I have to take a short break from the study of Paul’s letter the church in Galatia because I started thinking about those inner hurts many? . . . most? . . . a whole bunch of us? experience. Sometimes, deep in our hearts, we hold hurts from our past. I want to help you find healing. It will require something from you, but you can find deliverance.
You see, even if those wounds are fresh and alive . . . when you hurt the worst — go to your closet and cry out all your despair! Honest, it is okay. Even men a deep faith are able to cry and weep out their pain. Jesus wept. Peter wept — bitterly! Peter carried with him the hurt of denying the very Son of God! That is a painful memory! But I’ll tell you what, those bitter tears worked a sweet miracle inside of him. He came back to shake the kingdom of Satan.
Back in 2011, I wrote a message entitled, “Be Sifted, Then Share.” I am sure you don’t remember it, but I talked about the time Peter denied our Lord three separate times right after Jesus was arrested and they marched him off and took him into the house of the Chief Priest. Peter followed, but [now notice this] from a safe distance. That’s what far too many of us do. When we hurt the most, we remain “at a safe distance” so as to keep us from finding healing. Maybe we are too ashamed, or too afraid. But you see, during Peter’s time of testing, in the middle of the courtyard some people had started a fire and were sitting around it, trying to keep warm. When you look at Luke’s account of Peter’s denial, Pete was there, standing by the fire, trying to keep warm. But people started saying, “Hey! You’re one of those ‘Jesus’ people . . .” but three times he denied even knowing Jesus — he even cussed about it! In deny Jesus, he was fulfilling what Jesus told him would happen.
Then, Jim London, one of my “online” friends, wrote to me saying,
“I’ve long been enriched by what we witness next to another fire, some time later. It’s on a beach, Jesus having started the fire to bake some fish for Peter and his fishing buddies. Three times, Jesus gives Peter a chance to affirm his love for Jesus, and each time experience His embrace and restoration — and ultimately telling Peter that he would eventually die “the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.” (John 21) It’s an amazing scene of grace.“
See? Jesus never looks away from a crying heart. Psalm 51 says, “. . . a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” Yes, I realize the “broken and contrite heart” here is a Hebrew phrase referring to a heart that is broken down with sorrow for sin, but it also applies to any pain from “life,” in general. So, no, our Lord will not ignore or ridicule you for crying out your pain. Jesus stores every tear in his eternal container.
Do you hurt? Badly? Then go ahead and cry! Keep on crying until the tears stop flowing. But let those tears originate only from hurt—and not from unbelief or self-pity. This is a reality that I am forced to live by, in my own life. Yes, I get to spend lots of time studying the Word of God; yes, I probably watch too much TV (although, some of those Discovery Channel programs are pretty cool!); yes, I get to take one (sometimes two) 1-2 hour naps each day, but as my wife shared with me, “I would love to have your life, if it wasn’t for the physical problems.” Yeah well, you take the good with the bad.
But life goes on. You would be surprised how much you can bear with the Spirit of God helping you! Please realize that happiness is not living without pain or hurt. True happiness is learning how to live one day at a time, in spite of all the sorrow and pain. It is learning how to rejoice in the Lord, no matter what has happened in the past — or what is happening at this moment. It is a moment-by-moment; day-by-day trust in your Lord’s care.
Maybe you feel rejected. Maybe you feel abandoned. Maybe your faith seems weak. Maybe you think you are down for the count. Sorrow, tears, pain, and emptiness may swallow you up at times. Maybe you listen to the news so much that you are wondering what will happen next. Well, all it doesn’t matter because our Lord is still on His throne!He is still our God!
You may as well accept the fact that you can’t help yourself. You can’t stop the pain and hurt by pure self-will. But it doesn’t matter, our blessed Lord will come to you, and He will place His loving hand under you and lift you up to sit again in heavenly places! He will deliver you from the fear of dying. He will reveal his endless love for you.
As our Pastor continually tells us, “You may not feel victorious, but you are still seated with Christ in Heavenly Places. Your position in Him, does not depend on your circumstances.”
Look up! Encourage yourself in the Lord. When the fog surrounds you and you can’t see any way out of your dilemma — lie back in the arms of Jesus and simply trust Him. He wants your faith — your confidence. He wants you to cry aloud —
“Jesus loves me! He is with me! He will not fail me! He is working it all out right now! I will not be cast down! I will not be defeated! I will not be a victim of Satan! God is on my side! I love him — and he loves me!“
Go ahead! Shout those words out! Sure, your family or friends will think you’re crazy, but that’s okay . . . maybe they will start shouting with you! The bottom line is faith. Faith rests on this one absolute: “no weapon forged against you will prevail . . .!” (Isaiah 54:17).
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