He is our Counselor, after all.
5 “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
As I realised that, I thought, "Then how do I turn my back on it? Focus more on Scripture?" 'No,' came the answer, 'that will simply cause you to focus on the issue and open a door to guilt.' "But isn't that how I find conviction?" 'No...it is in knowing the Scriptures beforehand that brought conviction; the truth has already started to set you free.' When we turn to repent, we already have an awareness of God's will in our situation. We already have an awareness of right and wrong. We already have an awareness that He needs to set us free, that He can heal us, that He can solve our problem and make all things right. Otherwise we would not have tried to turn to Him, and would not have turned from sin. We don't turn to God to convict us of sin; we turn because He has already done that - and then, in repenting, we must trust that He forgives and brings restoration. We're not to stay focused on the sin or the guilt, but be forgiven and set free.
"So, in turning my back on anger, I don't focus on where I went wrong, or what the Bible says...?" Again, you already know what the Bible says - and it is in knowing the truth that you have been brought to repentance. It is in knowing God's love that you seek to turn from hardness of heart and love as He does. There is no need, at this point, to continue to focus on the wrong and right of your situation. You've already repented of the wrong. It's time to let Jesus be Lord and let His Spirit get to work on and in you.
"So...I focus on...?" Jesus... Focus on Jesus and the marvelous things He has done for you. Focus on the heart of the Father and the amazing love He has for you. Just as you know the Truth brought you to repentance, know that the Truth will continue to make all things right. Praise Jesus for this. Praise God. Praise... Praise... Praise... Do not focus on self.
"That sounds like worship." ':) Yeah...'
"Ahh... I see!" Worship gets our eyes off ourselves and off our problems and so on... Without repentance, there is no room for true worship...but when we've turned from our sin, asked for forgiveness and set our heart and eyes on Jesus and on the Father, in true, loving worship, then the Holy Spirit goes to work on your heart. While you're focused on Them, the Holy Spirit can work on you - without your interference; without you trying to be Lord and Saviour of your own life. Idol worship, They don't like that. :)
Can you see that? When you turn from your sin, you already have an awareness of wrong and right, so, at that stage, while you rush to be cleaned up by God before you cause anyone harm, or before you fall apart, you don't need to sit down and focus on the written Word. [THAT IS NOT TO SAY YOU WON'T NEED IT SOON AFTER! BUT...] At this point, the Word is already in your heart. It is the Living Word - or the Word living in your heart, that has made it possible for you to turn from sin, for you to cry out to God, for you to open your heart to Jesus and His Holy Spirit. In a time of repentance - that, again, comes when the Word has taken root in your heart - you need to focus on God, on Jesus, and on Their love and Their goodness, and acts of worship is a great way to do that.
Worship with gratitude. Focus on what They have done, on Their goodness. Not on your sinfulness or failures. You've repented of them. Let Jesus wash them away. Let God cast them form you as far as the east is from the west. This is what they want to do. Let them. :)
In becoming aware of our sins and failures we are brought to repentance...but once we have earnestly repented (and you will know if you're truly sorry or not), it's time to accept God's grace and mercy, that comes through Christ Jesus, and be grateful. Be open to Their mercy, and to Their forgiveness, and Their grace... ACCEPT THESE THINGS with your heart! DO NOT focus on "but I feel..." Get your eyes off yourself. You don't go before God's thrown to do the 'idol worship of self' thing. They don't have to honour that. Focus on the truth of Who THEY are.
And, in being grateful, keep your heart before Them in whatever act of worship you choose (praise; singing; thanksgiving) and remain before Them until you feel Their love wash over you. As you do this, the Holy Spirit is working on you; renewing your heart; making you more like Jesus... and when you arise and walk again, when you turn and see 'that issue' again, you keep the love you received in worship at the front of your heart and you love 'that person' through the love God has given you. Hold on to the love, the peace, and the joy of God. Live through that. Don't discard it...
If you find your foot slipping again, or feel your heart hardening again, and when you feel saddened or hopeless again, return to that place of worship. Focus on Them. Lean on Them. Rest in Their arms and Their strength. Save your strength for later. Focus on Them.
There may very well be a season (a period of days) where you'll have to return every hour, or every day, or so often you fear you'll never have a normal life again. But that's ok. That season will pass. And when you are strong enough again, you will rise and walk with greater strength, confidence and freedom.
I was at this place this morning: "God, what is wrong with me? I've been hanging out with you so much, yet I can't be away from you very long before I start FEELING 'that' again...?!?!?!" to which He pointed out that this running back to Him so often was for a season. While the healing was still taking place, I needed Him more than ever. I may be strong enough to go back to normal me and Him time tomorrow, or I may be running back more often than I like for the next week or so while the rest of my world gets pushed into the background as I seek more hope and healing, but the thing is, I am getting stronger. The Holy Spirit is making sure of that. And there's not a time limit on a healing time, or a grieving time, and so on. When the healing comes, I'll walk again.
I hope that makes sense...
Right now, I still need a LOT of God. I mean, I need Him all the time, but, right now, as I let the Holy Spirit operate on my heart, I need to focus on the Father and the Son in acts of worship so I keep my eyes off myself, off the anger, off the cause of the anger, off the pain and so on... Soon, I'll walk totally free of it. God will make sure of that - and in the process, I get to know Their love even more. :) That makes going through the 'issues' worth it! :)
SIDE NOTE: You know, the world would wonder why we would want a God who tells us to worship Him... but I would say He desires us to worship Him so we get our focus off ourselves, off our problems, off hopelessness and sorrow, and so on and so forth, and be filled with His presence, His love, His hope, His joy, and so on and so forth, while He sends His Spirit to deal with our problems. It is in being in a place of worship that our hearts are fully open to Him, and He is given complete freedom to make all things right for us. How great is that! How great is He! :D