How to Find Freedom Through Forgiveness

How to Find Freedom Through Forgiveness
by Tony Evans
ne of the greatest ways that Satan keeps you
from fulfilling all you were created to be is by
keeping you looking at your past. Yet God
invites you to look at your future ( Jeremiah 29:11).
While the enemy says, “You can’t because of the damage
that has been done!” God says, “You can, in spite of
what has been done!” God will never define you by your
past, but the enemy will try to confine you by it.
Friend, never let your yesterday keep you
from your tomorrow.
Learn from yesterday, just don’t live in it.
The Israelites struggled with the same thing after having
escaped from a 430-year domination by the Egyptians.
The Israelites had left Egypt, but Egypt had not left
them. As they sent the spies into the Promised Land,
they stood on the precipice of a glorious tomorrow. But
because they chose to focus on their past rather than
overcoming the challenges in their tomorrow, they did
not move forward. They opted for a rearview mirror
outlook on life, rather than looking through the
windshield of opportunity in front of them.
When God delivered the Israelites from Egypt, He not
only delivered them from their past, but He also delivered
them to their future—Canaan. Yet because they chose to
be so focused on yesterday, they missed it. As a result,
they were forced to wander in the wilderness for 40 years
so God could disconnect them from their past.
Many of us cannot get to our tomorrows because we
are still carrying a connection to and baggage from our
past. We cannot take the step into our future because
we cannot even get through today. You may have been
delivered from the offense, or offenses, you are
struggling to forgive—but they hold just as much
weight over you today because they have not yet been
delivered from you.
The Israelites stayed tethered to their past because they
failed to let go and move on. It was a 35-day walk for
the people of Israel to get from Egypt to Canaan. But
what should have taken 35 days ended up taking 40
years because they kept looking back. Maybe that
sounds familiar to you. Maybe you feel you should
have been further in your life by now, further in your
career, relationships, family, finances, or even in your
continued on next page
We Want You
Free from
See page 3 for details.
Never let yesterday keep you from tomorrow.
continued from front page
emotional and spiritual well-being. But instead, you keep
looking back. You keep saying, “What if ?” “Why?” “But…”
and everything else that can be said about yesterday.
your wound nicely covered by your shirt, and someone
accidentally brushed up against your wounded arm—you
would jolt in pain and lash out at them.
You fear that what happened to
you has so shattered or altered
you that you will never regain
the hope you once knew. You
fear that someone else has
messed you up too much, stolen
your future or your innocence.
Unforgiveness has the same effect
(Matthew 18:34). When the wounds in
our souls are left untreated, they fester
and rot. They create residual pain in
other areas of our lives. Then even the
slightest brush by someone else—even if
they didn’t mean anything wrong at
all—can cause us to react in ways we
normally wouldn’t. We may lash out, accuse, blame, cry, or
say and do things we regret. All the while the other person
is caught off guard by such a reaction.
Yesterday is real. I am not saying that yesterday isn’t real.
What I am saying is that you need to stop looking at it so
much that you miss out on today, and thus dim the light of
your tomorrow.
When someone has sinned against you, or you have
committed sins that you regret, it is like a wound or a cut
that has been made on your soul. If that wound is left
untreated, it will fester and bacteria will begin to grow.
For example, if you got a pretty nasty cut on your arm but
didn’t clean it or care for it, in time that wound would
start to ooze with puss, and the pain would increase. So
much so that even if you were to go about your day with
It was an awesome joy and privilege for me to preach the Palm
Sunday Worship service to over 30,000 people at McLane
Stadium at Baylor University.
Over 100 churches joined together
to proclaim Jesus as Lord and
hundreds of people responded to
the invitation to trust Christ or
become full time followers and not
just part-time Christians.
I’m excited to be working with
these churches for ongoing
Kingdom impact beyond the
event and we hope to do similar
community-wide outreaches like
this throughout the nation.
pg 2
In order to overcome unforgiveness, you need to treat your
wounds, let them heal, and then take your focus off of your
scars by putting it onto your new start. It’s a new day. Live
in it. Take it one step at a time. One moment at a time.
Keep your mind active in the present, not the past, and you
will discover the ability—step by step—to move on. •
30,000 & Counting for Christ!
We Want You Free from Unforgiveness!
To thank you for your gift to The Urban Alternative this month, we’re excited to send you
a copy of Dr. Tony Evans’ 6-message CD series, Freedom Through Forgiveness, AND his
brand-new booklet, 30 Days to Victory Through Forgiveness.
In this compassionate and powerful CD series, Dr.
Evans examines relevant biblical passages on the
importance of forgiveness. In addition, he has put
together a day-by-day and step-by-step approach to
walk you through the process of forgiving. Whether
you need to forgive someone for something done
long ago or recently, or whether you need to forgive
yourself for past regrets—these helpful resources will
give you the tools to get where you need to go. The CD
series includes these messages:
4 How to Understand a Thorn
4 The Detours of Pardon
4 Forgive One Another
4 Freedom from Yesterday
4 Trusting God
4 The Pardon of Prayer
Be sure to request these helpful resources on the enclosed reply form
when you give today. And thank you for your support to help The Urban
Alternative continue teaching truth and transforming lives.
Woman to Woman
After 400 years of slavery in Egypt, and then 40 years
of desert wandering, the Israelites stood at the cusp of
the Promised Land, on the edge of their future. They
had been waiting for this moment since Abraham’s
time. Only a small issue separated them from walking
into the homeland God had promised them for many
years: a river.
But not just any river. This was the River Jordan, and the
Israelites stared as turbulent waters raged past them.
Waters at flood stage overflowed the banks of the river,
eating away at the shoreline, running in rivulets toward
them. Joshua halted their fear and called on the faith of
the children of Israel by telling them that as soon as the
soles of the priests’ feet touched the water, the waters
by Lois Evans
would recede ( Joshua 3:13).
The priests stepped out, and it was so. The waters peeled
back and rose up in a pile upstream, and nearly 2 million
people, their livestock and caravans crossed over the
river on dry ground. Not muddy, soggy ground, but dry
ground. From floods and mud to dry dirt, and millions
of footsteps walking into freedom. God does not take
halfway measures—not then, not now.
God’s might and faithfulness would see Israel through
rough waters and tough crossings. And He can do the
same for you! Trust Him,
even when what He says
doesn’t make sense. •
pg 3
You Are
Making a
Thank you for
making the following
testimonies possible
through your
support of The
Urban Alternative!
Dear Friend,
Not too long ago, I went to my garage on my way to a meeting. Thinking nothing much of the
normal routine I was in, I got in my car and pushed the garage door opener.
The door stayed down.
So I pushed the garage door opener again. But still nothing happened.
This time I got out of my car and went to the button on the wall. Pushing it over and over
again, I looked at the garage door that was now keeping me trapped in my own garage. It sat
there closed, as if not wanting to be disturbed from its slumber. Glancing at my watch, I
realized that if this garage door didn’t open soon—I would be late. Anyone who knows me at
all knows that I don’t ever like to be late.
Emotions of frustration began to build inside of me, as well as feelings of helplessness. The
door was too heavy for me to lift, or I would have walked over to it and let myself out. The
garage door equipment was too complicated for me to fix, or I would have fixed it. So I walked
over to the phone number for the repairman posted next to the garage door. Giving him a call,
he asked me to check the two red lights on each side of the door.
“Are they in alignment?” he asked. I checked and quickly discovered they were not. The small
box holding the red light on the right-hand side had gotten bumped somehow, and the two
lights were no longer communicating with each other. So I got down on my knees. And then I
nudged the right box back to where it belonged and pushed the garage door opener again. The
door went up.
Friend, unforgiveness is a weight that is too heavy to lift on your own. Likewise, it is too deep and
too complicated for you to figure out how to set yourself free. Like a door that won’t go up to let
you out, you remain trapped within yourself until you simply do one thing: Get down on your
knees before the One who knows you best and align your heart, thoughts, and actions with Him.
Someone else’s sin may have bumped you off the path of alignment with God by arousing within
you your own sins of doubt, bitterness, regret, and hate… but if you will kneel before God, confess
your sins that have come from a wrong response to what happened to you, and trust that He is
sovereign and can use even the negative things in your life to take you to your perfect purpose, He
will set you free. The door of doubt will rise, and you will reach your destiny.
We want to help you on your way to freedom through forgiveness this month with a very
special booklet I put together that will walk you through the process day by day for 30 days. It’s
called 30 Days to Victory Through Forgiveness. It’s yours for your gift to the ministry of any
amount. We will also include a new 6-message compilation specifically on this delicate topic of
forgiveness called Freedom Through Forgiveness.
Isn’t it time you were set free? Contact us today and request these resources as our way of
saying thank you for helping us continue to broadcast the teaching of God’s Word to a world
in need.
For the King and His kingdom,
Tony’s first book for kids!
Available at
pg 4
PO Box 4000 Dallas, TX 75208-0560 • 1-800-800-3222 •