Jesus Can Heal Our Broken Hearts
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - August 17, 2014
*One of the biggest news stories this past week was the tragic death of actor Robin Williams. Millions of Americans were stunned and saddened by his unexpected death.
*Part of that reaction came from the fact that Robin took his own life. But most of the sadness came from the connection people felt with Mr. Williams'. Over his long, successful career, Robin Williams entertained a lot of people. Most of us have seen some of his movies, like: "Good Morning, Vietnam", "Dead Poets Society", "Good Will Hunting", "Hook" and "Jumanji", plus animated films "Aladdin" and "Happy Feet". Robin Williams was a highly talented actor and comedian. He won all kinds of awards for his work, and earned tons of money.
*That was another reason for people's sadness, because on the surface, Robin was somebody who seemed to have it all. But there was a dark side to his life that included broken marriages, depression, drug addiction and alcoholism. According to some reports, he was also facing bankruptcy, and he had been diagnosed with early stage Parkinson's disease. (1)
*People around us may seem to have it all together, but all of us have problems, and hearts get broken. Heartbreaking news can come to us from out of nowhere, and hearts get broken. But Jesus Christ can heal our broken hearts!
1. How does He do it? -- First of all, by setting us free from our past.
*Jesus Christ can set us free from our past mistakes. And all of us need to be set free, because the pain in our lives is not just caused by the devil. It's not just caused by other people who sometimes hurt us, or by sickness or accidents.
*Sometimes our pain is brought on by our own sin and selfishness. We get trapped and oppressed by our own sins. King David was in this kind of pain in Psalm 25, and there he prayed:
1. To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2. O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me.
3. Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.
4. Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths.
5. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.
6. Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, For they have been from of old.
7. Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; According to Your mercy remember me, For Your goodness' sake, O Lord.
*In Psalm 25, David also prayed:
16. Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me, For I am desolate and afflicted.
17. The troubles of my heart have enlarged; Oh, bring me out of my distresses!
18. Look on my affliction and my pain, And forgive all my sins.
*David needed to be forgiven and released from the pain of his own sins. And the only person who can do that is Jesus Christ! So here in Luke 4:18, when Jesus went to the synagogue in Nazareth, He read about Himself from the OT Book of Isaiah. And Jesus said:
18. "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 heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed."
*Instead of "oppressed," the KJV says "to set at liberty them that are bruised." But the idea behind this word is not someone with a little bruise. It's someone broken in pieces, shattered, crushed. Albert Barnes tells us it means those who are "pressed down" by great calamity," or whose hearts are crushed by the consciousness of sin. (2)
*But Jesus Christ really does have good news for us today! He really did come to heal the brokenhearted. He really did come to preach deliverance to the captives. He came to set at liberty all those who are oppressed. And oh how we need His help!
*King Duncan once said this about sin's oppression: "We are oppressed by our inability to free ourselves from the burden of sin. Anyone who's ever struggled with a habit that resisted breaking, anyone who has left good resolutions unkept, anyone who's been cruel when they would have been kind, lazy when they would have been productive, or short-tempered when they should have been patient, knows the oppressive power of sin.
*There is only one remedy for such oppression, and that it is to accept the free gift of God's grace. As the great hymn says: 'Come, every soul by sin oppressed; there's mercy with the Lord.'
*Christ's message here in Luke 4 is for us, for in a very real sense WE are the poor, the captive, the blind and the oppressed. We are those for whom Christ gave his life on the cross.
*Some misguided people may think that Jesus died for just the "bad" people, the scum of the earth, perhaps, but not us. Why do we need a Savior? We're all in the upper half of the class. We're all above average." (3)
*But God's truth is that all of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God. All of us had a desperate need for a Savior. All of us needed to be set free from our sins. And Jesus Christ is the only one who can save us, the only one who could die on the cross for our sins, the only one who could rise again from the dead!
*Jesus is the only One who can save you. And He will save you, if you will turn your life over to the Lord and put your trust in Him.
*Sadly, most of the people in Nazareth rejected the Lord. In vs. 22, they began to doubt the Lord's authority. And starting in vs. 24, Jesus rebuked them for their pride and unbelief. But rather than repent, these hard-hearted people flew into a violent rage toward Jesus. We see their murderous anger down in vs. 28-30:
28. Then all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
29. and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff.
30. Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.
*Those foolish people rejected the Lord, and even tried to kill Him. But if you will receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you will get the most wonderful relationship you can ever have in life. Jesus Christ will be your best friend. His Father will be your Heavenly Father. And God will set you free.
*Jesus can heal our hearts by setting us free from our past.
2. He can also heal our hearts by giving us a new perspective on life.
*Again in vs. 18, Jesus said:
18. "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 heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind. . ."
*One of the greatest miracles Jesus ever did was restore sight to blind eyes. For example, in Matthew 20:30-34:
30. . . Behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, "Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!''
31. Then the multitude warned them that they should be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, "Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!''
32. So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, "What do you want Me to do for you?''
33. They said to Him, "Lord, that our eyes may be opened.''
34. So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.
*In John 9, Jesus even healed a man who was born blind. But there is blindness in our world far darker than physical blindness could ever be. Paul talked about this spiritual blindness in 2 Corinthians 4, where he said:
3. . . Even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
4. whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
*Most people in our world are as spiritually blind as they can be. But when we see Jesus with our spiritual eyes, He helps us see all of life in a brand new way. And the more we see Jesus, the more we live in the light of God's Word, the more we will see what really matters in life.
*But lost people aren't the only people who need to see better. Christians can be blind in a way too. We need to see better. And this spiritual vision is so vital that the Lord stressed it with strong language in Revelation 3.
*There our risen Savior sent a message to the lukewarm church in Laodicea. And Jesus said:
14. . . "To the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, 'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:
15. I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.
16. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth.
17. Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked
18. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see."
*And the more we see Jesus, the more we will see what really matters in life. Kaitlin Boyda was an amazing example of seeing the things that matter. She was a vivacious 16-year-old girl from Canada, a delightful Christian girl, with great inward beauty.
*But in 2009, Kaitlin was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. The final year-and-a-half of her life was spent fighting against the cancer's effects. In 2010, the Children's Wish Foundation gave her the opportunity to do something special with her family. Kaitlin loved to snowboard and considered a boarding trip to New Zealand. But ultimately she decided to use her wish to help poverty stricken children in Uganda.
*Kaitlin asked that the money set-aside for her be used to dig a well so those children could have clean water. Her generosity inspired others to give. And 21 water projects were completed to help thousands of people in Uganda.
*Before she died at the age of 17, Kaitlin said, "Even though I don't want to be sick. If I wasn't, I wouldn't have received this wish. And others wouldn't have wanted to help. And all of these children wouldn't have benefited. We are only on earth for so long, and we need to make an effort for other people. . . Don't take any day for granted."
*Her mother, Brenda Boyda, said, "Everyone always thinks in order to change the world you have to be someone who stands out in a crowd, be the best in school, or the one who wins all the races. But Kaitlin has changed the world for more than 40,000 lives. -- just by being obedient to God." (4)
*Kaitlin could have wallowed in bitterness over her terrible illness. -- But she had the right perspective on life. And the Lord can heal our hearts by giving us a new perspective.
3. Jesus can also heal our hearts by giving His presence in our lives.
*In the first part of vs. 18, Jesus said: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me." And when our risen Savior returned to Heaven, God sent His Holy Spirit in a new way to live in the hearts of all true Christians. So now, when you trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, He sends His Holy Spirit into your heart to give you the comfort and help you in life.
*On the night before He died on the cross for us, Jesus put it this way in John 14:16-18:
16. . . "I will pray the Father, and He will give you another (Comforter or) Helper, that He may abide with you forever,
17. even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
18. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you."
*D.L. Moody said, "You might as well try to hear without ears, or breathe without lungs, -- as try to live a Christian life without the Spirit of God in your heart." (5)
*All four Gospels tell us that when Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit came down upon Him in the form of a dove. So the church began to use a descending dove as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. And James Moore said, "The early Christians in creating this symbol were very wise to show the dove descending, because peace does indeed come from above. Inner peace, -- the poise, the serenity, the courage, the confidence to meet life and its troubles with steady eyes comes from the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts." (6)
*God's presence makes all the difference in the world. We can see this truth in the testimony of a Christian friend from West Monroe. Janis, Mary and I have known this lady for years. She loves the Lord. She is also very smart, talented, and fully committed to the Lord's Church.
*Please listen to part of her testimony:
-"To look at me you'd think 'She never has any problems.' -- And you'd be pretty close to right. I feel I've been the most blessed person on the planet. (But) a year or so after our first child was born I became very ill. After several months of tests they found out I had clinical depression.
*This was back when not as much was known about it and it wasn't talked about. In fact, I had heard that Christians didn't get depressed and if they did for any period of time there was something spiritually wrong.
*Why should I be depressed? -- There was absolutely no reason. Everything was great. I had a beautiful baby girl, a wonderful husband, great friends, great church family, and most of all I felt closer to my Savior than I ever had. But I wanted to die.
*I was very confused but thankfully God provided modern medicine and I got better, in fact I felt better than I had in years. . . Well, fast forward about ten years. We found out we were expecting our second child and for the first time, I had to get off my medication.
*I wasn't worried because I was told pregnancy was a natural anti depressant. It wasn't for me. To make a long story as short as possible, I was pretty sick by the time I delivered (our little girl). But, because I wanted to nurse her like I had (her sister), I did not resume my medicine when she was born, against the advice of my doctor and my husband.
*I have to say that (he) was absolutely wonderful through all this. He would have literally given his life to have made me better – but he couldn't.
*After about three months of struggling and getting progressively worse, of being mad at God for making me like this, of asking Him why I couldn't just be a normal mother and nurse my child without having to go through this, Of asking Him 'What did I do to deserve this?' I started saying things to myself like 'They'd be better off without me. I was a mistake. God why don't you just take me now? If I crash the car they'll have to go through the hassle of getting a new one, so I guess I'll have to find another way.'
*You see, the best way I can describe severe depression is a living death. And you don't think rationally when you're in the middle of that. You don't think: 'Just get back on the medicine.'
*I was still dealing with the idea that Christians don't take pills to feel better. I was defective. So one day when (my husband) had the baby, I sneaked away to the bathroom with pen and paper and a bottle of pills. I wrote a letter to him and (my older daughter) telling them how much I loved them and how this wasn't their fault. And then I told them to tell (our new baby) how much her mama loved her.
*That's when I stopped. (She) wouldn't remember me. I dropped everything and I fell on my knees on the floor. I looked up and I cried out "God, help me!" -- No long fancy prayers, – just "God, help me!"
*Now I can't tell you that I heard His voice. And I can't tell you I felt Him saying, 'Okay, here's what you need to do,' or that my depression started to go away that day. But what I felt wash over me was something I can't explain. It was total comfort and peace. It was like I was leaning into the bosom of Jesus, and He had His arms around me, and He was saying, 'I know, I know. Just rest here a while and let me love you.'
*Yes, I got back on my medicine, and yes, praise God, I got better quickly. And I do encourage people to read about depression or whatever your problem is from a Christian perspective, and talk to Godly people about it.
*But that day when I wanted to end my life, my salvation, (my comfort, my peace) came not from a pill, or a book, or even a friend, but from Him. Give me Jesus."
*All Christians go through times of heartache and trouble. But we never have to suffer alone. Christians: God will always be with us, and one reason why is because Jesus Christ wants to heal our broken hearts.
*Let Him start in your heart right now. Put your trust in Jesus. Receive Him as Lord and Savior. In just a moment we will pray and you can call on the Lord to save you.
*And remember that Jesus Christ can heal your broken heart. As our West Monroe friend said: "My salvation, (my comfort, my peace) came not from a pill, or a book, or even a friend, but from Him. Give me Jesus."
*Would you please bow for prayer.
(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Williams - 08152014
(2) Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible - Luke 4:18
(3) Adapted from Sermons.com sermon "Jesus and the Lake Wobegon Effect" by King Duncan - Luke 4:14-30
(4) To maximize the use of this illustration, utilize the 4-minute video clip at vimeo.com66074999 - Compassion Explorer, Special Edition 2014, p.13; TheRebelution.comblog201306 - Source: "IN OTHER WORDS" - July 2014 #2 by Dr. Raymond McHenry - 6130 Barrington - Beaumont, Texas 77706 (409) 866-2111 www.iows.net
(5) SermonCentral sermon "The Helper" by Johnny Carver - John 14:15-21
(6) Sermons.com "God Works Inside Out" by James Moore and Brett Blair - Acts 2 1 21 - 05302004