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Getting Over It – Part 1 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
May 29, 2024 1:00 am

Getting Over It – Part 1 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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May 29, 2024 1:00 am

Hurting people are susceptible to believing lies about forgiveness: “Does God care about my pain? Will I minimize the offense done against me?” In this message from Romans 12, Pastor Lutzer counteracts the lies through biblical guidance for what we say, feel, and do. God can heal our hearts and our souls.

This month’s special offer is available for a donation of any amount. Get yours at rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. 

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. In the end, some offended people will refuse reconciliation and hang on to their hurts until their knuckles turn white. Letting go of past injustice seems for many to be the ultimate insult. Today, a call for all who hold their hurts dear to give them up and to be healed of their anger.

From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, doesn't getting over it mean that an injustice is never resolved? Dave, that would be true if God didn't exist and if God didn't promise us that he was going to retry many of the issues that have happened here on earth. It's called the judgment seat of Jesus Christ for Christians. It's called the great white throne judgment when it comes to unbelievers.

Now, we should try to resolve as many things as we possibly can, but we've all lived long enough to know that sometimes reconciliation isn't possible. I've written a book entitled When You've Been Wronged, Moving from Bitterness to Forgiveness, and this is one of the last days we're making this resource available to you. Here are some of the chapter titles, Satan's Mixed Bag of Offenses, The Blinding Power of an Offense, Meet Cain the Destroyer, we all know the story of Cain and Abel, Families at War, Dodging Spears, Christians in the Courtroom, From Bitterness to Blessing, A High Cost of Reconciliation, and What to Do When Reconciliation Fails. For a gift of any amount, this book can be yours.

Here's what you do, go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. The title of the book, When You've Been Wronged, take advantage of this resource. I do believe that it'll be of help to you and to those around you. And now let us continue to listen to God's word.

In these days of emails, I received this one a couple of weeks ago. Walking down a metal catwalk past prison cells of convicts is an incredible experience. It was in the spirit of adventure that I was followed by a blue uniformed guard as we approached the stairwell. Then we met the serpentine corridors and vacated courtyards. Each lower floor level became darker, dirtier, and more austere until we leveled off on a dingy walkway with the strongest aroma of stench I have ever smelled. This was the dungeon within the dungeon for detention for the most evil offenders. The cells were drab with bricked in windows, no caught sink or toilet. A hole in the floor dropped directly into the cesspool that was rumored to back up regularly into these cells. This was the home of those who were ill-suited to live with other residents. The officer was determined to hustle me out of this no visitor area. The men were strangely hushed, either seated on the floor or standing up with a drugged glazed look in their eyes.

No radio, no television, or even idle chatter. A thick cloud of oppression. Satan was there.

One of these pathetic captives caught my attention. He was crouched like a creature on the cement floor. He wore only his stained underwear and his hair was standing out in a frightful, wild fashion. His eyes were bulging and hollow.

His fingers were long and his matted beard barely hid his rotted teeth and infected mouth. I spoke, you need to accept Christ as your savior and Lord. He didn't rouse. I cried out again, Jesus is your only salvation.

It's time to repent and receive Jesus. He turned and looked me full in the face, but gave no indication of reply. Finally, the guard angrily took my arm to keep me moving. So I shouted behind me, why won't you do this? And he shouted back, I'm not ready to give it all up yet.

And with that, he was out of sight. I'm not ready to give it all up yet. We are stubborn creatures, aren't we?

Today I may be speaking to somebody who is not willing to give it all up yet. This happens to be the eighth and last message in a series titled suffering wrong. We've been trying to learn how to suffer wrong. Someone who heard about the series said, I can't believe you'd preach on that because nobody knows how to suffer wrong.

I said, well, that's why I need to preach on it. Some of you are hanging on to offenses, hanging on to a past that's been very, very painful. And today what we want to do is to get over it. We want to be ready to say, God, whatever it takes, I want to walk out free from my own prison. Some are however, very determined.

That's a better word than stubborn. William Henley wrote out of the night that covers me black as the pit from pole to pole. I thank whatever gods there be for my unconquerable soul. These were, as you know, the last words of Timothy McVeigh.

It matters not how straight the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll. I'm master of my fate and the captain of my soul. Man told me one time I want to receive Christ as savior, but I want my parents to die first because I do not want to give them the satisfaction of knowing that I became a Christian. How much stubbornness is there in the human heart? People who are hurting are very susceptible to believing lies. They believe lies like, like ink takes to a blotter. Let me give you some lies and then we're going to talk about truth. First of all, lie number one is God doesn't care if, if he cared, he wouldn't have allowed it to happen.

That's particularly true of those who've been abused. If there were a God in heaven who cared, this wouldn't be here. God doesn't care. Paul says in the book of Ephesians that when we fight the devil, we have all of these pieces of armor and he says, if you forget some of them at home, one thing is sure above all, take the shield of faith. He said, how can you fight the devil with the shield of faith? If you've concluded that God doesn't care, it's a lie he careth for you.

What about a second lie? I'm justified. I'm justified to make people around me miserable. I can be as miserable as I like. Look at what others have done to me. No matter what I do, it will not be as great as the evil that was done against me. So because I'm miserable and hurting, I want everybody around me to hurt too.

Have you ever met a person like that? You know, you say, you know, you're, you're hurting so much that you're hurt is hurting others. Well, think of how I was hurt.

Nobody was there for me when I was hurt. Third lie. By forgiving, I minimize what was done to me. By forgiving, I minimize what was done to me.

It's a lie. But there are some who will hang on because they say, if you only knew, here's a young man who began a company and then got some board members and included some family members and the family members turned against him and wanted to steal it from him. Talk about a breach in the family. How you mean I'm supposed to just lay it down.

Don't you understand how serious this is? What I emphasize today that when you forgive, you do not minimize the hurt, the pain, the evil. What you do is you punted the ball to the Supreme Court.

That's what you do. Well, the text is Romans chapter 12, Romans chapter 12. It's a passage that we ought to pray for our church. Sometimes I pray Romans chapter 12 beginning at verse nine to the end of the chapter for all of Moody Church. People say, how do we pray for Moody Church?

You pray scripture. And Paul is talking about human conflict and there's always going to be human conflict. As long as some people raise chickens and others grow vegetables, there's going to be human conflict. It is as inevitable as one can possibly believe. So what we're going to do today is to look at three action steps that we can take that are in truth, that are in truth to counteract some of the lies that we believe about human relationships.

Three action steps. And aren't you fortunate your pastor, God bless him, actually puts this into an outline. I mean, pray for him because he's just too kind.

That's a joke, but it is there. First of all, we emphasize truth by what we say, by what we say. I'm in verse 14. Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse them. Bless those who persecute you. You say, well, how do we do that?

We speak well of them. First of all, we pray for them and we don't pray, Oh God, I pray that you might bring him into judgment. Vaporize him, Lord, come show your justice. You see, I'm asking you to do something today that is totally contrary to human nature because I've prayed that way. I thought to myself if God really wants to be God, this is the time to come out of heaven and smite somebody.

That's not, it's not the way it's to be done. Bless those who curse you. We pray for them and we ask that God will bless them. We ask that they'll be drawn near to God.

If they're not believers, we pray that they'll come to know Christ the savior. We bless them and it is yes indeed by what we pray and also by what we say. We speak positively about them. Everybody has something positive you can say about them. Everybody. It's amazing. We like to put them in black and white or certain categories and say that this person is this way and this person is that way, but everybody has something good that you can say about them.

Just do a little archeological work and you'll be able to find it. I'm thinking of Robert G Lee. He spoke in highest terms to the president about an officer and somebody overheard the conversation, said to him later, didn't you realize that this man hates you and criticizes you on every opportunity?

And Robert G Lee says, yes, that's true. He said, the president asked my opinion of him, not his opinion of me. We tried to speak well. Do you remember that story about the woman who wanted to divorce her husband? She'd been very critical, but you know, she wanted to divorce him and she said to her attorney, I want to hurt him to the full extent that I can on a socket to him.

You know, put in the knife and then give it a half turn. He said, well, I have an idea. He said, what I want you to do is to speak well of him for six weeks. Only speak well, compliment him, tell him what a great man he is. Thank him for what he does for six old weeks.

And then you see he's thinking that you really love him and then what you can do is hand him the divorce papers and it'll hurt a lot more and then you'll sock it to him. For six weeks, she withheld all criticism, spoke only positively and wonderfully about him. Well, you know what happened after six weeks?

They left on a second honeymoon. I'm telling you the power of words. It's fine for you to laugh, but I want you to get the point. It is amazing what would happen if we shut our mouths with our criticism.

And this isn't the place to talk about how women should change their husbands because I want to speak about the family later on, but I've got some good ideas that I'd like to share with you sometime. But positive, positive reinforcement, powerful. So number one by what we say, number two by what we feel. Now notice it says, rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. What is it easier to do to rejoice with those who rejoice or to weep with those who weep? If this were a classroom, I'd ask you for a response. Just shout it out.

What is it easier to do? Many of you are saying rejoice. I disagree with you. It is easy to weep with those who weep. I mean, somebody is going through a tragedy and your heart goes out to them and you can weep with them. That's pretty easy. The hard part is rejoicing with those who rejoice.

Somebody calls you on the phone and says, guess what? I just got $4 million in in the mail because of my uncle's estate has been settled. Let's go out for a hamburger tonight and celebrate. Oh sure. Of course.

And then you go out for the hamburger and then he says at the end, now why don't we just split the cost? I'll tell you, it is hard to rejoice with those who rejoice. Let's suppose you're in a department in a bank or some, some work area and you think that you should get the next promotion and you are convinced that you're more qualified than your colleague and your colleague gets the promotion and you don't. All right now, folks, all those of you who hollered how easy it is to rejoice with those who rejoice. Are you going to rejoice with them?

Are you going to say that that is wonderful? Do you know what it's going to happen if that happens in heaven? You say, well, that won't happen in heaven because if I'm more qualified, I'm going to get the promotion. Don't be so sure because Jesus might have a different opinion as to how qualified you are, but I believe that Jonathan Edwards is absolutely right. When he says in heaven, when we see people exalted above us, we will rejoice as if their exaltation were our own. You say, preacher, you're making the bar very, very high.

Yes, I am. We're talking about something that can only be done by the spirit can't be done in the flesh. It is so contrary. Most of us want to weep when our enemy rejoices and we want to rejoice when our enemy is weeping. We love to hear something. Some tragedy happened to our enemy and it feels so good.

He had it coming to him. It's the way of the flesh. It's not the way of the spirit.

How do we do it? We do it in harmony with one another. Paul says, live in harmony. Verse 16 do not be haughty but associate with the lowly.

Never be conceded. That is really the answer is when we're prideful, we are conceded and it's conceit that makes us rejoice when our enemy is weeping. And so that's the second way by the way in which we feel and you say, well, how do we develop those feelings?

It's through yieldedness and submission and spiritual sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will help us because this is, this is totally contrary to who we are. How do we respond then to those who are making life miserable, the people at work who are not committed to your happiness?

How do we respond to them? Number one, by what we say, we bless those who curse. We bless those who wish to destroy us. We, we, by what we feel, we feel with people. We rejoice with those who rejoice and we weep with those who weep. And third, by what we do, by what we do.

Verse 17, repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. Don't get even the bumper sticker. You know, I don't get mad. I get even no, no, no, no. That's the way of the world.

Most bumper stickers are the way of the world. You know, my friend, this is pastor Lutzer. The messages that you are listening to are in the book entitled when you've been wronged. And this is one of the last days that we're making this resource available for you. Our desire is to help you on your spiritual journey and that you might be equipped to actually help others.

Also, as we run the race of life together. Here's what you can do. You can go to rtwoffer.com or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now, because this is one of the last days that we're making this resource available, I'm going to be giving you that contact info again. But I want to say from my heart to yours, thank you for the many people who support this ministry and we in turn want to bless you through the spoken word as well as the written word. The title of the book when you've been wronged, moving from bitterness to forgiveness, dealing with the realistic issues of human relationships. Here's what you can do.

Go to rtwoffer.com or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. As I mentioned, this book can be yours for a gift of any amount. And from my heart to yours, I want to thank you so much for your continued support, for your prayers. I like to think of the Running to Win family and all those to whom we minister and the many people around the world.

Thanks for helping us. It's time again for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life. What do you do when asked to be part of something you don't believe in, especially when there are relationships and personal feelings tied up in the process? D is a Running to Win listener who writes, do I commit a sin if I sing at a person's wedding who's getting married for the second time with a different woman than his former wife? Will I be punished by God for taking part in the wedding?

Well, D, your question I know is a very good one and it's been faced by many, many people and I've often been asked similar circumstances and a similar question. First of all, let me say that there are instances where I think that you can sing at a wedding where someone who is divorced is being remarried because I take the point of view that sometimes it is possible for a person to remarry after divorce without sinning and that's a separate story, but as I read between the lines on your letter, maybe what you are saying is that this person is simply consummating an immoral relationship. Maybe what you are saying is that you cannot at all agree with a person that your friend is marrying. If that's the case, then you have a real dilemma on your hands and I would say to some extent it is a matter of conscience, but if you sing at this wedding, it does imply that you are giving approval to this wedding. Even though you're not tying the knot, it appears as if you are giving approval to what is happening and because of that, I think it is a matter of conscience. If you in the depths of your soul cannot support this wedding, you believe it is a mistake, you believe it is adulterous, then I don't think that you should sing.

If on the other hand, you look at this wedding and you may not agree with a person who is being married to the spouse that they have chosen, but still it is an honorable relationship, the person being married has sought counsel and guidance, even though it's different from yours, then maybe you can sing because you can say to yourself, I'm not the one who is tying the knot. I'm here for my friend and so before God, you have to follow your conscience. There's another part of your question though that is a little troubling to me. You end by saying, will I be punished by God for taking part in the wedding? D, I don't think God is in heaven just waiting for an opportunity to punish us. If you seek God regarding the answer to your question and then follow your conscience, even if you do the second best, then God understands. God does not judge us line by line, vengeance for vengeance. What he does is he deals with us as his children and disciplines us and brings us through the discipline. So I think you also have to look at God differently. Well, I know that I've given you some information here that which may not be entirely clear because I don't think that the issue itself is.

The bottom line is seek God, seek counsel and follow your conscience and be obedient to it. Thank you D for your question. Dr. Lutzer, thank you for your answer. If you'd like to hear your question answered, you can go to our website at rtwoffer.com and click on Ask Pastor Lutzer or call us at 1-888-218-9337. That's 1-888-218-9337.

You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60614. Sometimes every instinct we have runs counter to what the Bible says to do. That's especially true of reconciliation. But the Bible says bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse. Next time, some hard lessons on resolving conflict and helping ourselves and others get over past injustices. For Pastor Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-29 02:38:40 / 2024-05-29 02:47:19 / 9

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