VIDEO Divorce and Separation, Hope For The Hurting

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In the book, Sacred Thirst, the author writes, “The bride and groom are standing in front of everyone, looking better than they are ever going to look again, getting so much attention and affirmation. Everybody even stands when they walk in so it’s easy to think this marriage, at least, is about them. It’s not. Just look at the worn-out parents sitting in the first pew—they understand this. The only reason these parents are still married is because long ago they learned how to handle the hurt they caused each other. They know that the last thing you ever want to do with hurt is to let it define you.”

This last statement offers one of the most profound points that I’ve read on brokenness. Those who do not allow hurt to entrap them can turn brokenness into an unbreakable force, but those shackled by past pain are truly imprisoned by it. The walls we build to protect may eventually imprison.

How can we undo the emotional pain that we experience from failed relationships? First, we must understand that our mind is where battles are won or lost. Those who do not forgive or release bitterness, anger, and hurt, never experience freedom, happiness, or ‘true’ restoration. It all starts here.

Ephesians 4:31-32 says to “let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Simply stated, if you fail to forgive, bitterness and anger, though skillfully masked, can and will tarnish relationships. Married, divorced, separated, or single, God can turn brokenness into an unbreakable force, but it is imperative that your mind is renewed by applying biblical principles, beginning with forgiveness.

Regardless of what you have endured, God can deliver you from the emotional scares and feelings of abandonment, and break the walls that imprison. But in order for change to occur on the outside it first must occur on the inside. Strongholds include bitterness, pride, lust, selfishness, substance abuse, toxic relationships, anger, and physical abuse, to name a few. These destructive influences hinder the healing and rebuilding process. Healing begins with a commitment to work on those areas known to be detrimental to your spiritual health and the health of the relationship.

Our attitude should be one in which we surrender our entire lifestyle to God. I’ve spoken with many who admitted that alcohol or substance abuse ruined their relationship, but instead of surrendering the problem to God and breaking the addiction, they simply found someone else to tolerate their habit. Unfortunately, the problem soon surfaced again.

It’s little wonder that many go through life changing partners, careers, or residency searching for someone or something that can never be found apart from the wholeness that a personal relationship with Christ brings. If this is you, I encourage you to stop wandering from relationship to relationship and allow God to rebuild and restore: “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

Do you desire peace and joy again? Simply return to God: “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Full surrender provides fertile ground for joy and peace.

If you’re like me, you may realize that many years of ‘wandering’ could have been avoided. Many, no doubt, had direction for their marriage, but because of selfishness, disobedience, disregard, or a deaf ear to God’s direction, it ended in divorce…but God can rebuild and redeem your life.

Don’t allow past brokenness to cause future pain. Regret and failure will linger as long as we let them. Scripture is very clear: We are to forget those things that are behind us and focus on those things ahead. You can’t change where you’ve been, but you can change where you’re going.

I learned that shepherds, from time to time, broke the leg of a lamb that continually wandered from the flock and, thus, the shepherd’s protection. The shepherd would then splint the broken leg and carry the lamb on his shoulders for weeks until the leg healed. As painful as this was for the lamb, it was necessary to protect it from being ravished by wolves or other predators. In time, through the broken and dependent relationship, the lamb learned to walk and to remain in the protective presence of his shepherd.

This concept was well stated by David in Psalms 51:8, “That the bones You have broken may rejoice.”

And Isaiah reminds us, “All we like sheep have gone astray” (53:6).

Ironically, many thank the Lord for using their divorce to bring them back to the Good Shepherd. What will it take to bring you back? A deliberate decision to stay close to the Him can avoid unneeded pain and provide safety and protection; it’s the first step in the rebuilding process.

Watch the sermon, Hope for the Hurting:

barbwire.com/2016/12/08/divorce-separation-hope-hurting/

How To Be An Agent Of Hope And Healing In America

Although many people in today’s culture say it’s wrong to make judgments, the truth is that making a righteous judgment is vital to the health of a nation.

A few weeks ago I (David) was able to make this point to 1,000 youth gathered for prayer at the busiest abortion clinic in our city.

I read from Proverbs 31:8-9, which says: “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.”

I then asked the kids if it was OK to make judgments.

I heard nothing but crickets – most were afraid to even nod their heads one direction or the other.

So I asked if it was right or wrong for someone to cheat on a test.

“Wrong,” some replied.

“Well, you’ve just made a judgment,” I said. We don’t need a nation of cheaters.

Then I asked if it was right or wrong for someone to steal from them.

“Wrong!” several shouted.

“You’ve made another judgment,” I said. We don’t need a nation of thieves.

I then referred back to Proverbs 31, asking if it was right or wrong to tear apart an innocent and defenseless child.

“Wrong!” they all responded.

They got the point: We as human beings are to make judgments; we just need to make sure they are right. And the only way to ensure this is to do it God’s way.

Jesus said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24).

When making a righteous judgment, it must be based on what God sees and not what we see. God looks at the heart, and so must we. It’s not right to simply rush to judgment based on what we think we see, but, rather, we are commanded to look at the heart – to see beyond what it may seem from the outside.

Jesus then took it a step further in Matthew 7:1-5, warning us to be genuine and merciful when making a righteous judgment:

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

To make a righteous judgment, we must first clean out our own eyes, and then we can see people’s actions, situations or issues as God sees them.

This is where much of the hang-up over judgment comes today. For instance, some Christians who stand against gay marriage, saying it’s only between one man and one woman for life, completely ignore divorce and simply give it a pass.

This is unrighteous judgment, and it’s a log in the eye.

So we’ve got to get cleaned up ourselves first – and then, as Jesus said, we can see clearly to take the speck out of our brother’s eye. This allows us offer hope and healing to a brother who is surely to be harmed by a speck in his eye.

And removing specks is delicate business. We can’t simply plunge our fingers in someone’s eye – they’d end up worse than before, especially if our hands weren’t clean! So to make a righteous judgment, we must be gentle, and we must be clean to be an effective person God can use to help others.

We are called to make judgments on the earth, especially in today’s confusing culture, but we must make righteous judgments. And when we do, we can be effective agents of hope and healing in a nation that desperately needs it.

 

by JASON & DAVID BENHAM

http://www.wnd.com/2017/10/how-to-be-an-agent-of-hope-and-healing-in-america/

God’s Omnipotent Voice

Psalm 29:1-11

From God’s first statement in Genesis 1:3—“Let there be light”—to Jesus’ last words in Revelation 22:20—“Yes, I am coming quickly”—divine omnipotence is demonstrated. The voice that brought all things into existence sovereignly controls time, circumstances, and nature.

The Lord sat as King, bringing judgment over the whole earth with the flood in Noah’s day, and He continues to reign over the earth’s tumultuous upheavals today. Although we may be tempted to craft for ourselves a gentler version of God, we know who He truly is when we accept all that Scripture says about Him.

David likens God’s voice to a violent storm sweeping in from the sea with fury as it covers the land (Psalm 29:3-9), yet he also mentions that the Lord strengthens His people and blesses them with peace (Psalm 29:11). All God’s attributes blend together perfectly. He’s powerful yet loving, just and merciful, and both righteous and forgiving. This is why we can respond with submission, reverence, and trust in our majestic King.

Whether in Noah’s day or our own, the message is the same: “The Lord sits as King forever” (Psalm 29:10). Are God’s power and control a comfort to you or a matter for concern? Your answer probably depends on how much you know and trust Him. As in any relationship, trust and intimacy grow with familiarity and experience. As you learn to know God through His Word and experience His faithfulness, your trust will grow, and you’ll long for the day when His splendor, majesty, and power are known throughout the earth.

Are You Savor of Life or Death?

For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16)

It is remarkable how the very same testimony can have such dramatically opposite effects on its recipients. A lecture on the scientific evidences of creation, for example, or on the inspiration of the Bible will be received with great joy and understanding by some, provoke furious hostility in some, and generate utter indifference in others. This seems to be true of any message—written, or verbal, or simply demonstrated in behavior—which has any kind of biblically spiritual dimension to it. It is like the pillar of cloud in the wilderness, which “came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night” (Exodus 14:20). A Christian testimony draws and wins the one, repels and condemns the other. Some there are who “loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:17).

Thus, the wonderful message of the gospel yields two diametrically opposite results. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). Christ came to bring both unity and division. “Behold I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious. . . . Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient. . . . a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word” (1 Peter 2:6-8).

But the wonderful thing is this: Whether a true testimony generates life or condemns to death, it is still “unto God a sweet savor of Christ.” HMM

The Lord of those servants cometh and reckoneth with them

Matthew 25:14-30

Still further to warn us of his coming, our Lord delivered the parable of the talents.

Matthew 25:15

We have all some talent. It may be only one, but, we are responsible for it. Are we acting up to the measure of our ability? Many wish they had more talents, but this is wrong, for the Lord has entrusted us with quite as many gifts as we shall be able to give a good account of. Our great concern should be to be found faithful stewards of such things as we have.

Matthew 25:16-18

He probably thought that as he could not do much he would not do anything, and there are thousands of his opinion; they fancy that their little is not needed and will never be missed, and therefore they make no attempt to serve their Lord. Are we of that kind?

Matthew 25:24, 25

Deep down in all unregenerate hearts there lurks the idea that God is too severe upon poor erring mortals, expecting more of them than is reasonable. Yet, if they think so they ought to be roused to greater carefulness to render to the Lord full obedience; their knowledge of what the Lord demands will make their disobedience the more criminal.

Matthew 25:27

usury or interest

Matthew 25:29

He was not rebellious, but only unprofitable, and that condemned him. How does this solemn truth bear upon us? Let us search and see.

 

Make haste, O man, to live,

For thou so soon must die;

Time hurries past thee like the breeze;

How swift its moments fly!

 

Make haste, O man, to live,

Thy time is almost o’er;

Oh, sleep not, dream not, but arise;

The Judge is at the door!

 

Christian Indeed

They… are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. (Luke 8:14)

I believe we are mistaken in Christian life and theology when we try to add the “deeper life” to an imperfect salvation, obtained through an imperfect concept of the entire matter.

Under the working of the Spirit of God through men like Finney and Wesley, no one would ever have dared to say, “I am a Christian” if he had not surrendered his whole being, taking Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior!

Today, we let them say they are saved no matter how imperfect and incomplete the transaction, with the proviso that the deeper Christian life can be “tacked on” at some time in the future.

Brethren, I believe we must put the blame on faulty teaching—teaching that is filled with self-deception.

Let us look unto Jesus our Lord—high and holy, wearing the crown, Lord of Lords and King of all, having a perfect right to command full obedience from all of His saved people!

 

An Angel Encampment

“The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” Ps. 34:7

We cannot see the angels, but it is enough that they can see us. There is one great Angel of the Covenant, whom not having seen we love, and His eye is always upon us both day and night. He has a host of holy ones under Him, and He causes these to be watchers over His saints and to guard them from all ill. If devils do us mischief, shining ones do us service. Note that the Lord of angels does not come and go, and pay us transient visits, but He and His armies encamp around us. The headquarters of the army of salvation are where those live whose trust is in the living God. This camp surrounds the faithful, so that they cannot be attacked from any quarter unless the adversary can break through the entrenchments of the Lord of angels. We have a fixed protection, a permanent watch. Sentineled by the messengers of God, we shall not be surprised by sudden assaults, nor swallowed up by overwhelming forces. Deliverance is promised in this verse — deliverance by the great Captain of our salvation, and that deliverance we shall obtain again and again until our warfare is accomplished and we exchange the field of conflict for the home of rest.