Fred R. Coulter—June 9, 2007

  Download
 
pdficon small  - PDF | [Up]

Some time ago I said I would do a sermon on how to heal a broken spirit or a broken heart. That’s what we’re going to cover today.

Let’s look at a prophecy of Jesus back in Isa. 61. A lot of us have gone through a lot of things, and I am sure that when we look at some of the difficulties and traumas that people have gone through… You see, a lot of things are also in degree. When we’re suffering and have a difficulty, we think it’s bad, until we see someone else who is going through something that is even worse. Then we get a little perspective.

What I want to do today is cover how you heal a broken heart, because all of us go through tremendous experiences, especially in the Church of God, of a great deal of disillusionment.

How do we handle that? I’m sure that if we look at the trauma and the things that are taking place right now in the Middle East, the events that are happening there, not only to the U.S. soldiers, but to all of those involved. Now we’ve got Lebanon in chaos, and they’ve been through war off and on since 1971. Some people have gone through 2, 3, 4 wars, two big civil wars and all of the terrorists and things like that. Of course, when the Israelis went up there they just bombed everything to smithereens!

People like that have suffered so much and it has left an indelible impression upon their minds. I don’t know that if there’s ever going to come a time for human beings to be willing to say—I don’t think it’s going to come until the return of Christ—‘Enough! Enough! Enough! Enough!

I can’t help but think of that, not only in relationship to Lebanon, but you look at Iraq; how many times do they have to blow up people and markets—bodies and parts everywhere! That leaves an impression upon the mind! Especially for those who have been through it, you might say that being shell-shocked is a type of being broken-spirited or brokenhearted!

Let’s look at a prophecy concerning the ministry of Christ; Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me because the LORD has anointed Me to preach the Gospel… [the Gospel] …to the poor [meek]; He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to preach the acceptable year of the LORD…” (vs 1-2). Then it goes into the day of vengeance and that goes into the second coming of Christ.

Look at this for a minute; “…bind up the brokenhearted…” How do you do that? Have you ever met someone who has been through so much—regardless of the circumstances or the degree of the circumstances—that they despair of life? They wonder:

  • Where is God?
  • Why is this happening?
  • What is taking place?

“…to proclaim liberty to the captives…” The captives can be not only those who are taken captive, but people are captive by:

  • ideologies
  • religion
  • Satan
  • demons

“…opening of the prison to those who are bound…” Finally released from it all. We know that the ultimate release is going to be the return of Jesus Christ.

We know that when Jesus went into the synagogue in Luke 4, and it was give to Him the scroll of Isaiah, He read this very part of Isaiah—didn’t He? Yes, He did!

Let’s look at something so we can understand that there are differences in what you would call brokenhearted.

There is a broken-heartedness, or broken-spiritedness because of trauma, because of things that have come upon you. There’s also a broken-heartedness when you come to realization of repentance toward God. That broken-heartedness is a cleansing. That is good, because it’s getting rid of the haughty heart and the uplifted heart and coming to repentance and meekness before God!

Isaiah 66:1: “Thus says the LORD, ‘The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where, then, is the house that you build for Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all these things My hand has made, and these things came to be,’ says the LORD. ‘But to this one I will look, to him who is of a poor and contrite spirit and who trembles at My Word’” (vs 1-2). This is an attitude of yieldedness and repentance to God.

This kind of broken-heartedness with a contrite spirit is good. This will lead to:

  • change
  • cleansing
  • forgiveness
  • encouragement

That’s the start!

We will see another thing talking about broken-heartedness. This is the kind of attitude that we need to have toward God. This kind of broken-heartedness leads to healing and strength, because God is with you.

Isaiah 34:17: “The righteous cry, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.” This is going overlap with what we covered on Unleavened Bread, because this is an extension of the one I did for the Sabbath during Unleavened Bread.

This is what we need to realize, brethren. Here is a promise. Always do this: If you have difficulties, if you have problems, take them to God! Always! Because He hears! He promises to hear.

One thing you can do, because this is important: If you have a really difficult problem that needs an answer or to be solved: God has given all the promises in the Bible, and we can claim every one of His promises. So, if we’re real desperate, which we’ve all been. I’ve been there, brethren! I know what it’s like! You’ve been there, and you know what it’s like. We can claim the promises that God has promised:

  • O God, You will hear
  • O God, You promised to answer
  • O God, here I am and I am completely at my wits end, please hear my prayer

Pour your heart out to God and leave it with Him.

Verse 18: “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are of a contrite spirit.” This kind of broken-heartedness is different from being brokenhearted or a wounded spirit or a broken spirit; that is a different situation.

I have recently been going through the Psalms looking at the Old Testament things, and I tell you what, brethren, even though I’ve been in the Church many years, and been a minister many years, and studied the Bible as much as I have, I tell you what, there’s still so much more in there it’s mind-boggling!

What really is tremendous is that when you go through it and I will end up going through the Old Testament at least five times. Every time I do I see a unity between the Old Testament and the New Testament that is really tremendous. You can’t have one without the other; you must have both. It is absolutely amazing how many things that are in the Old Testament that come into the writings of the apostles in the New Testament. Not only quotes, but other phrases, indeed!

Psalm 147:1: “O praise the LORD, for it is good to sing praises to our God, for praise is pleasant and becoming. The LORD builds up Jerusalem; He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (vs 1-3). This kind of broken-heartedness is because of what’s going to take place with the captivity comes.

When you watch some of the History Channel programs, I saw something on Guadalcanal and it was interviewing a survivor. He said, ‘To this very day I still have the picture in my mind of those who were killed, and those who were next to me who were blown up. A friend of mine whose head was just shot off.’

There are going to be a lot of people who are going to come out of the Tribulation who are going to have tremendous horrendous spiritual, emotional and physical problems. We are the ones who are going to help them. Think of that! We’re the ones who are going to help them! We will be part of doing this:

If you do have a broken heart, or a broken spirit, claim this promise: Get on your knees and open up the Bible to here, read these verses and claim this promise. Let this become part of your prayer.

Let’s look at some things that have happened to the Church. These things and for those of us who have experienced some of these things, it becomes even harder to take, because when we come into the Church we leave the world. When we come into the Church we don’t expect people in the Church to be vicious and hateful like they are in the world. We don’t expect the things to occur that we’ve seen occur. Because of that, it becomes even more difficult to handle it, especially when you’ve had a minister stand in the pulpit and preach vehement fiery sermons against sin, and then you find out about his private life! That it is horrendous! How can this be?

So, in a sense, when we go through these things it becomes a difficult proposition, indeed! So, God talks to the shepherds. Everyone who wants to be a minister, think on this: You have an obligation before God! This has happened over and over again, because it’s human history.

Ezekiel 34:1: “And the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to them…’” (vs 1-2).

As we read through this, I want you to think down two paths:

  1. the modern descendants of the children of Israel
  2. those who are in the Church of God

You can include in that all the Churches of God as God would look down and see it in the world, which is well beyond what we know. Remember, the greater judgment is going to be on those who are going to be leaders, teachers shepherds, ministers and so forth.

“…‘Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds, “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you kill the fat ones… [those who are fed] …”’” (vs 2-3).

Have you ever felt like you’ve been killed? Part of a broken spirit is being spiritually disillusioned because of the actions of the shepherds against the flock.

“…but you do not feed the flock. You have not made the weak strong, nor have you healed the sick… [you can apply this spiritually and physically—both] …nor have you bound up the broken. You have not brought again those that were driven away…” (vs 3-4). A lot of us have been driven away and scattered—haven’t we? God accomplishes something very important in doing that. He finds out:

  • Do you love Me?
  • Do you believe Me?
  • Will you follow Me?

under all circumstances?

Let’s just plug in here as we’re going through: one of the things that’s important to understand in all of what we’re going to discuss and go through today is:

Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things… [I like to repeat that three times because it gets it in the brain] …work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” So, as we go through some of these things, keep that in mind. God knows everything that is going on, and He will bring it to a good conclusion if you love Him and follow Him under all circumstances.

Ezekiel 34:4: “…nor have you sought that which was lost; but you have ruled them with force and with cruelty. And they were scattered for lack of a shepherd. And they became food to all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains and upon every high hill. Yea, My flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none searched nor sought for them” (vs 4-6).

  • What is the opposite of this?
  • What did Jesus say about the lost sheep?
  • Leave the 99 to go find the one!

This is the attitude that God is coming from.

Verse 7: “Therefore, you shepherds, hear the Word of the LORD.” These are very important Scriptures. One thing we need to learn is that when God says hear or listen you better do it!

Verse 8: “‘As I live’… [God is basing everything on His very existence] …says the Lord GOD, ‘surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food to every beast of the field because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock.’ Therefore, O shepherds, hear the Word of the LORD” (vs 8-9).

Verse 10: “Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold, I am against the shepherds…’” Even when we understand this, this is quite something! If those who are serving and helping the brethren come to the point of serving themselves and disregarding the brethren…

We can take the example of what has happened in Pasadena, CA. Those who were the ultimate ones to do it are going to answer to God. Because of that, don’t let any of their actions impact upon you any longer. God is going to fight against them!

“‘…and I will require My flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock. Nor shall the shepherds feed themselves anymore; for I will deliver My flock from their mouth that they may not be food for them” (v 10). God says

  • He’s going to search for them
  • He’s going to find them
  • He’s going to feed them
  • He’s going to bless them

The whole thing we need to focus on, brethren, is the solution!

Let’s look at how some of these things develop. Just to summarize: Job said over and over again that he would complain in bitterness, because of the experience he was going through. He would complain bitterly. Bitterness can cause a great deal of trouble!

Let’s understand that if you are angry over something because it is wrong, and it is righteous indignation, and it is to turn people to good, don’t misconstrue that as bitterness. Bitterness can come because of not looking to the answer, not seeing the end of it.

Proverbs 14:10: “The heart knows its own bitterness, and a stranger does not share in its joy.” When bitterness gets in there—just like it did with Esau; he got bitter, angry, hostile and never repented of that and caused a great deal of problems.

Let’s see how bitterness can come about. Jeremiah is known as the ‘complaining prophet,’ because of what he had to go through. Jeremiah 23:9: “As for the prophets my heart within me is broken…” Because of all that they have done. All the false teachings that they have put out.

“‘…all my bones shake. I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine has overcome because of the LORD and because of the words of His Holiness. For the land is full of adulterers. Because of swearing the land mourns; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and they wield power unjustly. For both prophet and priest are ungodly; yea, in My house I have found their evil,’ says the LORD” (vs 9-11).

When that happens, you can start just clinging to that, looking to that. The book of Jeremiah has a lot of difficult things to say about what’s going to happen. So, you can understand that.

Let’s see what else it says about bitterness or broken-heartedness; this begins to give part of the answer or the healing:

Proverbs 15:13: “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken.” So, if you retain that sorrow, hold onto that sorrow, it will traumatize you or give you a broken—what we will see a little later on—or a wounded spirit. It will do things to you that you don’t even realize.

Here also is part of solution as well as part of the problem; Proverbs 18:14: “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity… [if you don’t let your spirit be broken] …but a broken spirit who can bear?”

I’ve been around people who have been so hostile and negative that you just want to get up and get away from them. I remember a man who was a minister. He was healed from being a paraplegic. He was well known in Pasadena. When he saw all the things that were going on within the Church, and it accumulated more and more, it gave him a wounded spirit. He became very bitter.

Before, you would want to around this man because he was happy, friendly and encouraging, now all he could do is talk about all the problems. All he could do is run everybody down. When you get in a situation like that, you want to get up and get away! A wounded spirit, “…who can bear it?” Let’s see what it does to the health.

Proverbs 17: A merry heart does good like a medicine… [Isn’t it interesting how the Proverbs gives a solution to the problem?] ...but a broken spirit dries the bones.” That’s quite a statement!

People can get into such emotional, traumatized attitudes that it affects their health. What does it mean to dry the bones? Your bones are what give you life. Life is in the blood and the marrow of the bones makes the blood. So, when it dries the bones, it begins to shrivel and takes away from your immune system. I’ve seen this happen: People who have allowed their lives to be filled:

  • with bitterness
  • with sorrow
  • with unforgiveness

shrivel up! I don’t mean that you can look at them and they are prune-like. I don’t mean that at all, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually they shrivel up and become turned inward completely! That’s what it means it “…dries the bones,” and it affects their health, the way they think, and it affects everyone around them! It gets to a point that they are so turned inward and so feeling that they are right, that if you don’t join in their sorrow, bitterness and broken-spiritedness then they’ll even turn on you!

I don’t know how many have experienced that or not, but this is quite a thing! It’s something that we need to look at.

The Solution:

Now that we have stated the problem, let’s begin to look at the solution. Think about the Apostle Paul, and I’ve thought about this many, many times because I know that it’s difficult for us to forget some of these experiences. How do we handle these?

I know someone who has been battle, like what I mentioned about Guadalcanal and seeing all of those things take place, whenever that man closes his eyes is going to still see that going on, because he saw it and it impressed his mind. There are certain experiences that will be that way.

How many of have been in a car wreck and still remember it? I remember mine going up Hwy 5! I can still see myself in the car as it rolled over! I’m thankful that God spared me, but I remember the lesson. Here is a key:

  • Remember the lesson and don’t dwell on the trauma!
  • Remember that there are certain things that only God can take care of!

For example: I think about those who were in whatever slave or labor camp down through history. There have been many. The most recent one has been the Holocaust in WWII, and after that:

  • by Stalin and some of things that he did
  • by Mao tse tung and things that he did
  • by Pol Pot in Cambodia where they slaughtered 3-million people

In cases like that there is a pall of evil that just hangs over everything. Finally, there is relief from it. Still, those who have gone through it have the memories.

For us, we can help put the memory in perspective by understanding that God has not forgotten those people. In the worst traumas that come along, remember this: there is the second resurrection; the great hope for the world! When you have something that is so impacting upon your mind by experience, put it in perspective of a lesson and learn the lesson.

Ask God to help comfort you to overcome the distress, to overcome the trauma. If you have an experience like that that keeps cropping up in your mind, then you take it to God and say, O God:

  • please help me to put this in perspective
  • help me to forgive this
  • help me to have this minimized in my mind

The Apostle Paul had an awful lot on his mind. He never forgot that he persecuted the Church, and that drove him to serve even more. But also, his suffering—that Christ told him he would suffer—would work for good for even all of us here at the end-time, so that we can keep things in perspective.

How many of us have had the trauma of killing someone we knew who was a saint in Christ Jesus? None of us! Paul did! Plus all the other trauma that he went through. He has quite some experiences! Notice what Paul writes on, how he focuses on the solution to the problem:

2-Corinthians 1:1: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the Church of God that is in Corinth, with all the saints who are in the entire region of Achaia: Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (vs 1-2).

Another promise! This greeting is not just kind of like we have in English when we write a letter: Dear So and So… No! This is actually appealing to God for His grace and peace to them. That’s another key in overcoming a broken spirit or being better or brokenhearted, whatever:

  • Ask for God’s grace and peace! Peace of mind!

That peace of mind will come when God gives you the strength to handle it without the bitterness and trauma.

Verse 3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies… [claim the mercies of God, the kindness of God] …and the God of all comfort.” There’s a key right there!

  • Let’s God and His Spirit comfort you!

Let’s see one of the promises that Jesus gave and we will see that the Holy Spirit is called the Comforter.

John 14:14: “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” Another promise! Of course, it has to be according to the will of God.

  • Does God want you to have peace of mind? Yes!
  • Does He want you to have your spirit and heart healed? Yes!
  • Does He want you to love Him?
  • Does He want you to love the brethren?

See the purpose in things that you have gone through and be able to have God give you the perspective in it, that it does not continue:

  • to pull you down
  • to drag you down
  • to destroy your emotions and feelings
  • that you let go of any anger or bitterness

Verse 15: “If you love Me, keep the commandments—namely, My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter…” (vs 15-16)—the Holy Spirit.

It doesn’t matter if you are somewhere all alone. Have you ever been to the point that you have felt the whole world—even the Church—is against you? Some people have! I’ve had to deal with it!

You go to God and claim the promise of comfort! If you yield to God—and there has to be repentance involved—there will come a day when God’s comfort will be almost like coming right into your heart and mind!

  • He will help you!
  • He will strengthen you!
  • He will give you perspective!
  • He will give you understanding!

“…that it may be with you throughout the age” (v 16). That means as long as we live, if we have the Holy Spirit. Isn’t that tremendous?

Remember that all of those brethren who have problems and difficulties pray for them! I pray for them every day. I pray:

  • for the brethren who are sick
  • for those who are down, discouraged and depressed
  • for those who need help in healing
  • for those who need intervention

ü    with their jobs

ü    with their lives

ü    with their families

We all need it, don’t we, brethren? Especially in this age!

Verse 17: “Even the Spirit of the Truth…” It is going to reveal to you the Truth concerning everything related to your life, and the understanding of the Word of God that you need.

“…which the world cannot receive because it perceives it not, nor knows it; but you know it because it dwells with you, and shall be within you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (vs 17-18). He will comfort us!

Let’s see how this was fulfilled in Paul’s life and what this means for us: 2-Corinthians 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforts us in all our tribulation…” (vs 3-4). A promise to claim.

Why? Why did Paul go through all that he went through? He rose above it a little better than Jeremiah. Jeremiah said, ‘Woe is me! I’m preaching to all these people and none of them will listen!’ I imagine that he really had some hard thoughts when he was down there in the muck and mire. But God told him, ‘No! I’ll spare your life!’

“…in order that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trial…” (v 4).

(go to the next track)

Verse 4: “Who comforts us in all our tribulation…” in order that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trial…” Another key:

  • Find a friend within the Church who has experienced the comfort of God in their trials!
  • Let that friend help you and support you!

“…through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (v 4).

Notice how Paul looks at it; he puts it in the right perspective, v 5: “For to the degree that the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” Let that comfort come; let it be:

  • the grace
  • the peace
  • the peace of mind
  • the love of God
  • the mercies of God
  • taking it to God

So that “…our comfort abounds through Christ.”

Verse 6: “And if we are in distress, it is for your comfort and salvation…” Quite a different perspective—isn’t it? Yes!

“…which is being worked out by your enduring the same sufferings that we also suffer; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort and salvation (and our hope is steadfast for you)” (v 6). Look how Paul takes this and turns it completely around to make it a positive thing.

When you are in those conditions and circumstances in praying to God and crying out to Him:

  • He is there to help
  • He will give His Spirit
  • He will give His strength
  • He will give His mercies
  • He will lift you up out of it

Verse 7: “Knowing that as you are partners in the sufferings, you are also partners in the comfort…. [amazing] …For we do not want you to be ignorant of our tribulations, brethren, even the trials that befell us in Asia; we were exceedingly burdened beyond our own strength, so much so that we even despaired of living” (vs 7-8).

Understand this, brethren: That is in the Bible! Not only was it for those in Corinth, but it’s for us today! Unfortunately, because the love of God in some churches has been so restrictive that even some within the Church of God got so despaired that they committed suicide. That’s terrible! Paul understood what they were going through. Here is the reason why God does these things:

Verse 9: “…so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God, Who raises the dead.” We totally trust in God!

Part of the disillusionment and difficulties that we have gone through in the Church of God is because we trusted in a man. We trusted in men! We idolized men! The men who were idolized were very happy to receive that idolatry because it made them important. Rather than understanding that we need to teach all the brethren to be connected with God the Father and Jesus Christ in a personal relationship, because that’s what God wants!

So, if we ever find ourselves in a situation of distress, we can trust God! We may have to get on our knees and cry out to God and just say: O God:

  • this is more than I can bear
  • this is terrible
  • I don’t understand it
  • I have no idea what’s going on
  • I have no idea why it’s going on
  • I have no idea why it is happening
  • Please help me!
  • Please comfort me!

God will!

Verse 10: “Who delivered us from so great a death…” God will deliver you!

Let’s also understand that every Word of God is also a promise. So, if you have unresolved problems and you haven’t experienced this, come to God, come to Christ, claim these promises. He’ll raise you up! He’ll lift you up!

I can’t help but think about some of these poor, pitiful people—like in Darfur—starving, oppressed, chased, no hope. Imagine the trauma that they’re going to have with them!

Then I look and see at some of the things that have gone on in our lives, and the things that are going to come on the nation here in the near future. It’s going to be something! We need to be strong in the Lord and strong in His Spirit. We need to have these things resolved so that we do not come unglued spiritually and emotionally and throw up our hands in despair! We don’t want to do that.

“…and continues to deliver; in Whom we have hope that He will even yet deliver; while you also are laboring together for us by supplication to God…” (vs 10-11). See how this all works together with the prayers.

“…that the gift to us from many persons might be the cause of thanksgiving by many for us” (v 11). He talks about the comfort that they had and the things that they were able to bring to him.

2-Cor. 10 is vitally important, because here is something that we need to learn to do on a day-to-day basis. This is one of the greatest tools in overcoming. I don’t think that we can overstate it.

  • You cannot solve spiritual problems by physical means, or carnal means!

You have to use the Spirit of God! This is what Paul is talking about:

2-Corinthians 10:3: “For although we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.” Once we are converted, we are in a constant state of warfare. It’s against:

  • the inner self
  • Satan
  • society

and constantly battling that!

Verse 4: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the overthrowing of strongholds.” What is the stronghold:

  • in you?
  • in your mind?
  • in your emotions?
  • in your life?
  • that is holding you captive to your own bitterness, sorrow or broken spirit?

You need to identify it! Then put it in proper perspective. Overthrow it! Here’s how you do it:

Verse 5: “Casting down vain imaginations…”—reasonings. Part of the problem why people get so welded to their bitterness, hostility and anger is because they have their mind on themselves! It’s always on self:

  • how much I’m hurt
  • how much I’m disillusioned
  • how much people have done to me

It may be true! But if it is true, what are you going to do about it? You have to cast it down!

“…and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…” (v 5). If you’re in that attitude, and if you have that problem:

  • Is that not exalting itself against God?
  • Is that not keeping you from God?
  • Is that not keeping you from praying and studying?

When you have those things like that it’s a pall in your life that affects everything that you do. So, you’ve got to identify it and cast it down!

Here’s what you do as God is comforting you and as God is helping you and giving you His Spirit, “…bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ” (v 5).

You take those thoughts, put them perspective and put them away! You also do this:

  • You ask God to forgive you for forgetfulness!

We all have problems with memory. But you need help in getting rid of those memories, so ask God to give forgetfulness of it! The forgetfulness won’t come all at once. It’ll have to be a little at a time, a little at a time, a little at a time! Day by day, prayer by prayer!

But here’s what you have to do, be on guard; v 6: “And having a readiness to avenge… [with the Spirit of God, the help of God] …all disobedience, whenever your obedience has been fulfilled. Are you looking at things according to their appearance?….” (vs 6-7).

You many never know what a situation is. I remember that I saw a man on a bicycle parked right by the post office. He was kind of gruffy. He had beard and he had been on his bike and so forth. I looked at him when I went in and I said to myself: I’m going to ask him a question when I come out:

He had a flat tire and was in the process of fixing it, and a flat tire on a bike, if you’re on a trip, can be devastating. So, I said, ‘Where are you from? Where are you going?’ Oregon. I was in Monterey and lost my wallet and all my identification. Everything he had!

I tell you what, when you do that, officially you don’t exist! So, there he was stuck. He was waiting—and it would take three days to get it—at the post office to have something General Delivered, which would give him some identification so he could get something to begin to make his trip to get back home. I was glad that I asked him what the situation was and I gave him $50, I said, ‘Go take care of your tire and get something to eat and maybe the postage will come in this afternoon and you can get out of here. Always remember this:

  • God says that if you help those who are in need, there are going to be those to help you when you’re in need!

If I had such problems that I was so wrapped up in my problems and I just went into the post office, did what I had to do, come out and get in my car and go and not pay any attention to anything… Would I want someone to help me if I were in a problem like that? You bet! God will bring it back and He will help you.

Let’s follow up on how we need to get our mind reoriented God’s way and what it will do. When you are fixated—and that’s what a bitter or broken spirit becomes—on the hurt, the problem, the difficulty, and it just becomes an internal obsession that colors everything you do. You need to get the mind remade with the Spirit of God!

Proverbs 16:1: “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, are from the LORD…. [have to go back to God] (And here’s the difficulty in overcoming): …All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirits” (vs 1-2).

Everything that happens to you, or to me, or to whatever individual things that these happened to are true. It did occur! It did happen!

I can’t help but think of the minister whose son set out on the front lawn of their house and was so despaired that he blew his brains out, committed suicide. I can’t help but think that this poor father has this still bearing on his mind, heavy on his mind. I hope with the comfort of God that he has been able to put this back, learn whatever the lesson was to learn and trust in God for the second resurrection. But it’s a pitiful state indeed, that things like that happen within the Church of God where it is to be love, hope, peace and all of those things.

The thing is that when we are in those states we are so focused on our selves, our plight, our problem and our difficulty, and we know we’re right, that it’s hard to let go; you have to let go!

Here’s how you do it, v 3: “Commit your works unto the LORD, and your thoughts shall be established.” Another promise! Whatever the difficulty is, claim this promise right here: “Commit your works unto the LORD, and your thoughts shall be established.”

Verse 6: “By mercy… [God’s forgiveness; you’re understanding of it when the forgiveness comes] …and Truth…” You’ve got to understand the problem in its proper perspective.

“…iniquity is purged… [out of our mind; cleansed] …and by the fear of the LORD men turn away from evil” (v 6). If you fear God, you’ll be loving God! These are tremendous promises, brethren!

Verse 7: “When a man’s ways please the LORD…” Can you do the things that please God? Yes, you can! If you:

  • go to God
  • loving God
  • praying to Him
  • asking for His help
  • asking for His intervention
  • trying to live by every Word of God
  • your ways please God

“…He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” (v 7). You can take that Scripture and the problem you’re having is an enemy, because it’s destroying you—“…He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” A tremendous thing!

Verse 8: “Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice.” It doesn’t matter what you have or don’t have, if God is for you and you’re on God’s side, God is on your side.

  • God expects us to do things
  • He expects us to take action
  • He made us to be action people

Verse 9: “A man’s heart devises his way…” Ask God to help you devise a way:

  • a way of thinking
  • a way of doing
  • a way of praying

Forgiveness:

We’re going to see that one of the most important things we need to have is also forgiving. Remember that someone may have done something to really, really set you off. If you still have anger against that person because of what he or she did, you have no idea if that person has repented or not!

The irony could be that the one who has victimized you has repented, and you don’t know it, and is in right standing with God, but you’re still holding it against that person and you’re not in right standing with God. Quite an amazing thing! You devise a way, a plan!

“…but the LORD directs his steps” (v 9). Ask God:

  • to help you in it
  • to direct you in it
  • lead you in it
  • comfort you in it
  • give you the understanding you need

Who has done something to you so great that you won’t forgive them? Think about it! Sometimes you think about it because of you know that what was done was really bad and you know that you’re right.

Luke 23 is when Jesus was being led out to be crucified. You could not have a time when you were more low, more picked upon, beat upon, abused, castigated, mocked than what Jesus went through. This is why in all these troubles and difficulties we are looking to Jesus ‘Who is the Author and Finisher of our faith!’

Luke 23:27: “And following Him was a great multitude of people with many women, who also were bewailing and lamenting Him. But Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming in which they shall say, “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that did not bear, and the breasts that did not give suck.” Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, “Fall on us”; and to the hills, “Cover us.” For if they do these things… [that is taking place right before your eyes] …in the green tree… [in America we’re still in the green tree; it is getting droopy] …what shall take place in the dry?’ And two other malefactors were also led away with Him to be put to death. And when they came to the place called Place of a Skull, there they crucified Him and the malefactors, one on the right and one on the left. Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.….” (vs 27-34).

Think about that! “…Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing….” This is what we need to do for everyone who has caused us to be bitter or broken-spirited. Forgive them! Then ask forgiveness for yourself for holding onto it!

Let’s see something else concerning that. When there is forgiveness and there is cleansing, then it relieves and takes away the tension, bitterness and the bad emotions that you’re holding onto. That’s why God wants forgiveness.

Matthew 18—you know the parable of the one who owed 10,000 talents and his master forgave him. Then the one went out and found one who owe him 100 pence and threw him in jail. When the master found out about it…

And this is quite a thing that we need to understand, that in order for us to have our sins forgiven… If I asked everyone to raise their hand who wanted their sins forgiven, every hand would go up. I wonder if the same thing would occur if we also wanted others to be forgiven of their sins? That’s part of the equation that we need to look to.

When we don’t forgive it puts us in a terrible strait with God. Look at what Christ forgave. So, when they brought the one who didn’t forgive, they brought him to the master/lord:

Verse 32: “Then his lord called him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt, because you implored me. Were you not also obligated to have compassion on your fellow servant, even as I had compassion on you?’ And in anger, his lord delivered him up to the tormentors, until he should pay all that he owed to him…. [here’s the lesson of the parable]: …Likewise shall My heavenly Father also do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother’s offenses from the heart” (vs 32-35).

You need to have them forgiven! That happens all the time; I don’t think there is a week that goes by that I don’t need some pretty serious forgiveness. That’s just how my life runs.

Let’s look at what we need to do to overcome. We’re going to see that other things enter into this when we find ourselves with a broken or wounded spirit, or a sour attitude. That leaves us open to some other things that we don’t want. God implores us over and over again to forgive.

Ephesians 4:27: “Neither give place to the devil.” You see, these kinds of attitudes can be a breeding ground for satanic activity.

Let me give you a clue: Satan always gives you something to think about that you know is right! A real offense that occurred! If there is not forgiveness, he is there to say, ‘you know, yes, yes’; put it into your mind!

Verse 30: “And do not vex [grieve] the Holy Spirit of God by which you have been sealed for the day of redemption…. [what we’re talking about grieves the Holy Spirit] …Let all bitterness… [something we have to do] …and indignation, and wrath, and clamor, and evil speaking be removed from you, together with all malice” (vs 30-31). What Paul is talking about is the result of a broken or wounded spirit and bitterness of the heart. Change the behavior:

Verse 32: “And be kind and tenderhearted toward one another, forgiving one another, even as God has also in Christ forgiven you.” Very important!

Keep in mind Luke 23:34: “…Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing….” Forgiveness!

What we need to do:

Here’s what to replace it with. It’s just like James said, ‘Can sweet water and bitter water flow from the same fountain?’ No!

Colossians 3:12: “Put on…” Something you need to do; if you put out the sin, if you put out these things, then you put on.

Verse 12: “Put on then, as the elect of God, Holy and beloved, deep inner affections, kindness, humility, meekness and long-suffering; forbearing one another…” (vs 12-13). If something comes up, don’t fly off the handle; forbear, wait, be patient!

“…and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so also you should forgive…. [What does that lead to?]: …And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection” (vs 13-14)—which then will heal you! There will be a spiritual healing of the mind, of the heart, of the attitude!

Verse 15: “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts… [not the bitterness of your experiences] …to which you were called into one body, and be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And in everything—whatever you do in word or in deed—do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him” (vs 15-17).

Let’s look at two other things we need to do. Here is the whole goal of what it is that we are to do.

Philippians 3:10[transcriber’s correction]: “That I may know Him…” That’s the whole goal, brethren. The whole goal of God is the know Christ and the Father.

“…and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; if by any means I may attain unto the resurrection of the dead” (vs 10-11). That is the goal we’ve always got to have out there before us.

Verse 12: “Not as though I have already received, or have already been perfected; but I am striving, so that I may also lay hold on that for which I also was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not count myself as having attained; but this one thing I do—…” (vs 12-13). Here it is; this is what each of us must do:

“…forgetting the things that are behind…” (v 13). So, in cleansing the heart and mind and overcoming these things, forget “…the things are behind…”

“…and reaching forth to the things that are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (vs 13-14).

Let’s see the attitude that we need to have. When some of these things start coming upon you:

  • negativeness comes upon you
  • bitterness comes upon you

repent of it and do this:

Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything; but by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God in everything… [here is the promise]: …and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus” (vs 6-7).

There is the full application of 2-Corinthians 10:4: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the overthrowing of strongholds”

Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

That’s how we get our minds out of the grips of bitterness or a broken spirit!

All Scripture from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  1. Isaiah 61:1-2
  2. Isaiah 66:1-2
  3. Psalm 34:17-18
  4. Psalm 147:1-3
  5. Ezekiel 34:1-4
  6. Romans 8:28
  7. Ezekiel 34:4-10
  8. Proverbs 14:10
  9. Jeremiah 23:9-11
  10. Proverbs 15:13
  11. Proverbs 18:14
  12. Proverbs 17:22
  13. 2 Corinthians 1:1-3
  14. John 14:14-18
  15. 2 Corinthians 1:3-11
  16. 2 Corinthians 10:3-7
  17. Proverbs 16:1-3, 6-9
  18. Luke 23:27-34
  19. Matthew 18:32-35
  20. Ephesians 4:27, 30-32
  21. Luke 23:34
  22. Colossians 3:12-17
  23. Philippians 3:10-14
  24. Philippians 4:6-7
  25. 2 Corinthians 10:4
  26. Philippians 4:8

Scripture referenced, not quoted: Luke 4

FRC:bo

Transcribed: 4/14/16

Copyright 2007—All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts for review purposes, no part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means without the written permission of the copyright owner. This includes electronic and mechanical photocopying or recording, as well as the use of information storage and retrieval systems.

BOOKS