don’t feel like it, said Silvoso.
Try this simple prayer, he suggested. “Father God, I confess that the blood of Jesus is more than sufficient to provide forgiveness for every sin, and that your grace is always read to overflow where sin abounds. I agree with the Scriptures that you will make all things work together for good — including the bad things that I now place under the blood of Jesus.”
He pleaded: “You have to choose in your heart to forgive. The grace of God has already touched everything within your soul. Now you just need to confess it with your mouth.
“We choose to forgive. We choose to forget. The pain will come back, but we must keep repeating our intention to forgive until it becomes a conviction. Don’t deny the anger — neutralise it by declaring, I am forgiven!”
Satan will keep trying to derail this process of forgiveness and healing, Silvoso added. But we have to stand firm and fight the instinct to dwell in past hurts.
“When the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future: He is going to get thrown into the lake of fire!”