Comforted At Last

7 12 2013

The “principle of first mention” is important when reading Scripture. If we want to understand something better, we go to the first time it’s mentioned in the Bible. There we will discover many important details that help us get a clearer picture.

So when we find the first mention of Jesus reading Scripture in the synagogue, we need to note what took place.

It says in Luke 4 that Jesus stood up to read. The book of Isaiah was handed to Him.

Then it states, “and He found the place where it was written…”

Jesus chose what He would read. There was intentionality in the passage He selected.

So, what was written, you ask? Check this out:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,

because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives

and recovery of sight to the blind,

to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. (vs. 18, 19)

It goes on to say that He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. All the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed upon Him. And He began to say to them,

Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I do not recall anywhere in the Gospels where Jesus led a revolt. I can’t seem to find the section that tells how He gathered together a band of mighty men to storm a fortress and release prisoners.

Either He failed to fulfill His mission…or He meant something else entirely. I vote for the latter. 🙂

This begs the question: What did He mean by “captives” or the “oppressed”?

If I had the time to develop this, I could make an excellent case from the New Testament of people whose captivity is not physical, but mental. Let me give just one example:

This from 2 Timothy 3, speaking of godless people who “have a form of godliness but deny its power”:

“For of this sort are those who creep into households

and make captives

of gullible women loaded down with sins…

In context, this is obviously NOT about women being physically imprisoned. Instead, it is the mind which has been enslaved.

Grief is one area where captivity takes place. Left unattended, it will immobilize a person. They might as well be incarcerated!

Today we say,

“ENOUGH!”

We learn from Jesus Himself that He cares deeply about our heart. He came to set us free, and it is for freedom that we have been made free. Let’s get to it!

The first thing we must know is that we cannot do this on our own. We will need help, for we read in John 8:36:

“If the Son makes you free

you shall be free indeed.”

We already read that this was Jesus’ focus during His earthly ministry (Luke 4 above), which takes the guesswork out of emotional healing. This is His desire for everyone.

I find it interesting that Jesus presented the truth in a “take-it-or-leave-it” fashion. He taught the crowds, then left the decision up to them. They didn’t sing “Just As I Am” dozens of times at the end of each message!

He still does this. You’re being presented with material right now that can lead you to freedom. It’s yours for the taking. After all, this is 2013 A.D. …Anno Domini…the year of our Lord [‘s favor!].

This can be the year the Lord acts on your behalf…

…if you want it!

It will take co-operation with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. You should prayerfully select a mature believer to help you along the way – someone who’s gone through the healing process would be best.

Begin with conversation with the Lord. Invite Him to do His work – to lead you in a way that will be specifically for you. 

Start a Grief Journal. You needn’t make lengthy entries, just a place to jot down whatever the Lord brings to mind. If you prefer, you can write letters to God. Whatever works for you.

Name the issue…write it plain: “This is what happened…..and this is how I feel about it.” Jesus doesn’t want us to relive our pain and be re-wounded, but He does want us to face it…name it.

Oh, and don’t think it has to be some major injury. Nothing is too small to take to the Lord.

Ask Him questions: “What else is going on in there, Lord? Tell me more.”

Own your “grieving season.” Make an appointment with the Lord. If this is going to happen, you must be intentional, and it will take an uninterrupted block of time. Just how much time, I can’t say…it could be minutes – and could be a couple of hours.

Some of our wounds are deep ones. The grieving process may leave you feeling sad for a few days. Don’t be discouraged. Continue to talk to the Lord about what’s going on inside. If you don’t talk out loud to Him as if He were right next to you (although He NEVER leaves us!), now is the time.

There’s no set “posture” for these conversations. If you believe God only listens when you’re on your knees or on your face, or sitting with your eyes closed and hands folded, I have great news for you: He listens even when we’re driving down the road with our eyes wide open!

“King James prayers” are not a requirement, either. I’ve discovered (although I’m embarrassed to admit this) that He overlooks four-letter words and shouting. I’ve had temper tantrums that I thought would get me “zapped” for sure. I was wrong.

The most important point of all is this:

Expect results!

The beauty of a journal (kept private, of course) is that when the process is over, you can burn it as a sort of “offering” back to the Lord. I don’t know how this works, but everything I’ve ever prayed through and burned in this way lost its power over me.

I want to close with this quote from Henri Nouwen:

“Yes, we must mourn our losses. We cannot talk or act them away, but we can shed tears over them and allow ourselves to grieve deeply. To grieve is to allow our losses to tear apart feelings of security and safety and lead us to the painful truth of our brokenness…

“But in the midst of all this pain, there is a strange, yet very surprising voice of the One who says, “Blessed are those that mourn, for they SHALL be comforted.’ That is the unexpected news:

there is a blessing hidden in our grief.

“Not those who comfort are blessed, but those who mourn! Somehow in the midst of our tears a gift is hidden. Somehow in the midst of our mourning, the first steps of the dance take place. Somehow, the cries that well up from our losses belong to our songs of gratitude.”

From The Way of the Heart

I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry.

He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay,

and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.

He has put a new song in my mouth –

Praise to our God;

Many will see it and fear,

and will trust in the Lord.

Psalm 40:1-3

This long post was a very brief overview! If you have any questions, you can e-mail me: batransformed1@yahoo.com.

As you seek the Lord for healing in this way, may you find Him to be a faithful Healer – as I have.

My life will never be the same, thanks to His tender care. 🙂

*****

This concludes the Obstacles section of Intimacy with God. Next time we’ll look at ways to develop our relationship with our Abba.

***

You’ve dropped in on the series Intimacy with God. It begins here: C’mon In…

This section is about loss and grief as obstacles to intimacy. It begins with Plastic Hearts

The section on Living by the Rules starts here: Where Image Is Everything

Learn about other Obstacles to Intimacy here: A Clogged Conduit

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8 responses

8 12 2013
worthless_romantic

Missed you today. I appreciate all the input you have and I read every post.

9 12 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks, dear brother. I’m struggling {again}, but I’m in good hands, for they are God’s.

See you tonight?

\o/

7 12 2013
Susan Irene Fox

Thankfully, God listens no matter what we are feeling. As long as we are honest with Him, He accepts our emotions, our state of mind, our joy, our grief, our anger, our confusion, even our doubt.

BTW, I pray often in my car. Don’t know why – I think it’s because I know I am alone with Him, and I feel comfortable praying aloud. I have lengthy conversations while driving, and it’s always a comfort to know He’s right there with me.

7 12 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

7 12 2013
Heidi Viars

anything that draws us closer to the Lord is a blessing … Grief can be that blessing… thanks for this reminder today, Tami!

7 12 2013
lessonsbyheart

I was taken aback when the teacher pointed out that if we don’t mourn, the Comforter has no room in which to work. That was a revolutionary thought for me. 🙂

\o/

7 12 2013
inthepottershands988

That’s a wonderful thought, Tami. It reminds me of an old Bryan Duncan song where he says, “Blessed are the tears that fall and clean the windows of the soul”. I think you’re right. If we don’t allow a time of mourning, we make no room for the Comforter to come in. Thank you for this post! 🙂

7 12 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

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