If you are struggling to stop thinking about a wound – - if you are on the mental gerbil wheel – - then reading a book on forgiveness is probably not the best way to escape the turmoil. Rather, through the below suggestions enlarge your thinking about what Christ will do in the future.
On Friday, I posted that a biblical strategy to escape the mental turmoil of past wounds is to cultivate a vivid picture of the final redemptive work of Christ. (See here).
Below are some practical suggestions for cultivating a vivid picture of the final redemptive work of Christ. Notice that this list is NOT so much about reading books about forgiveness – - though there may be some good ones out there! Reading about forgiveness may only cause you to think about the wound more. Rather, absorb your mind with what Christ will do in the future!
Memorize Scripture about what Christ will do upon his return. Rather, than choosing verses that apply to the wrong someone did to you, memorize Revelation 21 or Revelation 22. (For help with memorization, see here). Repeat to remember, and repeat to meditate. Or, memorize 2 Cor 4:16-18 or Matthew 5:1-12. Notice that the beatitudes talk in large part about what will happen in the future.
Think creatively about what it will be like when Christ returns. Decide where you and your Christian loved ones will meet. My family is going to meet at the 5th tree on the right side of the river as we face the throne! How can you lead your family in vividly contemplating glory?
Carefully read Jonathan Edward sermon, “The Excellency of Christ.” Reading this sermon is hard work. But, it’s worth the effort. This paragraph alone will make your heart sing.
When the saints get to heaven, they shall not merely see Christ, and have to do with him as subjects and servants with a glorious and gracious Lord and Sovereign, but Christ will entertain them as friends and brethren. This we may learn from the manner of Christ’s conversing with his disciples here on earth: though he was their Sovereign Lord, and did not refuse, but required, their supreme respect and adoration, yet he did not treat them as earthly sovereigns are wont to do their subjects. He did not keep them at an aweful distance, but all along conversed with them with the most friendly familiarity, as a father amongst a company of children, yea, as with brethren. So he did with the twelve, and so he did with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. He told his disciples, that he did not call them servants, but friends, and we read of one of them that leaned on his bosom: and doubtless he will not treat his disciples with less freedom and endearment in heaven. He will not keep them at a greater distance for his being in a state of exaltation; but he will rather take them into a state of exaltation with him. This will be the improvement Christ will make of his own glory, to make his beloved friends partakers with him, to glorify them in his glory, as he says to his Father, John 17:22, 23. “And the glory which thou hast given me, have I given them, that they may be one, even as we are one I in them” etc. We are to consider, that though Christ is greatly exalted, yet he is exalted, not as a private person for himself only, but as his people’s head; he is exalted in their name, and upon their account, as the first fruits, and as representing the whole harvest. He is not exalted that he may be at a greater distance from them, but that they may be exalted with him.
Listen to the right music. Sing with all your heart about the return of Christ. Some of you can surely suggest some great worship songs about the return of Christ.
Read either, Mike Wittmer’s book, Heaven Is a Place on Earth: Why Everything You Do Matters to God or Randy Alcorn’s, Heaven