Title: LET THE HEALING START WHERE YOU ARE
Text: Hebrews 4:11-16
Have you ever been hurting so bad that you can’t pray? I have. I was still reeling from the recent pain of losing my mother to cancer, my son’s life was in the balance from fighting cancer and a leg amputation, I was betrayed by friends and fired as a pastor, we lost our health insurance coverage, and I was plunged into 10.5 months of unemployment…all without a home church for support…the church that said they didn’t want me any more. One of those hurtful days I took a walk around the park across the street from our house. I paused, sitting on the park bench weeping. I prayed the only prayer I could at the time: “God, I hurt!” Though I couldn’t recognize it at the time, God’s healing had already begun it’s work and that experience has propelled me into a whole avenue of ministry that has been more affective for the Kingdom of God than I had been as a pastor. I have since dropped the title and taken up the servant’s towel.
There’s a passage that has taken on immeasurable meaning for me since that day in the park. It’s a passage that revealed to me that God’s healing can start right where you are…not after you have pulled yourself together and can pray more than three words. We’re going to explore how that is possible. Read Text.
1. 4:11 The healing starts when we find God’s place of rest. What is His rest? Ps. 37:7 How do we enter that rest? Matt. 11:28 What keeps people from finding that place of rest? Isa. 30:15
Insight: Pain shouts so loudly that sometimes our ears are deaf to the gentle call of the Lord to enter His rest. Sometimes what is needed is a compassionate friend to take us by the hand and walk us into that garden of rest. Confidence in a God that is able to hold all things together makes that place of rest real.
2. What assurance do you have from 4:12 that God is able to fully sympathize with our feeble three-word prayers?
Insight: If the Word of God can divide thoughts from intentions, I’m confident that the Living Word, Jesus, fully understands our prayer and our desperate need. The Great Surgeon knows how to open our soul and see what’s really inside.
3. In the midst of deep pain it’s hard to fight off the feelings of abandonment and being alone in your struggle. How does 4:13 help to calibrate those thoughts? Ps. 33:13-14
Insight: You might as well come to God totally unmasked, because there’s nothing He doesn’t know about you. If you talk to Him about how you are honestly feeling, He’s not going to say, “Oh, really? I’m so surprised!” Our feeble prayers are not to tell something God doesn’t already know…it’s so that we can open up our heart to His restoration and healing. He only goes where He is invited. Be real…be honest. Start where you really are…not where you think you’re supposed to be. Then the Lord will take you to where you need to be.
4. When life events shake you so strongly, sometimes it’s hard to hold onto your faith. For me it wasn’t loosing my faith as much as it was loosing my calling. What reassurance is there in 4:14-15 for the one who is shaken?
Insight: Our High Priest is not removed far away in the monastery…the fact is that He is in the trenches with us. Your struggle is His struggle. But holding His hand has one great advantage…He made it all the way through His struggle and passed through the heavens…where He can intercede for you. Rom. 8:26
5. Having led us through the swamp of despair and pain, the Hebrew writer now invites us to enter the throne room with something. What is it according to 4:16?
Insight: My pain is not too great that the arms of compassion and the lap of mercy can’t capture my hurt and hold me tight through this storm. It’s a throne of mercy that He invites us to come confidently before…enough mercy to heal the deepest wound…it only has to be received. Heb. 13:5-6
Psalm 30:5 “Weeping may last for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” God doesn’t try to deny or ignore the pain we have, or the tears, or the grief. The Word of God says otherwise…He sees your tears, felt your tears, and stores them in a bottle. (Ps. 56:8)
The good news is that He has also planned your celebration of healing. Just as it was for Mary & Martha who grieved over the loss of Lazarus…our compassionate Savior is the Lord of the resurrection who knows this too shall pass and will say to our friends in celebration…”Take off the burial clothes…he lives!!!!” Jesus delayed his journey to Bethany because he was planning something much better than a healing…it was a resurrection!
What we are facing right now may seem to be the end, but the deep love and strength of the Father says, “Hang on…rejoicing comes in the morning! Let my healing power into your soul and rest in Me!” Our broken spirit coupled with a single step towards resting in God is all that is needed to become a catalyst for a powerful move of God. Just take one step from where you are…step into the shade of His rest.