Archive for September, 2012

Fuel for the Fire, #33: HEALER of the BROKEN

Monday, September 24th, 2012

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted

and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18 NIV    

Life hurts sometimes… In fact, everyone deals with some pain, disappointment, and the stresses and strains of life.  However, sometimes the trials we face hurt deeper and extend longer than our ability to cope.  Our hearts wind up feeling like a rubber band that was stretched too far for too long – and now it won’t snap back into shape. 

We’re not talking about the “I can’t find my car keys” sort of trial, but deep waters – like the betrayal of a spouse or dear friend, the loss of a loved one, being rejected by a child who has strayed from the Lord, an extended period of serious illness, or the agony of long-held dreams and desires that grow less likely with each passing year. 

Such things can leave our hearts feeling broken… If you’re there right now, let’s meditate on what our Father has said about how He heals the broken, and let’s receive by faith His healing and restoration in our souls:

1: The Messiah’s Mission ~ Healing the brokenhearted is intrinsic to Jesus’ very mission.  He is not only the great and awesome Savior and mighty Deliverer; He is also the Healer of our souls:

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,

Because He has anointed Me

To preach the gospel to the poor;

He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to the captives,

And recovery of sight to the blind,

To set as liberty those who are oppressed;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.  

Luke 4:18-19 NKJV

Yesterday, today, and forever, Jesus is the same Healer who walked in Galilee nearly 2,000 years ago.  Come to Him like the hurting ones did back then – aware of your need, believing His power, and casting your case into His heart of love.  Jesus is YOUR Healer… Receive His healing love now. 

2: The Father’s Heart~ Sometimes our hearts can translate the trials of life, attacks of the enemy, and opposition by the wicked into this message: “Your Father doesn’t love you… He’s not watching over you… He doesn’t care for you as He should.”  While our mind knows that isn’t true, our hearts tend to run on emotion – not logic.  So allow the following truth to refresh and heal your heart: 

 

For His unfailing love toward those who fear Him is as great

as the height of the heavens above the earth. 

He has removed our rebellious acts as far away from us

as the east is from the west. 

The Lord is like a father to His children,

tender and compassionate to those who fear Him. 

For He understands how weak we are;

He knows we are only dust.

Psalm 103:11-14 NLT

Yes, we suffer sometimes – but never due to having a cold, heartless Father who fails to protect or love us.  The Father who gave His sinless Son to die in our place is surely watching over our lives in unfailing love.  And He will pour out that love like a healing balm on our hearts if we ask Him with childlike faith. 

3: The Shepherd who Restores ~

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 

He makes me lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul

Psalm 23:1-3 NASB

Restoring your soul… In Hebrew, the word for “soul” is “nefesh” – and it really means “your entire self, entire person; your inner being”.  God’s promise is to restore (meaning, “to return to wholeness, to make right again”) your inner being, your entire person.  How shall this happen?  He restores us and makes us whole:

  1. By His love
  2. By His Spirit
  3. By His Word

His Word renews and instructs our minds, His love refreshes and heals our weary souls and wounded hearts, and His Spirit pours out revival on our faith so we can believe in the wisdom, goodness, and perfection of our Father’s plan for us. 

His plan for your life may have allowed times of deep suffering… But the healing He intends through such hardships is ordained for greater glory for Jesus, greater good for others, and greater blessing in your life. 

For Prayer: Father, I ask for the healing balm of Jesus’ love to be shed abroad on the hearts and minds of hurting ones reading this devotional… I ask for Your Spirit to quicken their faith, that they may believe Your love and Your promises again.  And I ask that You would reveal Your heart to them in such a deep way that their trust in You grows deeper and their fellowship becomes sweeter with You than ever before.  Glorify Your Name through our lives, Abba.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.” 

May God pour out His healing love in you and through you this week,

Pastor Matthew Casey

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2012

A righteous man may have many troubles,

but the Lord delivers him from them all…

 

 

Fuel for the Fire, #32: ALL by FAITH!

Monday, September 10th, 2012

When Christians Are Miserable 🙁 

REALITY: There are countless multitudes of American Christians who have Bibles, go to church, and believe in Jesus, yet their lives are largely and routinely void of God’s love, joy, and peace.  They are, as David Wilkerson put it, “Miserable Christians.”    

OUCH!  But we’ve probably all experienced this phenomenon at some point… And some of us are stuck there right now.  So what’s the problem?    

We KNOW in our heads that God has the love, joy, and peace that we all need…

 But somewhere along our Christian journey we stopped actively believing it.

And without an active belief and expectation in God’s promises, we don’t see those promises have their intended impact in our lives.  It must be “mixed with faith” in our hearts to produce the desired result (see Hebrews 4:2). 

Paul made an amazing statement about God’s Word in 1 Thessalonians 2:13 (emphasis mine)

“…the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.”

God’s Word “works” (“energeo” in the Greek) in a powerful, effectual, grace-infusing way in the heart that actively believes its promises.  Just “knowing it’s true” in our heads isn’t enough – that doesn’t bring the fruit of God’s peace, power, and Presence to bear in our lives. 

Think of how you got saved – you heard the promise of forgiveness of sin and eternal life, and you believed it was for you!  And that faith led to action – you repented, prayed, and received.  The result was the greatest miracle in the world – a life translated from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of God! 

But we must go on the same way we began – with active, vibrant faith that produces action in our lives.  Oftentimes the strains and stresses of life, the monotony of daily routine, and the emptiness of much religious experience all tend to sap the vitality and sharpness of our faith.  We wind up dull and drudging along, without ever meaning to do so. 

Then we unintentionally become passive in our faith, substituting mere “head knowledge” and mental ascent for a dynamic, living, experiential knowledge of God’s promises.  The result?  Staleness of faith, stagnancy of vision, and the absence of the love, joy, and peace Jesus promised us. 

SO, I’m going to quote a few promises from God’s Word about LOVE, PEACE, and JOY that we’ve probably all heard many times… But I ask you to cry out to God (as an expression of faith) for His Spirit to make these truths fresh, powerful, and alive in your life this very week

LOVE:

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

John 15:9 NIV

We love Him because He first loved us.

1 John 4:19 NKJV

PEACE:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27 NIV

JOY:

I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy.

Yes, your joy will overflow!

John 15:11 NLT

Let’s remember this essential truth, my brothers and sisters:

But without faith it is impossible to please Him,

for he who comes to God must believe that He is,

and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

For Prayer:  “Father, please revive and quicken my faith right now ~ send Your Spirit, refresh my expectation in Your promises, renew my focus, and send revival to my life.  Help me believe those great and precious promises You have made me in Your Word, and restore my unswerving confidence in Your love for me.  Show Your power in and through my life, and use me to bless others.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!”  

May the Lord refresh your heart this week,

Pastor Matthew Casey

 

© 2012, Springs of Life Ministries