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Thread: The pain of sanctification

  1. #16
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    Re: The pain of sanctification

    It's not incomplete. Because we're also commanded to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

    It's not a buffet. Scripture is a complete whole, but we often pick and choose, to our own undoing.

    In your example, love dictates that you would get our butt over to Ruth's house and ask forgiveness and make things right.

    Then you get your butt over before God's throne and say "Evidently I been gossiping because there's something in me that made me say unkind things about Ruth behind her back. I am giving that something over to You and am asking You to yank it out by the root and replace it with Your resurrection life so that history doesn't repeat itself and I am able to grow past this garbage."

    Why did you run off at the mouth about Ruth to begin with?

    Maybe gossip isn't the issue, but envy or jealousy? Hatred or unforgiveness? Insecurity or self-validation?

    The gossip is the fruit, not the cause, see? Because out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. What's in your heart toward Ruth when you say these things? That's the bottom of the issue. Not the words coming out.

    Because for every Ruth there's a Sally and a Jane and a Mary, and on and on it goes, see? Patterns. That's where the tree is that you see the fruit of, and every tree has a root somewhere. Why keep hacking at branches when you can let God yank out the root and be done with it and grow a different tree with different fruit?

    We always stop short by just asking forgiveness, getting up off our knees, and then falling into the exact same ditch 2 minutes (or days or weeks or months) later.

    Go all the way and understand you're dealing with the Resurrection and the Life, and let God actually be God in your life instead of thinking He's interested in behavior modification. We can modify our own behavior. That doesn't take God's power. What takes God's power, is transformation, which results in the fruit of the Spirit being evident in us, as can be seen over time. It's real and true.

    And I've never encountered your example in my own life, actually, because when God comes in and yanks the root out ... Dani is done with whatever it is that this fruit came from and now grows a different fruit instead.

  2. #17

    Re: The pain of sanctification

    Dani H has it right: sanctification can only happen by the Holy Spirit.

    Just as all of you, I've struggled with my sin nature (and still do). In my experience, what works best in overcoming the flesh is not focusing on overcoming the flesh, but on walking in the Spirit:

    But I say, Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)

    This is an amazing verse. Instead of saying as we would expect "Do not sin so you can walking in the Spirit", it says "Walk in the Spirit and you will not sin!"

    Because of this, I see the struggle as not so much about doing right and avoiding wrong, but about always maintaining my walk with the Holy Spirit, i.e. always seeking His direction, power, will, avoiding grieving Him (and immediately seeking forgiveness on the basis of the blood of Christ when I do), letting Him transform me into the image of Christ, etc. I still have a long way to go, but I have made much more progress this way than by trying through my own effort.

    I still struggle, but now it is about the walk, not the works.
    Andrew Bernhardt
    "Salvation costs me nothing. Discipleship costs me everything."
    (dtjsoft.com)

  3. #18
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    Re: The pain of sanctification

    DaniH said:
    Why did you run off at the mouth about Ruth to begin with?

    Maybe gossip isn't the issue, but envy or jealousy? Hatred or unforgiveness? Insecurity or self-validation?

    The gossip is the fruit, not the cause, see? Because out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. ... Patterns. That's where the tree is that you see the fruit of, and every tree has a root somewhere. Why keep hacking at branches when you can let God yank out the root and be done with it and grow a different tree with different fruit?
    ... Go all the way ... get your butt over before God's throne and say "Evidently I been gossiping because there's something in me that made me say unkind things about Ruth behind her back. I am giving that something over to You and am asking You to yank it out by the root and replace it with Your resurrection life so that history doesn't repeat itself and I am able to grow past this garbage."
    Dani, I like your entire root, branch, tree, fruit and heart discussion. We must identify what's going on in our heart so we can deal with it in particularity, with specificity. But why? But how?

    Let's say that at root I gossip out of insecurity, making me want self-validation. Now, if I say to to God, "get your butt over before my throne and yank my insecurity driven need to self-validate out by the root and replace it with Your resurrection life so that history doesn't repeat itself and I am able to grow past this garbage," I don't think the results will be so good.

    What is missing? Humility? Sure.

    But what must I do? What's the point of getting specific about what it is in me that makes me gossip?

    More than that, I'm happy for you that whenever you pray and ask for a root canal the job gets done. i know it is not always that easy for me, or for many others. Take our friend, Equipped_4_Love, who started this thread, for instance.

    Equipped says:
    I have asked the Lord for forgiveness, and I truly have the desire to repent, but I just find that my growth in the Lord seems to exacerbate these things, and I just don't understand.
    How does your advice, as stated anywhere in this thread, tell her what to do differently from what she is already trying to do?

    In fact, I think her explanation of how to engage in sanctification is actually more helpful than your own. She is at least saying the R word, Repentance.

    The question is, under what conditions will God grant us repentance in such a manner that the root is pulled out? Is there anything we must do to facilitate that process?

    Let me put it another way. If I am a drug addict, and I ask the Lord to show me what is in my heart, like the desire to compensate for insecurity, and I ask the Lord to root that insecurity out, is that all I can and should do to overcome in that area of sin?
    Love first, ... answer questions ... later ...

  4. #19
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    Re: The pain of sanctification

    Andybern said:
    I see the struggle as not so much about doing right and avoiding wrong, but about always maintaining my walk with the Holy Spirit, i.e. always seeking His direction, power, will, avoiding grieving Him (and immediately seeking forgiveness on the basis of the blood of Christ when I do), letting Him transform me into the image of Christ, etc.
    Andy, I think you describe walking in the Spirit extremely well, except where you remain vague about the last part of Walking in the Spirit: Obedience. You cannot remain in the Spirit while you are disobeying the leading of the Spirit. So, as you say, you seek to avoid grieving Him. But, ironic to your point here, you are really saying that to avoid grieving His Spirit you MUST do exactly what you don't seem to think is the least helpful: struggling over "doing right and avoiding wrong".

    And another thing, friend. Walking in the Spirit is a wonderful way to live in the Lord, and we must do it, and it is joy. But it is a moment to moment experience, and we must STRIVE to walk in the Spirit. But what we find is we are usually drifting out of the Spirit, or abruptly separating from Him. Why? Distraction and the cost of following Jesus moment to moment. Ultimately, there are things in our heart that conflict with the Spirit, and He is glad to lead us into situations which reveal that.

    The question is, while your are waiting for "Him [to] transform me into the image of Christ," what are you doing? If you are bumped out of the Spirit when you grieve Him by disobeying, how do you engender His transformative work at that point? Under what conditions does God change your heart and in turn change your character? Even so, if He changes your character, does that mean you can then obey in that 'area' of would-be temptation without walking in the Spirit?

    Hope you see my questions as opportunities to enlighten me, rather than as criticisms.
    Love first, ... answer questions ... later ...

  5. #20

    Re: The pain of sanctification

    Sorry, Eyelog, if it appeared I was not including obedience. I agree, obedience is also necessary. But I cannot successfully make it a long-term obedience unless I let the Holy Spirit do a heart change in me, working to correct the inner problems (pride, selfishness, etc) out of which sin arises. Otherwise, no matter how successful I may be at controlling my thoughts, attitudes and actions, I will fall back into sin again. As the Holy Spirit corrects the heart problems and leads me, obedience follows.
    Andrew Bernhardt
    "Salvation costs me nothing. Discipleship costs me everything."
    (dtjsoft.com)

  6. #21
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    Re: The pain of sanctification

    Quote Originally Posted by Eyelog View Post
    Let's say that at root I gossip out of insecurity, making me want self-validation. Now, if I say to to God, "get your butt over before my throne and yank my insecurity driven need to self-validate out by the root and replace it with Your resurrection life so that history doesn't repeat itself and I am able to grow past this garbage," I don't think the results will be so good.
    I didn't say you say to God to get His butt to YOUR throne. What throne do you have?? I see only one throne in Scripture, and that's God's where He is King, and we live in HIS Kingdom, not the other way around. Read my post again. Besides, I was using colloquial language. Sorry if that made you misunderstand me. I'm the queen of run-on sentences, so it happens.

    What is missing? Humility? Sure.
    Absolutely not. A person of humility recognizes God as the ultimate authority over them. I know I'm helpless without Him. So where am I missing humility?

    But what must I do? What's the point of getting specific about what it is in me that makes me gossip?
    The point of getting specific is to stop hiding behind generalizations and to clarify issues so they can be addressed and resolved. Because sin isn't generalized. There are specific acts we commit, specific beliefs we have in our hearts, specific thoughts and attitudes we have.

    Paul lists even the fruit of the Spirit specifically. As well as the fruit of the flesh. James addresses specific issues. Jesus addressed specific issues. I don't see where any of them are being general about anything. So what gives us the right to not be specific??

    As to repentance:

    Repentance doesn't mean to go to God and say "I'm sorry" and to run around feeling guilty all the time. Repentance is not just about receiving forgiveness! We already have God's mercy. He has already forgiven us, and He is always willing and able to forgive us.

    Repentance means that you change your understanding, your attitude and your perspective on something and decide to instead line yourself up with God's perspective and submit yourself to what HE says about a matter instead of what you've been thinking or believing. Repentance happens inside a person. The changed behavior that results from it, is the FRUIT of repentance, not repentance itself. But I think we want to replace the fruit, take off the rotten and stick a healthy one in its place. That's not how trees grow fruit, though, and wanting to live like that is just playing pretend, honestly. Because fruit is meant to be eaten, not looked at by someone going "oohh looky at the shiny pretty fruit". Fruit is for nourishment for other people! Our fruit is for others, not for ourselves! It's for the hungry!

    Repentance happens when God shows you something about yourself that's out of line with Him, and you respond to that by receiving God's truth instead of the lie you've been believing and living to that point; and with His truth, comes His life (because Jesus is the Way, the Truth, AND the Life, remember?).

    That's repentance. If real repentance has taken place, then the fruit will be evident. That's why John the Baptist said "bear fruit worthy of repentance".

    You will know them by their fruit.

    If you're not showing fruit, then no matter how sorry you feel, you haven't really repented. You're merely stuck in a guilt/shame cycle that doesn't accomplish anything real except drag you down and hinder your relationship with the Lord. That's the truth of it.

    We're to walk in the Spirit daily. We're to be filled with the Spirit daily. We live in a sin-beset world that's full of death and corruption.

    Every day we have multiple opportunities to receive truth and repent. Through specific circumstances God puts us in. Because our lives aren't divided up, see? It's not about God on Sunday and then about everything else on Monday through Saturday. It's all about Jesus, all the time, every day, in every circumstance, with every person we interact, 24/7. It's all on-the-job training, see? All of it. All the time, every day.

  7. #22
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    Re: The pain of sanctification

    DaniH said:
    Repentance means that you change your understanding, your attitude and your perspective on something and decide to instead line yourself up with God's perspective and submit yourself to what HE says about a matter instead of what you've been thinking or believing. Repentance happens inside a person. The changed behavior that results from it, is the FRUIT of repentance, not repentance itself. But I think we want to replace the fruit, take off the rotten and stick a healthy one in its place. That's not how trees grow fruit, though, and wanting to live like that is just playing pretend, honestly. Because fruit is meant to be eaten, not looked at by someone going "oohh looky at the shiny pretty fruit". Fruit is for nourishment for other people! Our fruit is for others, not for ourselves! It's for the hungry!

    Repentance happens when God shows you something about yourself that's out of line with Him, and you respond to that by receiving God's truth instead of the lie you've been believing and living to that point; and with His truth, comes His life
    Good points. I agree there's a difference between a generalized desire to submit to God in all things, letting Him have control, and a specific desire to let go of a particular thing. If that were not true, then becoming like Him would be a single act of repentance, covering virtually every area of sin in our lives. Obviously, after we are born again, regenerate and Spirit-indwelt, we retain large portions of the Old Man or Old Self, which we must learn to put off, so we can replace it with the New Man or New Self, "which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth." Eph 4:24.

    (1) We do need a specific desire to do whatever it takes to repent of an issue the Lord has brought to our attention. The Rich Young Ruler demonstrated the sort of general right attitude one needs if they are to please the Lord, but in the specific area of money, he had no desire to do what it would take to repent. How could he have acquired that desire? That is the key question, which you are putting off. What is the solid food weneed to hear? The Milk is God's kindness and forgiveness and mercy. The meat is about what it takes to become like Christ, and how we must respond to God's discipine if we fail to take proactive action to become like Christ. We need to know the solid food of the Word on how to proactively become like Jesus. We need to know we can't do it through will power alone, though willpower is, indeed, necessary. We need to know we must engage the Spirit of God if we want to become like Christ, and we need to know specifically how to do that and what we will have to undergo if we are to become like Christ. We need to understand in what ways our practical sanctifcaton is synergistic (a comination of what we do and what He does, in relationship, abiding in Him, vine, branch and sap).

    (2) We can't just let go and let God if we want to grow very fast. That makes it more monergistic (only God doing it), and it requires he unilaterally discipline us, which is always involves more suffering and especially more time, and when we are done, we don't necessarily learn how to proactively go on to the next thing God wants us to overcome. While God can and will figure it out for us, we aren't likely to understand and be able to take it up and wield knowledge of how to grow if we are not ourselves directly involved in His processes for aligning our heart and mind with His. He makes the command and He expects us to obey it. So, if we are held back from obeying, we need to figure out why. Then, we need to address that reason very specifically, coming to understand it in the light of Scripture and praying for insight, and requesting that He would grant us repentance of it.

    (3) Clearly, until a person has the desire to stop or start what the Lord convicts them about in some way, their heart is not right. Moreover, if they are held back, their heart is not right. Moreover, if they do not believe God will bring them to full repentance, their heart is not right. Most of the change needed is in the condition of the heart, because, as you astutely point out, from the heart come evil thoughts and words and actions. (See Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount on that). To assume the heart is right is the worst mistake we can make, because that obscures the real problem to begin with. The Old Man resides in the Heart, foremost. The New Man is meant to dwell there. But Paul tells US to do something about it. He does not tell us to let go and let God solve that problem. Ephesians 4.

    (4) God clearly wants us to care a great deal whether we succeed in obeying Him. We are judged for our outward actions as well as the heart with which they are done, so we had better care!!!


    For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
    2 Cor 5:10.


    ... wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.
    1 Cor 4:5.

    Acts 8:22

    Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.
    Hebrews 4:12

    For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
    We need to care so very much that we will do anything necessary to learn to get it right. That doesn't mean we obsess on our failures, of course. What Paul said is:


    ... one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.
    Philippians 3:13-16.
    But Paul paid great attention to how he was doing. You can't press on to the goal, and you can't live up to the standard God has given us as born again believers if you don't pay great attention to how it is going, and keep that focus.

    Paul further said:


    25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave
    1 Cor 9.
    At some point, Dani, I feel the fruit of tree metaphor breaks down, especially if we act as if the tree is supposed to be as slow at producing fruit as a real tree might be. Paul uses metaphors that speak of instant results. Would you agree? For that matter, Aaron's staff budded overnite, and grew ripe almonds. Yum.
    Love first, ... answer questions ... later ...

  8. #23
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    Re: The pain of sanctification

    Quote Originally Posted by Eyelog View Post
    At some point, Dani, I feel the fruit of tree metaphor breaks down, especially if we act as if the tree is supposed to be as slow at producing fruit as a real tree might be. Paul uses metaphors that speak of instant results. Would you agree? For that matter, Aaron's staff budded overnite, and grew ripe almonds. Yum.
    I would agree that at some point, any metaphor breaks down. Let it convey what it's supposed to convey, and move on from it.

    Evidently we're not trees, we're people. Even though Scripture says in Psalms that the righteous are LIKE trees planted by the rivers of water ... etc. We're not trees, that much is certain.

    So ... any metaphor ... use it to help you understand certain principles, and if the tree metaphor doesn't work, then find another way to explain truths. The truths don't change, just the way we convey understanding does. If you understand truth and principles, you can use any metaphor you like. That's why Jesus used parables. To convey truths. Even though the Kingdom is LIKE a pearl of great price ... it's not a pearl. We're supposed to take the truth from the metaphor/parable and move on with things.

    Actually when it comes to being born again, lately my favorite metaphor is that of The Matrix. I see so many parallels there, but obviously I'd only use that metaphor to someone who has seen the movie and could understand the point I'm getting at.

    But, that's another story.

  9. #24
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    Re: The pain of sanctification

    Thank you all for your responses.

    I am hearing a lot about total surrender and basically giving it to the Lord.

    To tell you the truth, though, I am a little fearful of that. What if I surrender, but then rather than overcoming this evil, I fall deeper and deeper into it?! Worse yet, what if I become accustomed to it?! I am afraid that if I stop trying altogether, then I will become lazy, and just give up and allow it to overtake me.

    Is this a lack of faith on my part?! If the OSAS view holds any water, then what this will indicate is that I was never saved in the first place.

    Frankly, if I am not saved, I don't want to know.

  10. #25
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    Re: The pain of sanctification

    Deuteronomy 33:27
    The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, And will say, ‘Destroy!’


    Dare believe it.

  11. #26
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    Re: The pain of sanctification

    Quote Originally Posted by Equipped_4_Love View Post
    Thank you all for your responses.

    I am hearing a lot about total surrender and basically giving it to the Lord.

    To tell you the truth, though, I am a little fearful of that. What if I surrender, but then rather than overcoming this evil, I fall deeper and deeper into it?! Worse yet, what if I become accustomed to it?! I am afraid that if I stop trying altogether, then I will become lazy, and just give up and allow it to overtake me.

    Is this a lack of faith on my part?! If the OSAS view holds any water, then what this will indicate is that I was never saved in the first place.

    Frankly, if I am not saved, I don't want to know.
    I became disillusioned with surrender, prayer and reading, as well as being equipped and empowered as means to become sanctified. Though critical elements of the process, we need more detail then that. I think I wrote a 5 part article on that once.
    Love first, ... answer questions ... later ...

  12. #27

    Re: The pain of sanctification

    Thank you everyone for this discussion. It really has helped me out as well and I thank you for taking the time to do this.

  13. #28

    Re: The pain of sanctification

    Does repentance bring forth the good fruit?
    Personally I don't believe it does... It is death of the old that brings new life. It is not about this wrong or that wrong, but about me (self) that is wrong. Even my so called good is wrong. Do I repent of my good works, or only of the wrongs I do?

    Paul said that in him (apart from Christ), there dwells no good thing
    Rom 7:18 For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but to do that which is good is not.

    Imho, I think we get far too distracted and occupied with this sin and that sin. If I can overcome this sin or that sin, I will be a better person etc…etc…
    These ‘sins’ are the fruit of the flesh (self, the old man, or bad tree) You can remove all these bad fruits, but the tree will still be bad. As long as the bad tree lives, it will produce bad fruit. You can remove the fruit one season, but it will grow back the next season.

    God does not ‘improve us’ to become better trees. He does not put good fruit on a bad tree.
    We also need to remember that 'we' do not 'produce' the good fruit! We 'bare' the good fruit produced by the Spirit (Christ in us) God does not improve us, He replaces us. It is no longer 'I' but Christ in us (the new man)

    The problem is the bad tree, and the bad tree needs to be put to death.
    Rom 8:10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness.

    If we have Christ in us, then we are dead because of sin (fact) but we need to 'recon' ourselves as dead.

    Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
    Rom 6:2 God forbid. We who died to sin, how shall we any longer live therein?
    Rom 6:3 Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
    Rom 6:4 We were buried therefore with him through baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.
    Rom 6:5 For if we have become united with him by the likeness of his death, we shall be also by the likeness of his resurrection;
    Rom 6:6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin;
    Rom 6:7 for he that hath died is justified from sin.
    Rom 6:8 But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him;
    Rom 6:9 knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death no more hath dominion over him.
    Rom 6:10 For the death that he died, he died unto sin once: but the life that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
    Rom 6:11 Even so reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus.

    To 'recon' means to do the maths!
    If Christ is in us then we are dead because of sin, and we have been crucified with Christ.

    This means that 'I', 'me', 'self', 'old man', 'flesh' are dead, and no part to play, except that of being a branch, temple, or empty vessel to be filled with the life of Christ, who produces the fruit that we are to bare.

    Although we (self) are still alive, It is as we are counted redundant, out of work. The mortal body still has sin and lusts, but now they will not reign (be lord) and have dominion over us. We present (yield) our members (limbs) as alive from the dead as instruments (tools) of righteousness unto God.

    Rom 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof:
    Rom 6:13 neither present your members unto sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
    Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law, but under grace.

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    Re: The pain of sanctification

    It's just a case of walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh. In this manner we starve our flesh, thus killing it. When we repent, we're saying your way is right Lord, my way is wrong.Your will and desire is good and I chose that over my own will and desire. To begin with it's a moment by moment decision, but as we grow in the ways of God and reject the ways of the flesh, the Spiritual man becomes stronger than the fleshly one. With the Spirit in control, we no longer need to think about each individual sin, but only know who's Lord and who'snot. With each day and each decision we have the choice,God's way our ours. By continually yielding, we continue to walk after the Spirit, which creates the righteousness that God desires. We are abiding in Him as we walk through this life, thus fulfilling all that God has commanded. While we ourselves don't always get it right, it really is that simple.

    blessings to you
    My soul does GLORIFY the LORD, my spirit REJOICES in GOD MY SAVIOUR
    ------
    "To be entirely safe from the devils snares the man of God must be completely obedient to the Word of the Lord. The driver on the highway is safe, not when he reads the signs but when he obeys them." A.W.Tozer

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  15. #30

    Re: The pain of sanctification

    Yes it is when we turn to Jesus that things can get difficult. Jesus did not had it easy also. Pray to Jesus talk to Him as if you were in His forum , and remember true love is the key.

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