How we doing Mercy Hill? Everybody doing well?
Good, good. I'm honored to be here. As Bobby said, my name is Ryan Britt. I'm one of the pastors at the church of 1122 in Jacksonville, Florida.
And if you're really curious about where the 1122 comes from, you can come talk to me after shoot me an email and I will be more than more than happy to answer why we have the worst church name in the history of church names, but we do. My family's been serving there for the last eight years or so, and it's been incredible. I'm so honored to be here. I'm honored anytime that I get to teach the Bible.
And I'm so honored that Pastor Andrew and Pastor Bob would have me come share with you guys. I'm going to do just that, which is teach the Bible. So if you have your Bibles, grab them. We're going to be in a couple of different places. We're going to be in 2 Samuel chapters 13 and 15. But our anchor text tonight is going to be Psalm chapter 55. And we're going to make our way around.
Who here knows this to be true? God is faithful. God is faithful. We sing a song at our church similar to many of the songs we just sang. And in one of the lines in the song, the line says that all my life you have been faithful. And I was worshipping one day in our staff meeting, and that I've sang that song 100 times. But that line that day just landed on me different. It illuminated differently to me that that happens sometimes with Scripture with songs. God will just speak something.
Speak something differently in a moment. And that happened. And I felt like in that moment, the Lord said to me, Ryan, it was a reminder and encouragement. Ryan, there has never been one second of your life where I have been anything but absolutely faithful to you. And then right on that heels, I feel like the Spirit said to me, Ryan, there never will be one second for your entire eternal existence where you will experience anything but my absolute faithfulness. God is faithful. Amen, church.
He is faithful to his people, and he is faithful to himself. The Psalms are in large part a testimony of God's faithfulness. And so we're going to be hanging out in Psalm chapter 55 tonight.
So just a heads up right out of the gate. You need to know that Psalm 55 starts heavy, stays heavy and ends heavy. And so this is a heavy one.
Buckle up buttercup. All right, here we go. Psalm 55, starting in verse one. It's a Psalm of David. David writing this says, Give ear to my prayer.
David praying this, saying this and says, Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy. Attend to me and answer me. I am restless in my complaint, and I moan because of the noise of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked. For they drop trouble upon me and in anger, they bear a grudge against me.
Listen to the language here. My heart is in anguish within me. The terrors of death have fallen upon me. The terrors of death. Have you ever been there?
I have. One of my most distinct memories is when I was a 12 year old boy. I was sitting in the waiting room of a hospital while my mother was in surgery. She had been diagnosed with cancer.
And the early prognosis was that she would have surgery and maybe some treatment, but that she, she and we should expect a full recovery. But that day in that waiting room, I sat there and the phone on the wall rang behind my father. And he picked it up and it was the surgeon from the operating room.
And maybe 10 seconds, 20 seconds went by. And the sounds that came out of my dad. I'll never forget him. It was deep, guttural. And ultimately, the news that they gave us that day was what would lead to my mother's passing. And in that waiting room that day, we had a real sense that the terrors of death had found us.
There's many of you here who have walked through similar things, have walked similar journeys. Maybe for you, it wasn't that same road, but maybe it was the death of a marriage. Maybe it was the death of the future that you thought you would have.
Maybe it was the death of a financial plan that you thought you had set in front of us. But all of us throughout the course of our life, somehow, some way, the terrors of death have a way of finding us. The truth is that life can be hard. We can be awful to each other and we can experience and endure incredibly hard things. Here's the thing about hurt in life when it comes for us. It's that it hurts. Hurt always hurts.
Life can be very, very hard and pain, unlike anything else, has a very powerful way of grabbing our perspective. And that's what's going on with King David. And so King David in his early years, we're pretty familiar with the early years of King David's life. We know that he was a shepherd boy who turns warrior and battles the giant Goliath and defeats him. And then he becomes a military leader. He goes through many years where he's running from King Saul, who's trying to kill him because he'd been anointed king, but he was not yet king. And then he becomes king over Judah.
And then by the time he was about 30 years old, he becomes king over all of Israel. The early years of David's life, we're pretty familiar with. But the later years of David's life, we're a little less familiar with. And so let me catch us up to what's going on to David's life in order to give us context for Psalm 55 and what he's walking through. If you go to Psalm 2 Samuel chapter 11, which you can do it another time, what it says in verse one is that in the springtime, when the kings go out to war, David sent Joab and remained in Jerusalem. So David's the king of Israel. He has been anointed and appointed and tasked to lead God's people. A primary function of the king of Israel was to lead God's people into battle. David had done this many, many, many, many times.
He was responsible for something and to someone. But instead of stepping into his responsibility, David abdicated his responsibility to a man named Joab. And so David sent Joab out to battle and remained in Jerusalem. And so David's hanging out in Jerusalem.
And it says that, 2 Samuel 11 says that one day when David wakes up, it says that when he arose from the couch, do you know what that means? He was taking a nap. Now I'm not anti nap. I'm actually pro nap.
You can ask my wife. I'm a big fan of naps. Big public subs and naps.
I like them. So do you ever preload your nap? That's not how you do it.
That's how I do it. So I'm a big fan of naps. Here's the thing about naps though. You can take a nap. You're just not supposed to be napping when you're supposed to be at war.
So when there's a fight going on, you're not supposed to be sleeping. But David was taking a nap. And so just at the right time in the afternoon, David arises from his nap and he walks out onto what the Bible calls the king's roof.
This is the balcony. And David's house sits high in the city above every other city. Now, the question is, do you think that was David's first time out on that roof?
No way. There's no chance you would ever convince me that David just happened to stumble out. David knew exactly what he was looking for and he went out there to find it. And so he steps, he abdicates his responsibility, and then he arranges his environment. He sets up his world in order to get the thing that he's after. And he walks out onto the roof and he sees a beautiful woman taking a bath. And then Second Samuel 11 says that he sent and inquired about the woman Bathsheba. So David abdicates his responsibility, arranges his environment all to satisfy his appetites.
Right? So David commits adultery with Bathsheba, but he doesn't stop there. David then has Bathsheba's husband killed on the front lines of battle and then lies about it multiple times to cover up what he had done. And then in Second Samuel 12, the prophet Nathan comes to David and is like, David, you have sinned against the Lord. Now, David did not resist this. He didn't say, Well, Nathan, you don't understand. Everybody's gone.
I'm having a hard time with the other ladies at the house. You don't understand how I'm feeling. He didn't explain himself. He didn't defend himself. David heard the rebuke from the prophet Nathan. And to David's credit, he repented of his sin. He repented of his sin and goes through a process of repentance. But God, God, because this is who God is, it's amazing. God forgives David.
Who here knows that God is merciful? That God forgives David. And David and Bathsheba become married. They end up having a son named Solomon, who would one day be king. Now, along the way, David doesn't only marry Bathsheba. He marries a few other people as well. And he has a few other kids as well. This is where we pick up in Second Samuel chapter 13.
Are you ready? Verse one, Second Samuel 13. Now, David's been king for a minute. He's been ruling and reigning for a little while now.
His family's starting to come together and grow. Now Absalom, one of David's sons, had a beautiful sister whose name was Tamar. Absalom and Tamar have the same mother. David is their father. OK. And after a time, Amnon, David's son, loved her. Amnon, David is the father, has a different mother than Absalom and Tamar.
So their half brother and sister. Amnon, David's son, loved her. And Amnon was so tormented that he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar. For she was a virgin and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her.
Now, what do you think Amnon wanted to do? Play checkers? I'm so uncomfortable right now. I mean, you think your family's jacked up? You're probably right, but I mean, can you imagine what it would be like to be at this family reunion? I mean, you roll up in there and you're talking to Cousin Eddie and you're like, Hey, man, who's the moody broody dude over there in the corner trying to get everybody's attention? He's like, oh, that's Amnon. He's really not trying to get everybody's attention.
He's just really trying to get Tamar's attention because he wants to bounce around. And you're like, wait, hold on. Aren't they brother and sister? Yeah. Oh, God. OK. And you're like, you're like, Tamar, she's the pretty one, right? Yes. Like, well, who's the who's the hunk of beef next to her that's so ripped, that's got that beautiful hair.
Who is that? Well, that's Absalom. So, man, he looks awesome. Well, he kind of is awesome.
You just can't get too close to him because you have to sleep with one eye open. It's like, oh, OK. Well, who's the guy over here in the corner with all the bling and all the ladies around him? Well, that's Solomon.
He's a whole nother train wreck. I mean, this family has got some serious stuff going on. Verse three, Amnon had a friend. The family saga continues, actually, verse three. But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shemaiah, David's brother.
And Jonadab was a very crafty man. Now, I think if you were to ask Amnon at this point in time, Amnon, what are you doing? Amnon would say, man, I just want what I want. But the truth is that Amnon's looking for trouble.
And here's the thing. When you're looking for trouble, you will always find people to tell you what you want to hear. You will always find people to tell you what you want to hear.
It's the people who have the guts to tell you what you don't want to hear that you want to stay close to. Now, this this point in the story in David's life is a testimony. Sometimes we talk about the Bible and like it's a story, like it's something that happened in a land far away.
This is a testimony of real people, real jacked up stuff. OK, in this point in David's life, if David's life were a movie, this would be this would be where the soundtrack changes. Everybody knows that every great movie has a great soundtrack and everybody also knows that the greatest soundtrack ever made was Last of the Mohicans. That's absolutely correct. Thank you.
Thanks for your help. I have never seen it. I'm sorry. I don't know what I can't live your life for you. OK, but if the early life in David's early years, if it had a soundtrack, I think it would have sounded something like this. King David, anointed and appointed to be king by the Prophet Samuel, born in Bethlehem, marches onto the battlefield to fight the giant Goliath with five smooth stones and one shepherd slingshot and. Just let it happen, folks.
Just let it happen. David walks out onto the battlefield. He slays the giant Goliath, takes Goliath's sword and chops his head off and all of Israel begins to chant. David has slain his tens of thousands. He was a hero.
You're welcome. That was for your enjoyment, guys. That was for your enjoyment. Oh, no, no, no. We're not done. So David is a hero. But make no mistake about it. The Bible is not is not a book filled with heroes.
The Bible is the testimony of one hero and his name is Jesus. If David's later years had a soundtrack, I think it would have sounded something a little more like this. Oh, just wait for it, children of the 90s.
It would have been like this. Now, if you grew up in the 90s, you know that this is the house of pain and you're currently sitting on the edge of your seat thinking, pack it up, pack it in. Let me begin. Don't come to battle me, son. You know, it's a sin. They got more rhymes than the Bible's got Psalms. David's house in the later years of his life was the house of pain. He knew pain incredibly well, and he became very familiar with pain as a very dear friend. And it is from this place that he writes Psalm 55.
It is a house of pain. After Amnon hears what he wants from Jonadab, he tricks and then he rapes Tamar. Absalom, Tamar's brother, as you can imagine, gets infuriated, infuriated. And he waits two years and then Absalom has Amnon killed. And along the way, he becomes very bitter at David and David and Absalom's mind becomes a problem to solve.
And so he goes to work. This is where we pick up in Second Samuel 15. Absalom starts working a plan to overthrow David.
And little by little, he begins to turn the hearts of the people of Israel against his father. And it wasn't hard because David was pretty disconnected at this point in time. Here's the thing about abdicating responsibility. As soon as you make the choice one time to abdicate the responsibilities that God has given you, specifically, I'm talking to men. As soon as you make the choice one time to abdicate your God-given responsibilities, it's really hard to get off that ice.
It's really hard to get back off that ice. And David, again, abdicates his responsibilities. Absalom is not having it. And so Absalom starts to work a plan to overthrow David.
And little by little, he begins to turn the hearts of his people. Absalom leaves Jerusalem and goes to a different city in Israel called Hebron. This is where we pick up in Second Samuel 15, verse 11.
With Absalom went 200 men from Jerusalem who were invited guests and they went in their innocence and they knew nothing. While Absalom was offering the sacrifices he sent for, and this is important, Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counselor from the city Gilo, and the conspiracy grew strong and the people with Absalom kept increasing. Ahithophel, this is the final nail in the proverbial coffin in this chapter in David's life. His presence with Absalom emboldened the rebellion against David. He was David's trusted advisor. He was his closest friend. He is who David would have meetings with after the meetings. We're talking countless sacrifices made together, countless feasts shared, countless intimate moments, countless times of worship and spiritual intimacy and brotherhood and true biblical covenantal fellowship. Ahithophel and David would have had, they would have been closer than brothers in a lot of ways. And Ahithophel betrays David and joins the betrayal and the rebellion of David's son. And so when David writes in Psalm 55, my heart is at anguish within me, the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
You bet. Your son is trying to kill you and your best friend just betrayed you. Yeah, that kind of hurt hurts.
That's deep. There's a whisper from hell that becomes a shout in times of uncertainty and pain in life. And it beckons the question, is God faithful?
David's ear was being tickled by the lie. He wasn't being tempted to abandon God. He was being tempted to forget that God is faithful. And he's at a breaking point, I believe, when he writes this in Psalm 55.
It says fear and trembling come upon him and horror overwhelms him. And I say, oh, that I had wings like a dove. I would fly away and be at rest. Yes, I would wander far away. I would lodge in the wilderness.
I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest. What David is saying is that he just wants to get away. And can you blame him? Whose instinct isn't to run away whenever the hurt hits close to home? You can't blame David for what he's thinking, and sometimes in life you can and should get away from the who who has caused you hurt.
But even though you can get away from the who, it's really hard to outrun the hurt. David starts letting it rip right here. He's bouncing from fear and running to anger and fighting. He says this story, O Lord, divide their tongues, for I see violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go around on its walls and iniquity and trouble are within it.
Ruin is in its midst. Oppression and fraud do not depart from its marketplace. This is where it gets very personal, for it is not an enemy who taunts me. Then I could bear it. It is not an adversary who deals insolently with me. Then I could hide from him, but it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. We used to take sweet counsel together within God's house.
We walked in the throng. Now, I believe that he was specifically speaking about Ahithophel right here because I don't think he would have ever considered Absalom an equal. But he's certainly carrying the hurt from Ahithophel on top of the burden of Absalom, on top of the burden of what's happened in his family. There is a specific kind of hurt that David is experiencing here, and it's the hurt of betrayal. And the wounds of betrayal inherently come with the wounds of rejection. The hurt of betrayal inherently comes with the wounds of rejection. And some of us here have experienced these kinds of wounds and these kinds of hurts. And I hope to God we've healed.
But maybe we carry them and they're fresh. Some of us carry these kinds of hurts and have walked through these kinds of betrayals. I mean, we stood at the altar and we said, I do and I will. But they didn't. And now they won't. They looked at you and they said, trust me. But they took you.
They said, we're in this together, but they left you holding the bag. They were supposed to protect you. And instead, knowing them has felt like punishment. They were supposed to be there for you.
But the truth is, they were anywhere but. Many of us have been cut in deep places by the wounds of betrayal and rejection. And if that's you here, I would just say, I'm really sorry.
I'm really sorry. And I'm here to tell you that it can be healed in Jesus's hands. It can be healed in Jesus's hands. The wound of rejection is real. It's deep, but it can be healed.
Proverbs chapter 18, verse 14 says this, the human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed or a wounded spirit who can bear. There's a kind of hurt that goes deeper than our normal operating sense of consciousness. It's a wound on our spirit. It's the wound of rejection. And it replicates itself throughout the course of our lives.
Unlike any other hurt I've ever encountered. It is so deep and it is so defining. It manifests itself in loneliness and self-loathing, hopelessness, joyless living, purposeless living. And it often turns into addictions and patterns of self abuse and the spiritual forces of darkness that are at work in this evil age. They love this wound because they see it as an opportunity to steal your God-given identity. So they begin to tempt with a lie that God's not faithful and that you're not who he says you are. And they begin to replace your true identity with a superficial, inauthentic, manufactured happiness at best, and or a desperate addiction to escapism as a way of life. But underneath all that activity is a spirit that has been wounded by rejection.
And so how can it heal? Well, the answer is in Jesus's hands. Jesus himself says this, that the Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives. Look, these kinds of wounds and hurts leave people emotionally and mentally bankrupt faster than anything I've ever seen. Jesus says that I have come to proclaim the good news to the poor, that I came to proclaim liberty to the captives.
The wound of rejection holds hostages often for entire lifetimes. But Jesus can set us free. Jesus says that I came to recover the sight of the blind and to set at liberty those who are oppressed. 1 John chapter 3 verse 8 says that the reason Jesus Christ came into the world is to destroy the works of the devil. The devil, in my opinion, his favorite wound is the wound of rejection. He loves to pick and pick and pick and pick and keep the wound open so that he can still joy, kill purpose and destroy lives.
But Jesus came to destroy any work that he would do. How does Jesus heal? Well, the answer is this, through acceptance.
What heals these kinds of wounds of betrayal and rejection? The answer is acceptance. But not just acceptance by anyone. Acceptance by God the Father through God the Son, who is Jesus Christ. Romans chapter 5 verse 17 says that death ruled like a king because Adam had sinned. But that cannot compare with what Jesus Christ has done. God has been so kind to us and he has accepted us because of Jesus, and so we will live and rule like kings with him. Listen, church, one drop of Jesus's blood has the power to set generations free. It has the power to set generations free. Romans 1 16 says, I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation for all who hear and believe. The gospel is the power of God at work in this world, and it can save anybody from anything at any time. And it can heal anybody from anything at any time. It is the most powerful force at work on the planet, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ, the power of God unto salvation. Paul says, I am not ashamed of the gospel. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, received, believed, and applied by faith, it heals you.
It is healing you and it will heal you. Received, believed, and applied by faith. How?
Well, I would offer you this here today. Through the power of prayer and the practice of forgiveness. How does Jesus's hands heal these wounds through the power of prayer and through the practice of forgiveness?
Peter asked Jesus, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Now here's the thing, all of us logically have a category for the reality that people have the capacity to sin. We all understand that and mentally ascribe to the truth that people sin.
Right? We don't logically object to that. The challenge with sin is when we get emotionally involved when they sin against me. That's when it gets really hard to deal with. Peter says, how many times should I forgive when they sin against me? And Jesus, and Peter says seven times and Jesus says, no, I tell you, not seven times, but 77 times. And what Jesus means is every time. You go through life and you'll often hear even well-meaning Christians say, say things like, forgive and forget. Here's the problem with that. I've never been able to do it.
I've just never been able to do it. So I don't stand here today and tell you, forgive and forget. What I say is this, forgive and remember that you have forgiven.
Forgive and remember that you have forgiven. The hard part of forgiving is remembering that you have and do forgive every time the pain from the hurt comes back around. When Jesus forgave you, it came inherently with the power to forgive others. When Jesus forgave you, mind you, was no easy task. I'm not saying forgiveness is easy.
I'm just saying it's where freedom is. When Jesus forgave you, it inherently came with the power to forgive others. It is a choice that we make. It is not just a place we end up. Forgiveness is a choice we make. It is not just a place we end up. David continues and he says this, let death still over them.
He's not done ranting. Let death still over them. Let them go down to Sheol alive, for evil is in their dwelling place and in their heart. What's David saying here? He's saying, I hope ahead the fell and Absalom burn in Sheol. That's right. That's what he's saying. No, he said, he said, I hope they burn in hell.
That's exactly what he's saying. Who here knows you can talk straight with God? He ain't scared of you. He ain't scared of your feelings. You can bring all you got to God all the time.
I promise he can handle it. We have a saying at our church that we say this all the time. The fake you is doing just fine. So you should bring the real you to the real God who sent his real son to die on a real cross to pay for real sin so that you could really have life.
Right. So the fake you is doing just fine. You know, hopefully you check him, him or her at the door. The real you is who God came to save in the real you who's got is who God wants you to bring to him in relationship all the time. You can bring all you got to God all the time. David says, I hope they I hope they burn in Sheol. Here's the thing.
Hate and hurt is where the wound of rejection leads if it's not trusted into the hands of someone who can heal it. David makes a turn here and he says this, but I call to God. He doesn't say I call to my next relationship. I call to my next success. I call to my next endeavor.
I call to my next whatever. He doesn't say he says, but I call to God. Jehovah Rafa, the God who heals. I call to God and the Lord will save me evening and morning. And at noon, I utter my complaint and moan and he hears my voice. Is there anybody thankful here today that we serve a God who hears us, who is near to the broken hearted? We serve the living God who does not turn away from us. If we draw near him, we find every time that he is drawn near to us.
I love this. David doesn't say. I did it once. I said it once. Why don't I feel better?
David says no. Evening, morning, noon, I utter my complaint and I moan. Here's the thing about healing any process of healing is that if you want to heal spiritual healing, emotional healing, if you want to heal, at least a part of you has to want to. At least a part of you has to want to heal. Stay at it, brother and sister, beat down the doors of heaven for the healing that is rightfully yours in Jesus Christ. And I promise you this, when you go to knock on the doors of heaven for the healing that flows from the throne room of God, you will find that all of those doors have been opened for you through Jesus Christ.
Beat down the doors of heaven and you will find they have all been opened. David says this. I call to God and he redeems my soul and safety from the battle that I wage for many are arrayed against me. God will give here and humble them. He who is enthroned of old because they do not change and they do not fear God. As we go through life and we experience relationships. We walk through seasons of betrayal, times of rejection, a tough but freeing experiences when we come to a place where we realize that it is God who changes people.
I can't change anybody. David saying, I'm waging war here, man. It's been a fight. My situation externally, my circumstances are so wildly complex that you can't even begin to get your head around them. I've been fighting out here and I'm fighting in here.
Everything inside is internal. I'm not sleeping. I'm not eating.
I have anxiety. I'm on the floor. I am at war.
It is a fight. And David says, I've done some wrong things, he says. I've done some right things, he says. But ultimately, God, at the end of the day, you're the one that's on the throne and it is in your hands. We can pray for change in people and we can encourage people toward health and we should. We can draw hard lines in relationships so that other people who have hurt us, their habitual behavior does not hijack our life and our joy. And sometimes we have to do that. We can always join God in his work as he helps others change when he opens the door.
But you cannot kick the door down and force people to change. That belongs to the Lord. And you can trust him. You can trust him. Who here knows everything that God does is good? No matter how long it takes or what our perception of the outcome is, he is good. The Lord is my shepherd. And he's a good shepherd.
I shall not want because every good and perfect gift has been handed down to me from the father of lights who is above. He's good when he makes me to lay down and green pastures. He's good as he leads me besides still waters. He restores my soul. He's good as he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
His good name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You anoint my head. You anoint my head with oil. You prepare a table.
I love this. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. And it is in the presence of my enemies where I will feast on your goodness.
My cup overflows with your faithfulness. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. The earth is the Lord's and everything in it.
He established it upon the waters and he founded it upon the seas. Who can ascend to the hill of the Lord and who can stand in his holy place? Only he who has clean hands and a pure heart and does not bow his soul to an idol. Do you know how you know that you know that God is good? Because he sent Jesus Christ on a rescue mission and Jesus Christ with clean hands and a pure heart never bowed his soul to an idol. And he marched up the hill of God's wrath, paying the full due penalty for sin so that you could be forgiven and set free and adopted as a member of God's family. Totally forgiven, totally redeemed, totally accepted. God is good.
God is good and everything he does is good. I'm 14 years old and I'm standing at the back of a funeral parlor. And across the room is my father. He's standing next to an open casket that has my mother's body in it. And I don't know if it was a nudge from the Lord or if he just caught me out of the corner of his eye, but my dad makes his way through a sea of people. And he walks up to me and I'm up against that wall and I'm bitter, I'm confused, I'm angry, I'm hurt.
I don't have a category for the things that we're walking through. My dad walks all the way across the room and he puts his hand on my shoulder and he looks at me in the face and he said, Son, I know this is hard, but God is good. And 25 years later, I can testify to you tonight, today, my friends, that God works all things together for the good of those who love him and who are called according to his purpose.
He is good. And even in the hardest of times, he is at work for your good. David finishes with this and he says, My companion stretched out his hand against me or his hand against his friends. He violated his covenant. His speech was smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart. His words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords. And then he says these words, cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you. He will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Don't forget the gospel. That your sins have been totally forgiven in Jesus Christ and that all the bad sin had to offer, Jesus took it on the cross and that all the good that Jesus earned, he credited to you through the resurrection. All the bad he took and you get all the good. You didn't do anything to deserve it. And so because you didn't earn it, you cannot lose it. You cannot lose it. Unforgiveness and unhealed wounds of the heart can sure keep you from enjoying it, though.
Unforgiveness is the fastest road I know of to joyless living. When it comes to hurt and healing, there's three postures that we would have. One is that we could carry it. You can carry your hurts around. Wear them around your life like they're a pair of glasses. See everybody through them.
Hold everybody hostage to them. Create a scenario where pretty much everybody close to you or not has to navigate you and dance around on eggshells because they're scared to bump into your wound. You can carry it around.
I've tried that. It doesn't lead where you want to go, where you can bury it. You can shove it deep down in there and act like nothing ever happened.
Don't talk about it. Just tough it up. Work harder, do better. You can try to shove it down in there. You can fill all your time with Netflix and mind numbing activities on your phone. Seek distractions anywhere you can find them.
And any time that the hurt just happens to spill out, you can get into the blame game. Keep yourself isolated from real relationships. Don't practice a vulnerable faith. At best, show up and check the boxes, but don't truly repent of sin. Don't truly confess the gospel.
Don't truly have real conversations with God. You can bury it, and you can hide behind walls of sarcasm and self-doubt, and you can just kind of hide in there isolated, living in your own box. You can carry it. You can bury it, or you can cast it.
You can cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you. Jesus says this in Matthew 11, Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon Me and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
My invitation to you is this. Come. Rest. Take His yoke through the power of prayer and the practice of forgiveness. I love that Jesus says this.
We don't talk about this a lot when we read this first. We love the Come to Me, all who are heavy and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you.
But then what does He say? Come to learn from Me. Learn.
You're not just going to wake up one day and all of a sudden all the hurt is going to be gone. Cast it upon the Lord. Cast it upon the Lord. Morning, noon, and night, take it to the Father. When Jesus taught us to pray, and I'll close with this, He said, When you pray, pray like this. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
And then what does He say? Forgive us our trespasses. Father, forgive me. I've gone places I shouldn't have gone. I've said things I shouldn't have said today. Forgive my sins. And then what does He say? As I do what? Forgive those who have trespassed against me. Who is it? An ex, a father, a parent, a friend, a brother, a sister.
Here's what I'd encourage you to do. As you cast your burden upon the Lord, be specific. Be specific.
Say the name. Christians don't sin anymore somehow, you've learned this. We don't really sin anymore, we just struggle.
I'm just struggling. No, you're sinning. Father, forgive me for, be specific.
As I forgive specifically for specifically what they did. Cast your burden upon the Lord. Know this church, He is good. And He is at work in your story, whether you're on the mountaintop or you're in the valley.
He is at work for your good and for His glory. Let me pray for us. Father, we love you. Thank you for this day and for this time and for your words. Thank you for this church. Lord, we pray that your spirit right now would comfort us where we need comforting and convict us where we need convicting. Help us to receive what only you can provide. I pray for my brothers and sisters here who came in here carrying some hurt. Jesus, would you meet them right where they are?
I know you will and I know you have and I know you are. Jesus, will you heal them right now in Jesus name and by the power of your blood. Jesus, you are the Prince of Peace and so I pray peace over my brothers and sisters. Over their mind, over their hearts, over their souls. I pray they would be filled with the peace of the kingdom of God and walk as sons and daughters of the most high. We love you and we worship you because you're the only one worthy. So in your name we pray. Amen. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-24 09:24:08 / 2023-02-24 09:40:16 / 16