RESTORING THE INJURED
Passage: John 9:11, 35
“The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”…Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?’"
Celebrating my seventh birthday with my parents was an event that remains in my mind today because it was my last birthday that we all spent together. They divorced soon after, and I felt completely helpless and devastated. It was something I didn’t want or expect, and I couldn’t do anything to prevent it from happening. As a young child, it was as if the two pillars of my life were being torn apart. I do want to add that I love my parents, feel very grateful for our relationships, and remain close to each of them. I attempted to cope with mental toughness, by excelling in academics and athletics, and getting counseling. Generally, I was working to make sense of my life. While these are not bad coping mechanisms, something was still missing. I share this with you to say; the goodness and grace of God has provided the deepest and most powerful healing for me.
God has more than enough grace to bring you through any of life’s unwanted events! Not only does God have enough grace to bring you through difficulty, but enough to help you place both feet on solid ground. Injuries can remind us of our need for God’s grace and healing touch. Have you experienced any major injuries physically or in your relationships? Unfortunately, many people I have talked with have deep spiritual scars based on how they were treated in a church setting. In John chapter 9, there was a blind man who was healed by Jesus but was rejected by the religious leaders. The Bible says that Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and He went and found the man. The conversation and compassionate words of Jesus brought healing to the wounded man who was struggling in his community. It’s a story that reminds us that acceptance by Jesus can overcome the stinging rejection of people.
Jesus Christ left heaven, was mistreated on earth, died on a cross while being completely innocent of any charge, and willingly paid the full price for our sins. Isn’t it comforting to know that we have a high priest who can relate to our injuries? He is well acquainted with sorrows. As Savior, He is also risen from the grave, is in heaven now, and will return to reign forever as He has promised. Jesus can walk beside us and help us with the details of the issues we face in our lives. He is also able to give us scope and perspective to rise above the level of our problems, give real hope, and offer us new beginnings. The big picture is not daunting to the Lord; in fact He states confidently that He has overcome the sins of the world (John 16:33).
Restoration has been demonstrated in His life, and He is an able restorer today in our challenges! Historically speaking, the church was the most vibrant and experienced the deepest levels of unity when there was an increase in persecution. What are the reasons for that surprising truth? The outward circumstances of our lives don’t have the final say: because of God’s grace, great blessings can emerge from the bleakest situations. We are empowered when we realize we have choices in responding to undesired injuries. Our wounds can become our ability to relate and minister to other people. When you have walked down a path of healing, you will frequently have the privilege of sharing it with someone else. Pain can become a chisel that makes us more like Jesus. Giving God access to our suffering can become a window in which His restoration enters.
1) What injuries and setbacks have you experienced?
2) How can you support someone who has been deeply hurt?
3) What are some of the practical ways Jesus heals people?
Romans 12:17-21. Do what you can to live at peace with everyone.
Hebrews 13:15-18. Respect and share with those in need.
Psalm 133. The Lord’s blessing is on His people who are willing to unite.
Lamentations 3:21-26. God’s mercy is new today; His compassion never fails.
Holy God, You have made it so clear in Your Word that You want love to prevail in our relationships. May Your desires become our desires. Your will be done, not ours. Help me to be a humble person of understanding and healing. Guide me in steps of restoration. I pray this in Your powerful name, Jesus. Amen.
For more from Pastor Jesse Bradley and Activate Media Ministries, visit www.activatelife.org