Monday, October 8, 2018

Grace: The Antidote for the Hurt

11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.” Acts 15:11 NKJV

 We've begun a new series of study on the great Grace of God. Specifically, we are focused on the healing, delivering and renewing power Grace provides once received within our hearts. Grace is the antidote for anything that afflicts or brings torment. 

 In this life, we experience joy, peace, and comfort. We all have experienced victory and triumph in our lifetime even in the smallest circumstance. Be it something as simple as finding a good parking space at the mall, to something as profound as people escaping tyrannical governments. Point is we all have things to be thankful for. 

 That said, we must also acknowledge sometimes there are challenges to living life on this planet. Especially challenging is when those we trust bring us pain. Certainly, I can acknowledge we as finite beings can allow our emotions to rule a situation and "feel" hurts. Circumstances where the Pastor didn't shake your hand or the situation didn't turn out exactly like you wanted. 

 Sure, in those times, we know when we are honest we may have just misread the situation and need to realize people didn't go out of their way to make our life difficult. These are things that we through growth, maturity, and managing our emotions overcome and find a better way to navigate feelings and expectations. However, there are real and genuine hurts and painful experiences that we need to receive healing and wholeness from.

 I said all that because often when we bring our pain to others sometimes these situations are dismissed as us being too emotional or too wrapped up in our feelings. When our pain has been dismissed these hurts and wounds begin to fester and they create anger and morph into bitterness. God wants to heal our hurts not dismiss them as imaginary or us overreacting.

 Jesus is the person of Grace. He is there for us when life brings about pain and misery. Today, I want to address the real pain religion and tradition afflict upon the masses. There are so many who have been hurt and mistreated by the traditions of men. 

 For instance, there is a tradition that divorce is the unpardonable sin. That if you divorce and the ex is still alive and you remarry then you are committing adultery. Sadly, so many churches and ministries adopt this view. 

 Their tradition so blinds them that they even insist on women who are in a physically or even sexually abusive situation with their husband that they must remain married. Sure separate they say, but you must not divorce. You must wait, (for an undetermined amount of time, until you die?) for that husband to change, and you must not divorce and definitely never remarry.  This is not Good News. God cares about our wholeness, not us upholding some tradition of man.

 If you've been hurt by religion and tradition I have great news. Jesus is the healer of the hurt. Did you know how Jesus deals with the hurts religion afflicts? We don't have to guess because the Gospels record Jesus dealing with this exact situation. 

 If you read John 9 the entire chapter,  you will see an exciting event unfold. What we see is Jesus encountering a man who was born blind. Now before we proceed, let's quickly address a tradition that has been formulated. 

 The disciples ask was the person born blind because of sin? That is the person's own sin or his parents? Jesus dismisses this nonsense and just proves His goodness and brings wholeness. God didn't cause the man to be born blind just so later in life Jesus could heal him. I believe God is Almighty and magnificent. He is not a weak, puny, pathetic god. He doesn't need to make one sick just to heal him. See more about this here

 Jesus heals the man and you would think there would be rejoicing and gladness. No, among the religious there was strife and variance. Some doubted the miracle, so they brought this man to the Pharisees, the religious leaders. Were they happy that a man born blind can now see? No, they were angry because their traditions were trampled on and that didn't sit well with them.

 The religious leaders doubted, questioned his integrity and even brought his parents before them. They began to intimidate his parents who had fears of excommunication. When the man reaffirmed the truth that he was once blind but can now see, and gave glory to Jesus, they became enraged. He told them once again of this great miracle. He once again gave glory to Jesus. They called him a no good sinner and excommunicated him.

 All this man did was receive a miracle from God and rejoice and give the glory to Jesus. Yet he had his integrity questioned. He and his family were intimidated. He was labeled a sinner and then removed from fellowship. That is a lot of pain inflicted upon him by religious leaders. Let's see Jesus' actual response.

35 Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.” 38 And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him. John 9:35-38 NASB

 Look at the response of Jesus the person of Grace. He heard they kicked him out. Jesus is attentive to the plight of this man. In other words, Jesus is looking out for you, you're important to Him. He found the man. This is amazing Grace. Jesus was seeking and searching for this man. Grace found him. He showed him the way and the truth. Jesus brought wholeness and restoration to him. 

 Jesus isn't done. Continue reading. 
39 And Jesus said, For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” 40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” 41 Jesus said to them, If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains. John 9:39-41 NASB

 Jesus reveals once again He is the Savior of the World, that He is come to save all people from their sins if they simply believe. Then He rebukes religion. Why? Because they are so self-righteous they cannot see their own brokenness and unrighteousness. 

 Grace is the antidote for the hurt and the pain. Whenever religion and tradition bring affliction Grace brings wholeness. When religion questions your worth, Grace reminds you whose you are. Believer, when religion calls you a no good sinner, Grace reminds you that you are the righteousness of God in Christ. When religion calls you unforgiven Grace reminds you that you're forgiven once for all time. When religion tells you that your salvation is uncertain or insecure, Grace reminds you that you are unconditionally eternally secure. Grace is the remedy for all the lies and slander of religion.

 With Jesus as our healer, we must remember not to lash out at other believers. The "institution" of the Church isn't the issue. It's the religious traditions and controlling leadership that is. We must not allow hurts to make us bitter and spiteful and resentful people. 

 Yes, the hurt is real. The pain inflicted upon us by tradition runs deep. Yet, Grace can uncover all the areas we are hurting. Grace can bring wholeness to all areas, even the hurts we refuse to give voice to. We must not allow pain to isolate us. We all need each other. Allow Grace to overtake you. Let His love cascade over you, showering you with healing and wholeness, acceptance, and restoration. 

 In summation, Grace is the antidote for all that afflicts. Tradition and religion seek to control. It seeks to impose its insidious rule over our lives. Under Grace, we are free from the religious traditions of men. We find our help, our hope and our being in His Grace and what His Finished Work made us.
image courtesy of digitalart at

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