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Unstuck - Overcoming the Pain of Broken Relationships, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
February 1, 2024 5:00 am

Unstuck - Overcoming the Pain of Broken Relationships, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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February 1, 2024 5:00 am

Whether it’s a close friend, a spouse, a child, or a parent - when relationships break apart, they cause deep emotional scars - scars that can be very difficult to heal. Chip takes a look at God’s prescription for overcoming the pain of a broken relationship.

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Whether it's a close friend, a spouse, a child, or even a parent, when relationships split apart, they cause deep emotional scars, scars that seem like they will never heal. Today we'll talk about God's prescription for overcoming the pain of broken relationships.

You need to stay with me. Chip's our Bible teacher for this international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christians. Today we'll wrap up Chip's series, Unstuck, with Part 2 of his message, Overcoming the Pain of Broken Relationships. Our prayer is that Chip's teaching in the book of Ephesians has given you the hope and encouragement to overcome whatever life throws at you. And to help others do the same, take a minute after this message and share this series with someone.

Now you can do that through the Chip Ingram app or by sending them the free MP3s that you'll find at LivingOnTheEdge.org. And thanks for spreading the word about how series like this impact you. With that said, let's join Chip for today's talk. He begins by reading Psalm 73 and unpacking how that connects to what we're learning in Ephesians.

Let's dive in. Verse 23 through about 26. He says, whom have I in heaven but you?

And besides you I desire nothing on earth. My heart and my flesh may fail, but you are the strength of my heart and my portion forever. And when I read that word portion, I had this picture of, you know, like maybe there's like, I'm real visual, so it was like there's a pie and God has sort of a slice for everybody.

This is your life. This is, you know, remember my grandmother, you get this slice of pie for you, this slice of pie for you, this slice of pie for you. And Jesus was saying to me, the slice you get for your whole life is me. I'm your portion. Basketball's not your portion. Circumstances aren't your portion. Your spiritual leader's not your portion.

The girl that you love is not your portion. Your heart and your flesh may fail, but I'm the strength of your heart and your portion forever. That began a level of relationship with Jesus that I didn't know was possible. And it started because I talked with my father. And what prayer does when you talk, and notice it just, you don't talk just to God. Fathers care, don't they? Fathers protect their kids.

Fathers provide for the kids. So Paul looks at the situation and he bows his knees and the word, it's a picture, and he prostrates himself down before God. And he says to the Father who really cares, there's all these broken relationships and there's all this mess and I want to bring them to you and I want you to heal them. And when you pray, what it does, and you know what, these weren't like, now I lay me down to sleep prayers, okay?

These were not, oh, help my girlfriend to love me, help my leg to get better, help the new coach to like me, help everything to work out okay. These were the most honest, penetrating, I can't go on unless you show up and you've got to be real and you've got to give me what I can't get from anything or anyone prayers. And unfortunately, it usually takes God taking the pillars of the things that you trust in out from under you so that everything collapses in your life except Him and Him alone. And I would learn later that if there were a kinder or gentler way for Him to let me experience Him as my fullness, I would have got it a kinder and gentler way.

But for this son, he needed to pull all those pillars out. And that's why, you know, sometimes you hear me and you feel like I'm just railing on the evangelical church and railing on Western Christianity. And see, this shortcut, God will make everything wonderful, you'll be healthy, wealthy and wise, there's a formula, just love Jesus, you know, give the first 10%, then give gradually. You know, put your kids in these kind of schools, always do this, this and that, read the Bible a little bit in the morning, pray a little bit over here, go on a missions trip. A plus B plus C plus D plus E equals wonderful, amazing life with no problems.

There's a word coming to my mind that would not be appropriate to share. I mean that, but that's hogwash. And people are digesting that and are disappointed with God and are feeling like God is unfaithful and unfair. When God never said any of that and God never promised any of that, that's human centered Christianity where Jesus becomes your pilot for the fulfillment of the American dream.

And here's the thing, it doesn't deliver. And so, how do you restore a broken relationship and overcome the pain? First, you talk to your father. Well, if you're gonna talk to him, what do you ask?

I mean, you're gonna notice he just doesn't ask, you know, make it better. Ask God for the inner strength to yield rather than resist his work in your life. What you have to pray here is you gotta pray, God, would you help me lean into and yield to and accept and embrace, not fix the things or change the people.

That's what we tend to pray. Notice what he says, I pray that out of his glorious riches, in other words, all these resources he's talked about in the first three chapters, he may strengthen you with power. How? Through his spirit.

Where? In your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith. The word strengthen here is power or the infusion of power and he uses it earlier, it's the exact opposite word of being discouraged. It's God infusing you with the strength to go on and deal with the situation. The inner man is the heart, the place of reason or conscience or will. It's the deep-seated place of where you deeply, not just think about stuff, but where you make up your mind and heart and will and volition about what you're gonna do with your life. And through the Holy Spirit as the ministry have given grace and power and wisdom and notice the purpose clause that Christ may dwell.

The compound word kada for down or keo is for a house. He says, I want you to pray that out of this abundance, riches of God's mercy and grace and concern for you, he'll infuse a strength inside of you by the power of his Holy Spirit in the deepest portions of your being so that you could allow Christ to be at home and at rest and be in complete control of every room in your spiritual home. Where the future room and the study and the entertainment room and the relationship room and the money room. This is just where Christ could dwell in fullness and Christ only dwells in fullness where he's in control. And he only wants control to give you the highest and the best and so that you fulfill purposes that bring honor and glory to him. And often it's through pain and only through pain that we get to the point where we can allow him to be at home in our hearts.

Why? Because God longs to make your heart Christ's home. He longs for you to be a dwelling place of the living God. Isaiah 57, 15 is a very interesting verse for me and I was sort of on one of my scripture memory ramp pages in my younger days. And any verse that I thought was cool I was trying to memorize. I had no idea what this one meant but I thought it was a really cool verse.

And it goes something like this in probably multiple translations because I tended to mix them in those days. It says, Thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, I dwell in a high and lofty place. And it begins to talk about in the heavens and the outer reaches. And then it says also with those who are humble and contrite in heart. And as I read that verse I realized there's only two places that God dwells with complete freedom. It's in the highest of the heavens where he reigns and they worship him and he's totally in control. And when he can find the heart of a human being that has a broken and contrite spirit and completely recognizes the desperate level of need that we have. And then we allow him to be our all in all. And that's where he's worshiped and that's where he manifests his power and that's where he manifests his presence. That's where that psalmist was talking about. That's where he's the strength of your heart. That's where your experience, he's your portion forever. And I think the invitation is really what Jesus was saying in Matthew 11 28 when he said, Come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest for your souls.

And then notice the invitation. He says, Take my yoke. It's a picture of the two oxen with the wooden yoke. Take my yoke upon you. And the picture is Jesus is in one side. And they would work very hard on the way they would make these yokes so they would fit perfectly. So it wouldn't rub.

So as the animals would push together, two of them can do like four or six times what either one of them could do individually. And Jesus says, Take my yoke upon you. And then notice the journey and the humility and learn from me. And this is a side of Jesus a lot of us I don't think we really get. For I am, literally the word is, King James is meek.

The word means gentle. For I'm meek and lowly of heart. In other words, I'm going to be delicate with how I deal with you.

I understand we're treading on very sensitive issues. I get that the person that was yoked up and you were trusting in before may not be here. Or the circumstances that you thought would deliver and the dream that you had may be dissipating.

It might be that picture of ashes and he's just saying, Come. Come to me. Let me dwell deeply in your heart.

Learn from me. Surrender the control but not out of fear of a God who's harsh and is going to tell you all the things you never want to do. But a God who says, My burden is light and my yoke is easy and you'll find rest for your soul. Is that an amazing invitation?

You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. And before we continue today's program, let me ask you, do you know your purpose? Do you know why God created you and what you're supposed to do here on earth? Well, let me encourage you to join us after Chip's teaching to learn more about a tool we've created that will directly answer those questions. So be sure to keep listening.

OK, let's get back to our series, Unstuck. And so to overcome the pain of our broken relationships, we talk to the Father. We ask for inner strength to yield rather than to resist the work. And then third, we ask God to help us grasp and experience his love in the midst of our pain.

And so he gets very specific. He says, And I pray, this is second request, that you, being rooted and established, underline rooted and established, it's two metaphors we'll come back to. I pray that you, and it's in what's called the perfect tense, it means you, in a certain day at a certain time, having already been rooted with implications that will continue into the future, and you, having already been built or established with continuing into the future. So he's telling them, I'm praying something for you that's based on something you already possess that God promises will continue on into the future. So I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power where? Put a parenthesis around together with all the saints.

He says, You're gonna be rooted and established, and I'm praying he's gonna give you dunamis or dynamite or power where? In the context of community, together with all the saints to do things. To grasp and to know this love that surpasses knowledge. Circle the word grasp, circle the word to know, and the word to know is there's two words in the New Testament.

One is to know by way of two plus two is four, it's like a factual knowledge. This is a word that you know by experience. You might have heard the word gnostic, to know, this is that word.

It's a word that has to do with a mystical inner knowledge of experience of God. And so he says, I'm praying that you'll have power. And this power, not rooted in some experience out there, but it's rooted, and this is the metaphor here, is a plant that's been deeply rooted or a tree that's been deeply rooted, and established is the picture of a building.

And it's the foundation of a building that goes deep and it's not gonna change. And so you already have that, that you're gonna have this power with fellow believers to intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually grasp and then experience his love that surpasses even any intellectual knowledge of his love. And then there's a purpose clause, that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Left to ourselves, we all pray that God will change the relationship or change the person or bring the someone back, and that's simply short-sighted. It's fine to pray it, and God may do that. But what we really need to pray is to have a power to grasp how deeply, how intentionally, how unconditionally that just where we're at with what we have, with our baggage, with where we've been, with the struggles that we've had, that we're the object of God's love and you will never be more loved by God than you are at this minute right now.

And he wants you to get that, that's what he's praying. You need to pray that for yourself. You need to pray that for your kids. You need to pray that for your friends. You need to pray that for your family. You need to pray that for your small group. How many of our prayers have you ever thought about when you look at the prayers of Scripture versus how we pray?

How many of our prayers are what I call logistical prayers or strategic prayers around God will you do this things, God will you do this people, God will you rearrange that, God will you shift that, God will you change that, God will you restore that. What would happen if all the people we're praying for begin to understand, regardless of their circumstances, how deeply loved they were by God and they experienced his love to such an overflowing measure, the fullness of Christ. That's that same phrase of coming to be Christ-like and beginning to experience all of God.

It's your heart that he's your portion. I wonder what would happen to all those people that we love if they started experiencing that. I wonder how much of the sin that we commit both mentally and with our tongue and with our behavior is really chasing after things that we think will satisfy. Because down deep we don't feel deeply loved and accepted for who we really are. So we feel like if I accomplish this then I'd be a someone or if he or she would like me or if we could go here. I just think an awful lot of the things we struggle with, as Barney Fife would say would be nipped in the bud, if we understood his love. The reason is authentic spiritual growth only occurs in the fertile soil of genuine love. We love because he first loved us. The final request here is that we would just grasp the vastness of what it is, the height and depth and length and breadth. You can almost feel the apostle Paul led by the Spirit. Lord, I don't know how to tell him about who you are and how much you love and what it is. He just kind of, let's see, wide, high, far, length.

And if we had a microphone and had another couple of hours to spend, I would suggest we did this in one of our interactive groups and we got a beginning on it. I could ask you, when in your personal experience have you felt the most loved by God? I have a hypothesis that for many, many of us, I mean the most loved by God, that for many of us it would not be when everything was going absolutely great, every relationship, every circumstance was just over the top. I would suggest it's probably when you have experienced the greatest loss or the greatest failure and blown it in the biggest time and God showed up in a way that you thought, I know I don't deserve this and yet it's like he's putting his arms around you. If you've ever lost someone close to you and people ask you how you're doing and it's days before the funeral and days after and there's this buoying up, you know what I'm talking about? It's just like the love of God just kind of surrounds you for a season to take you through it. The final request is expect God to answer your prayers in a manner beyond your wildest dreams and we often quote this apart from the rest of this, but now to him. He says, expect God, he's going to answer to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine.

How? According to the power that's where? At work out there?

No, that's at work in us. To him, notice the focus, be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever. God is able. God wants to. You are the object of his affection. He's not going to leave you.

It won't be this way forever. He promises often on earth but for sure in heaven that the greatest, wildest, best will happen and he wants to deliver you. And the reason is that your welfare and Christ's glory are uppermost on God's agenda. Your wealth, I mean, if we could just but believe, I love Tozer's word and the knowledge of the holy in his chapter. He said, oh, the difference it would make in believers' lives if we could but believe that we live under a friendly sky and that though God exalted in majesty and power is eager to be friends with us.

He's so for you. He's a son and a shield. He gives grace and glory. No good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

There are seasons of loss and pain and hurt and broken relationships and the goal is for you to be strengthened in your inner man so that Christ could dwell in you and be comfortable and control all of you are, all that you have so that you could learn that apart from any circumstance or any person, though you can desire both, that he and he alone can satisfy. And his promise is, I have unlimited resources. I'm a son. I have unlimited protection.

I'm a shield. I long to give grace and glory, undeserved blessing into your life, and I promise I'll not withhold any good thing from you. I turned the clock ahead many, many years and I thought to myself, I found a girl and a wife and a woman could never, my best choice wasn't good and so I gave that to God and I did not marry that girl and God gave me Teresa.

And it was a bonus deal because I got two kids in the deal. And I found after multiple injuries and my idol of basketball, a new coach came. I got injured again. But the last 10 games of the year, we played number one team in the nation. We finished strong and out of the blue, I got an envelope asking me to play with this team of other college athletes and we played all throughout South America all the summer of 76, all the summer of 77, and then joined an Australian team.

And I'm this little NAIA player, small college guy, playing with guys from UCLA and Oregon and USC and Erskine. We're playing every Olympic team throughout South America and sharing Jesus at halftime. And with my Heavenly Father just leaning down smiling going, it wasn't about the basketball chip, it was your heart. And then I graduate from college and that bricklayer said, do you want to learn how to do ministry? And he said, why don't you come and you can mix mud for me and we'll start another ministry here together. And we did. And it was out of doing that with him that God called me to be a pastor.

My dad actually got more than sober, he got godly. But it was a journey. When I look back, hopeless, 10, 15, 20, 25 years, exceedingly, abundantly, beyond anything I could ever ask, think, or imagine. Don't bail out on the process. Don't take a shortcut. Don't get yoked to anything or anyone or put your hope in anything or anyone. Circumstances do not have the power to make or break your life.

Relationships, human relationships, no relationship, no matter how wonderful, does not have the power to make or break your life. Only God can fulfill the deepest needs of your soul. And he does that in the person of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in the context of community, rooted in his word. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. And the message you just heard, overcoming the pain of broken relationships, is from our series Unstuck. Chip will join us in studio to share some insights from today's talk in just a minute. Through this study in the book of Ephesians, Chip highlighted the most painful experiences we'll encounter in life, and explained how God's Word delivers healing and power to overcome them. We hope you learned how to not just move past broken relationships, rejection, and shattered dreams, but have true joy and contentment that only comes from a relationship with Jesus. Let me encourage you to go back and revisit any part of this series by going to LivingOnTheEdge.org.

That's LivingOnTheEdge.org. Well, before we go on, here's Chip. I'll be back in just a minute with some application from today's message. But what I can tell you is, we all get stuck. And we get stuck in a warped self-image.

We get stuck feeling we're rejected. And this whole series is about getting unstuck. And what Ephesians chapter 1 is teaching us is who we are in Christ. And you know, I had a chance to teach this series, Unstuck, and it had such a profound impact in people's lives.

I was asked to put it into a book form. And so the title of the book is Discover Your True Self. In other words, God has made you, redeemed you, you're valuable. But how do you get that from your head into your heart?

How do you combat a warped self-image and rejection and feeling like you're a nobody going nowhere, and renew your mind in such a way where what is actually true of you, not what the world says, not what other people think, what's actually true of who you are becomes a reality? Well, as you've heard in this series, it's been a part of my journey, and even most especially a part of my wife's journey. Let me encourage you to get the book. We've got questions after each chapter.

It's dynamic. It will take you on a pathway, on a journey, to help you see yourself the way God sees you. And when that happens, guess what?

You get unstuck. To order Chip's book, Discover Your True Self, go to specialoffersatlivingontheedge.org or the Chip Ingram app. This tool will help you combat the deceptive lies we believe about ourselves by revealing who God uniquely created us to be. So if you feel stuck, insecure, or guilty over your past, this book will encourage you.

Again, to get your copy of Discover Your True Self, visit specialoffers on the Chip Ingram app or at livingontheedge.org. Well, with that, here again is Chip to share a few final thoughts. As we close today's program, I walk through four biblical principles right from Ephesians chapter 3, beginning at verse 14 through the end of the chapter. And it's actually a prayer. And when a relationship breaks, the pain is so deep, it doesn't surprise me that God's instruction is to pray, but embedded in this prayer I think are four very clear principles about how to deal with the pain of a broken relationship.

So let me review them for you as we wrap up this message in the entire series. Number one, in the midst of your broken relationship, talk to the Father. Just talk to the Father in your own words. Share your hurt. Share your emotion. If it gets raw, it gets raw. Be honest.

Be open. Just talk to your Father about how you really feel. Number two, ask God for the inner strength to yield rather than resist his work in your life. He uses broken relationships to get to parts of our soul that he couldn't get to any other way. He didn't cause it.

He didn't make it happen. But when people do terrible things, ask God to help you yield to what he wants to do in your heart and life. Number three, ask God to help you grasp and experience his love in the midst of your pain.

There's very few times where you'll be as vulnerable and as open and will realize that you're not self-sufficient as when you are hurting from a broken relationship. Just ask God, oh God, help me taste it, help me feel it, help me experience how much you love me, even when I feel like the person that I counted on doesn't. And then number four, expect God to answer your prayers in a manner beyond your wildest dreams. You know, to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond what you could ask or think, I want you to know that's the God who loves you, even when people let you down, even when they betray you.

Our broken relationships often are the catalyst that drive us to our deepest, most significant and intimate relationship with God that changed the entire course of our life. God will use this for good if you'll let him. Sign up for his agenda of transformation.

Great piece of encouragement to wrap up this series, Chip, thanks. Well, before we go, Living on the Edge depends on listeners like you to help us continue encouraging Christians to live like Christians. So would you consider becoming a monthly partner to help others benefit from this ministry? Now you can set up a recurring donation at livingontheedge.org or by calling us at 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003 or visit livingontheedge.org. App listeners tap donate, and thanks for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do. Well, until next time, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-10 14:05:42 / 2024-02-10 14:16:47 / 11

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