“When we are going through desperate, difficult times, the hardest thing can be hearing the voices of condemnation, rejection, and shame from others. The Enemy – the accuser of our brothers – loves to use people to kick us in the stomach when we’re down. The Enemy loves to use our sin to condemn us rather than allow us to hear the conviction of the Holy Spirit . . . Jesus silences the condemning voices and commands them to leave. Listen to the kindness in His voice as He says in John 8:10-11.”
God Knows My Name:
Never Forgotten, Forever Loved
"A real Christian would never find herself in that position."
"If you only had enough faith, this would not have happened."
"He doesn't care about the details of your life!"
"Why would God rescue you? You made this bed, now you have to lie in it."
How I wish that those were all hypothetical statements! But they are not. They have all been heard by me in the midst of difficult times. They have all been spoken by well-meaning friends, wanting to help guide me to improvement. They all hurt, a lot.
Before I become sanctimonious that they were so wrong I must confess something. I, too, have said similar (if not worse) things to my friends when they were hurting. Under the guise of a helping word, I can unwittingly become part of Satan's plan to bruise and batter. Condemnation comes easy, especially when it is dressed up in the pretty clothes of advice. No matter the motivation behind the words, condemnation hurts.
Hear instead the words of love.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
But I call to God,
and the LORD saves me.
Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.
He ransoms me unharmed
from the battle waged against me,
even though many oppose me.
Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall.
~Psalm 55:16-18, 22~
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.
Dear readers, let the truth of God's word seep into your souls. No matter what mistakes we make, no matter how far asunder we fall, He loves us more than we can ever imagine. His love draws us to himself and he will rescue us in our day of trouble. He has already taken on the condemnation of our sin and conquered it. We need to trust him to care for us the way he has promised.
Father forgive me when I doubt your care. Forgive me when I say unkind and unhelpful things to those who are hurting. Just as you are the rescuer in my life and you are poured into my life through others, help me to be the vessel used to rescue those trapped in condemnation. Let me be a tool for healing. Amen.
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