Sunday, October 14, 2012

Where do we go to find peace and healing

As I search the internet I find so many products that guarantee their product will show dramatic results or that it is the best. I then read the reviews and there seems to always be someone who loves the product and someone who hates it. I'm then left in quandary as to if I want to believe the person who gives it a five star or the person who gave it a one star. Often I just keep looking.

It breaks my heart to know how many people go day after day searching for peace and healing in their lives and never find it. The search often leads down paths that only produce more pain and frustration. But the need for peace and healing is so great that the search must go on.

But I have found in all my searching that there is only one place or better said one person where true healing and peace can be found. And also I have learned that this life is a journey of healing. It doesn't all happen overnight. Just like a physical wound takes time to heal so does the emotional healing of our hearts. But in order for healing to begin we must take the first step of coming to the one who has the ability to heal and bring peace.

Jesus came and lived among us, died and rose again so we could be born again, for in being born again His Spirit could live in us. For thousands of years God's Spirit did not dwell in man but amongst men in the holy of Holies where only one priest could enter once a year. The priest entered with fear and trembling but now Jesus has come and after His resurrection, for the first time in all of history God made His dwelling place the heart of man. He made a way for us to become the righteousness of God, making us pure and holy and blameless. We can now be one with God and His Spirit dwells in the hearts of those who believe.

Jesus died and rose again so we could be forgiven of every sin we have committed and to allow us to be free from the guilt and shame that is connected to our sin. We no longer need to remain in hiding, we can come before God. We don't have to fear being found out or punished because we are clothed in Christ.

No longer must we try to be good enough. In humility we acknowledge our weakness, our brokenness, our sinfulness and our inability to be good enough. We receive the gift of grace and mercy and love that God offers to us.

We acknowledge that we are bankrupt and we come with all the pain from our own sin and the sins others have committed against us. We come and we confess our sins, we let go of the shame and guilt and regret and we allow His grace and love and mercy to heal us. We embrace the truth found in Psalm 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west He has removed our transgressions."  We can then abide in Christ and savor the beauty of Christ living in us.

Because we have been forgiven, loved and reunited with Christ we can love and forgive those who have deeply wounded us and sinned in the most terrible ways against us. In this forgiving of others we can let go, we can find rest and healing. The power of the past offenses done toward us can be broken.

We can live in peace!

As I said earlier life is a journey of healing. Often times we don't even know all the ways our hearts have been wounded and are unaware of the people we need to forgive and the people we need to ask to forgive us for how we have hurt them. But once we begin the journey of living in oneness with God He brings to light the areas that need healing. If we will let Him he will bring us to a place of where we can forgive our enemies and there we will find peace. Forgiving those who have abandoned us, abused us, criticized us and neglected us is one of the most difficult things to do but by the power of Christ living in us we can extend forgiveness and we will release the burden we have carried for so long. Until we forgive we are in a way wanting our enemies to admit they were wrong.We want them to say sorry but sometimes they never will. Sometimes we struggle to forgive them because we think that in forgiving them we are saying what they did or how they acted was okay but that is not what we are doing. In forgiving them we are admitting that what they did was wrong and hurt us but we are no longer letting the pain control us.

Jesus came to make a way for us to be one with God through the forgiveness of our sins by shedding His blood on the cross. And as Isaiah 61:1-3 says in doing so He also came to proclaim good news. The good news is that in His coming He binds up the brokenhearted, proclaims freedom to the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. He proclaims that a day of justice will one day come. He extends comfort to those who mourn, gives a crown of beauty instead of ashes, and gives joy instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of despair. He makes us oaks of righteousness and a place where God's splendor is displayed.  Now that is amazing news. Transformation of the heart and mind is available through Jesus. It begins by believing in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins and then continues for our lifetime as we journey with Him often needing Him to heal our wounded hearts along the way.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners, 
 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn, 
     and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.
Isaiah 61:1-3

Dear Father,

Thank you for your grace and love and mercy. Thank you for saving me from the darkness that once overwhelmed me and for bringing me into the place of freedom. Thank you for bestowing on me a crown of beauty rather than ashes, and for replacing my mourning with joy and for taking the spirit of despair and leaving a garment of praise.  Thank you for the gift of righteousness and for making me clean and pure and for choosing to abide in me.  Thank you for forgiveness and I pray you will help me to humbly forgive those who have hurt me. I pray I will shine brightly for you and be your hands and feet extending grace and mercy and love and sharing the good news of redemption and healing available through the cross.  
In Jesus name I pray, Amen!

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