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God’s Healing Grace
If there’s one truism I have learned in my 64 years is that no one goes through this life without pain, hurt, and sorrow. Everyone has problems, hurts, and hidden wounds, emotions scars that we allow no one else to see.
One of these hurts, wounds, and scars is called rejection. At one time or another we’ve all been rejected. We’ve experienced rejection from our parents, peers, co-workers, and friends. In fact, we remember words spoken to us 10, 20, 30, 40, even 50 years ago, words that hurt just as much and just as deeply today as when they were first spoken. And not only do they dictate how we live, but the way we live.
Today I’d like to look at God’s healing grace, and how God heals these hurts and wounds.
Take a moment and look at God’s promised healing.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3 NKJV)
I can probably speak for everyone here in saying we all need a healing in our lives.
The question, though, is “How does God do it?”
One of the ways is by changing the way we think. It’s how we see God, how we view pain and suffering, and how we see ourselves.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2 NKJV)
It is this transformational grace we looked at last week, and the same aspect of healing grace is found within it, that is, if we want God’s healing grace we need to change the way we think.
Solomon said that the way a person thinks deep down inside is going to be the way they are going to react to life.
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7a NKJV)
As Christians we must think by faith, not by fear. We have to think in terms that God can, not that He can’t.
The Apostle Paul said,
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)
Paul said, “I can,” not because he wills it into existence, but because he counted upon the Lord’s power, mercy, and grace. And Paul is someone who clearly has a grasp on this as he pleaded with the Lord for a healing, knowing then of God’s sustaining grace in his healing.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV)
If our thinking is somehow attached to our healing, then how’s our thinking?
If we think we’re failures, then we’re setting ourselves up to fail, and we’ll be afraid to step out, which is what having faith is all about. If we don’t see ourselves as anything special, then we’ll find ourselves shying away from the wondrous beauty and giftedness God has placed inside of us.
In simplest of terms, it is our beliefs that determine and dictate our behaviors. So when we begin to see ourselves as a child of God, and inheritor of God’s kingdom, as someone in whom the Holy Spirit dwells within, then we’ll begin to live a victorious Christian life instead of a defeated one.
Consider the inhabitants of Nazareth in the time of Jesus. Here Jesus enters into his own hometown after doing great and marvelous healings throughout the entire region. But in Nazareth He finds He can’t do a lot because of their doubt. They didn’t believe He could heal; therefore, because of their unbelief Jesus couldn’t heal many. It was their belief that dictated God’s healing grace.
This brings up something important. There exist within many people a problem with what they believe. Many of their beliefs are false, wrong, or grossly misinformed and mistaken.
Growing up we pick up all kinds of beliefs because our friends, family, or religious leaders said it, and since they should know, we have accepted them as fact. Unfortunately, many of them are not true.
Remember the traveling carnivals. They invariably have a “Fun House” that was filled with all these warped mirrors. When we’d look into them we’d see a distorted image of ourselves. For some our heads were too big, while in others our heads are the size of a pea. But other mirrors would show us in all these weird ways.
This brings out the truth that distorted mirrors gives distorted images.
Growing up, there were people in our lives that acted like these mirrors, and we accepted whatever they said as truth, that is, we accepted their image of who we are and not how God sees us.
These mirrors are what others have spoken into our lives. They may be parents, teachers, peers, or even friends. They say, “Are you stupid.” “You’ll never amount to anything.” “You’re no good.” “You can’t do anything right.” They say we’re fat, ugly, or weird. They call us geeks, fatso, pencil neck, or loser. These are all distorted images.
The problem is we still have all this data stored up inside our minds and hearts, and we’re acting out what they’ve said. We’re conducting our lives on all the wrong information.
Today, I want to look at the true mirror, and that is how God views us and what He says about us, and then we’ll see God and ourselves in a whole new light, a light that will penetrate the darkness and allow ourselves to be healed.
To facilitate this, there are several truths that we need to grasp, because when we do they’ll radically change our lives, especially as we begin to act upon them. They will help free us from some of those old wounds that have not only been holding us back, but holding up the life we were meant to live.
Because of God’s Grace
1. We Are Acceptable
Most of us spend our entire lives trying to be accepted by others including our parents, peers, friends, and even our enemies. Most everything we do is tied up in this endeavor. The desire to be accepted influences the way we dress, the kind of car we drive, the place we live, and the career or job we choose.
People will do some of the craziest things to be accepted, even smoking, drinking, doing drugs, sexual experimentation, and more. In our desire to be accepted we see ourselves though distorted mirrors of our culture.
Even if we were perfect, people will reject us. Jesus was perfect and they rejected Him. In fact, they killed Him for it.
The Apostle Paul said,
“Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7 NKJV)
Jesus has accepted each of us without any conditions attached. Jesus doesn’t accept us because we do good or right things. Jesus’ acceptance of us isn’t based on our performance; rather it’s based upon His saving grace.
The problem is that although many of us have accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we’ve never come into the realization of God’s acceptance. Therefore, because of that, we’re still trying to earn the acceptance from God and others.
To counter this inferiority complex we need to know and believe that God accepts us, warts and all, and when we do, then the sky is the limit.
Second, because of God’s grace
2. We Are Valuable
We are of great value because of God’s grace. We’re not worthless; rather we’re of great worth because our value isn’t in what we own, but rather in who owns us.
Value isn’t determined by the price tag; rather it’s based upon who owns it and what someone is willing to pay for it. These are what create value.
Let’s look at the first value quotient.
a. Who Owns It
Something that is owned by a celebrity is far more valuable than the same item owned by any of us. A car owned by Elvis is of far greater value than the same car owned by the average Joe. Sneakers owned by Michael Jordon are of far greater value than the ones we wear even though they are the exact same manufacture and year.
An old violin came up for auction, but it got little action and the bidding was low. The auctioneer cried out, “Who will buy this violin? One dollar, okay we have one dollar, who’ll give me two. Two dollars who’ll give me three.”
After a minute or so an old man came forward and picked up that old violin, tuned it, and began to play the most beautiful music anyone had ever heard. At the end he laid the violin down and walked out.
All of a sudden someone yelled out, “One thousand dollars.” The auctioneer again took up the cry, “One thousand, who will make it two? Two thousand who will make it three?”
At the end of the bidding a person in the back asked someone why an old violin that wasn’t worth a couple of bucks could be so valuable now. The person said, “Because it has been touched by the master’s hand.”
We are of great value because we belong to God.
“But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” (1 John 4:4 NLT)
When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, then we belong to God and become valuable. In fact, we become beyond price, or priceless.
The second value quotient involves what someone is willing to pay for it.
b. Willing To Pay
If someone is willing to pay $5,000 for your car, then your car is worth $5,000. Even if we think it’s worth more, it’s only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
It’s like when we buy something on sale, we say, “Look how much I saved.” But this is a rationalization, because it’s really not about how much we saved, but how much we spent, which means in our mind that is how much it’s worth.
How much are we worth?
The Bible says we were bought with a price, a price that cost the life of Jesus.
“For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:20 NKJV)
The greatest ransom ever paid was what Jesus paid upon the cross paying the penalty price for our sins, as the Bible makes us so painfully aware in how the wages of sin is death. Therefore we are of great value because the Father gave His Son, and Jesus paid the ultimate price.
And so if you want to know how valuable you are, then look to the cross.
Third, because of God’s grace
3. We Are Lovable
When someone has broken our heart, when we’ve been rejected we really don’t feel loveable, and that’s the trouble when we base our love upon feelings, because feelings eventually leave.
Instead, we need to base our love upon what is real and true, which is God’s love for us.
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.” (Isaiah 54:10 NIV)
This reveals two important differences between God’s love and human love.
a. God’s Love is Consistent
Note it says that God’s love is unfailing, that is, it’s never going to end. Human love, however, isn’t like that. One person said, “Growing up, I never knew whether I’d be hugged or slugged.” That’s human love, but God says that His love will never depart.
b. God’s Love is Unconditional
In the Greek language there are many words for love, but the word, “agape,” is the word used to describe God’s unconditional love.
Human love is conditional. It says, “If you love me, I’ll love you.” “I will love you if you meet my needs.” It’s the kind of love described in song saying, “What have you done for me lately.” But when love is not met, then those feelings go away.
But God says, “I love you, period. No conditions. No qualifiers.” You don’t have to wonder if you’ve prayed enough, or have done the right things. God’s love for you isn’t based upon your performance.
Finally, because of God’s grace
4. We Are Forgivable
This is one we need a whole lot of, because of how just how much we tend to blow it. Further, we don’t feel like we deserve to be forgiven.
However, God says,
“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.” (Isaiah 43:25 NKJV)
Please notice that it has nothing to do with our ability to forgive ourselves. This is a modern day fallacy that has entered into the church from the school of psychology. Our forgiveness has nothing to do with us, but it has everything to do with God in whom our offences are ultimately against.
King David realized this saying that it was against God and Him only that he had sinned, which is quite revealing because the sin David was referring to was his sin of adultery with Bathsheba, and the killing of her husband, Uriah.
Our sins are ultimately against God, and the Lord says that He will blot out our transgressions and remember them no more. God isn’t into grudges or vendettas. When we place our trust in Him, accepting Jesus as our Savior and Lord, then our sins are no longer held against us, and we are no longer under condemnation.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1 NKJV)
Jesus came so that we could be forgiven. He paid the punishment due for our sins, as the Bible says the wages of sin is death. So God sent His Son, Jesus, that whoever believes in Him shall not only have all their sins forgiven, but that when our life on earth is over, we will be in His presence in heaven forever.
That’s the good news, and God’s wondrous, marvelous, amazing, saving, and healing grace.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3 NKJV)
Let’s become like that one father who pleaded with Jesus to heal his son, and when Jesus said that all things are possible to those who believe, Mark 9:23, the father said, “Lord, I believe: help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24 NKJV)
Wednesday Evening Bible Study