Wounds are painful times, but produce praise to God’s goodness and faith of God’s faithfulness as did Abraham. You didn’t learn true authentic praise, or learn God’s goodness and faithfulness in good times. You learned those facts after experiencing a bad time. Troubles cause tears, but bring triumph. Troubles, burdens, and wounds, when handled correctly, always lead us to a higher place in life and to higher faith in God. That’s why we are ‘appointed” for afflictions’. 

HEALED WITHOUT SCARS
By Pastor Delbert Young

Wounds and Faith

Wounds and Faith

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Wounds And Faith 

Scriptures: 1 Thessalonians 3:2-3; Galatians 6:5; Matthew 9:28-30; Hebrews 11:8, 9, 11, 17; Genesis 21:10-11; Genesis 22:12

In this world, we are hit with some large blows to our emotional and psychological areas. We have learned these blows cause wounds and, if not correctly healed, scars can remain alive and well affecting us for the rest of our lives. Some of these blows are forced upon us by others and some by the enemy. Some, we bring on our own selves. Among the list of these wounds, we could include the death of a parent or child, divorce, betrayal, termination from employment, disease, etc.

We don’t get to choose the time or the circumstances in which blows and wounds come. In addition, it seems they often come when we are least expecting, or when we are at a weak point. We do know that the scriptures promise blows and wounds will come. The apostle Paul said…

1 Thessalonians 3:2-3 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you CONCERNING YOUR FAITH: That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are APPOINTED THEREUNTO.

Obviously, some were shaken deeply in their faith because of “afflictions” and difficult times. It’s not comforting to know we are “appointed” for afflictions, troubles, and trials, which can bring wounds, or is it comforting? The reason I make that a question is if I can somehow get my head wrapped around the fact that God is involved with my “appointed afflictions,” then I know I will come out better than when I went into it if I handle it correctly. Afflictions – wounds, etc – ALWAYS TEST OUR FAITH.

When afflictions come, we all question, “Where is God?” “Why did he allow this to happen to me?” “I did everything right.” We find ourselves feeling alone, and, you know what? We are. We have our friends and loved ones who attempt to love us, but their compassion can do only so much. It’s good to know they are there holding us up, but be certain, there are troubles and wounds and scars in life that only you can bear.

Galatians 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden.

Why are we “appointed” for afflictions? Burdens are so heavy. We say, “I can’t carry this any longer. I don’t know how much longer I can do this. It’s too much. I’m crumbling under this.” We are exactly right. Burdens will break us so we can be rebuilt in Christ. You are who you are today not because of the good times, but because of the difficult heavy burden times. They stretch us, but eventually stabilize us. You are the stable person you are today not because you staggered, but because when you staggered, you learned stability. Wounds are painful times, but produce praise to God’s goodness and faithfulness. You didn’t learn true authentic praise, or learn God’s goodness and faithfulness in good times. You learned those facts after experiencing a bad time. Troubles cause tears, but bring triumph. Troubles, burdens, and wounds, when handled correctly, always lead us to a higher place in life and to higher faith in God. That’s why we are “appointed” for afflictions. You will never become the person you want to be, or the person God wants you to be without afflictions, wounds, and difficult times. Even Jesus was appointed to afflictions.

I want to repeat something I said last time. “Something you need to do is stop a minute, think, and recognize that God has preserved you through all your struggles and all your shame. You are alive and you still love God. The enemy gave you his best shot and you endured. When you make that realization, you instantly transfer your thinking from your HURT TO HOPE again in God.” If you will allow them, your troubles will always serve to strengthen your faith. You will become steadier and stronger each time you go through a trial. VIDEO

Your faith in God is a key component in being HEALED WITHOUT SCARS. Why? Faith in God cannot help but produce hope. Hope takes us to healing. Faith is an invisible, but vital link to the power of God. Without faith, healing and deliverance are impossible.

Once, Jesus was approached by two blind men wanting healing.

Matthew 9:28-30 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you BELIEVE that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, “ACCORDING TO YOUR FAITH WILL IT BE DONE TO YOU“; and their sight was restored…

Life is “done to me” according to my faith. Notice it was not the faith of Jesus that restored those blind men. It is ACCORDING TO YOUR FAITH WILL IT BE DONE TO YOU. It was not according to their condition or circumstance will it be done to you. It’s always according to your faith will it be done to you. Faith/belief is the key component. It produced hope and hope does not disappoint.

Having faith that God will not only get us through, but HEAL US WITHOUT SCARS is tough sometimes for all of us, especially when it’s painful and lonely. Even Jesus in his toughest and loneliest of times, said, “My God, my God, WHY have you forsaken me?” (Mat 27:46). You hear people give their testimonies and it seems they were strong all the way through a horrible time. It seems they never wavered asking, “God, have you forsaken me?” Or, is it they just forgot that part. Peter’s walking on water with great faith is not the power of the “walking on water” story. The truth of the story is when focus goes to the wind and waves of life we all sink. The true power part is our knowing Jesus is there to lift us out of our sinking trouble and get us safely back in the boat.

We tend to evaluate our faith by our good times. That’s only theoretical faith, not actual faith. It’s actual faith that actually shows up in bad times. It’s the wounding times of life that exposes our true faith and trust in God. YOU DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH FAITH YOU HAVE UNTIL YOU ACTUALLY NEED IT. Sometimes your faith will amaze you and sometimes your faith will frustrate you. At least, that’s how it works with me.

God uses our struggles to develop ACTUAL faith. We don’t realize that’s how it works and too frequently we crash and burn. THIS ALWAYS CAUSES SCARS THAT REMAIN ALIVE AND WELL UNTIL WE LEARN TO OPERATE IN ACTUAL FAITH AND NOT THEORETICAL FAITH.

The truth is we cannot go to the next level and area of blessing God has for us until, through faith, we PROPERLY HANDLE the challenges, troubles, wounds and scars where we are today. That’s not fun nor easy to do. We don’t want to forgive. We want to hate. We want to talk about people, not keep our mouths shut and allow God to work. The problem is we will remain at that current level of life adding more wounds and more scars until we do it right. IF WE COULD EVER SEE TROUBLES ARE ONLY STEPS OF A LADDER THAT TAKE US TO THE DESTINIES GOD HAS FOR US WE COULD HANDLE TROUBLES AND WOUNDS FAR BETTER.

This is a “faith ideal” we develop in good times so when a difficult time comes, we act with the correct response. It’s not the natural response, but, if developed, eventually will become the automatic response. If we learn not to talk negatively about people in good times, it’s easier to not talk about them in bad times. If we walk in forgiveness in good times, we can quickly forgive in difficult times. We don’t mature in God in good times when things are not challenging. We mature in God through the struggles of difficult times. I can always tell the maturity level of a person in Christ by how they handle difficult times.

The book of Hebrews chapter 11 is referenced as the “Hall of Faith.” It is full of people who acquired their destinies by faith. If we look and ingest their lives, we will see that it was the difficult, testing, and wounding times, which grew their faith and made them who they were.

Hebrews 11:8 BY FAITH ABRAHAM, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.

Hebrews 11: 9 BY FAITH HE made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents…

Hebrews 11:11 BY FAITH ABRAHAM, even though he was past age – and Sarah herself was barren – was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise.

Hebrews 11:17 BY FAITH ABRAHAM, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son

We learn Abraham experienced no less than four steps/levels of faith growth/maturation to acquire what he wanted (promise – what has God promised you?) and became the person God desired he become. What I want us to see is to get to where we want to go in life AND where God wants us to go requires steps or levels of faith.

First, Abraham had to have faith to obey and leave his homeland. He (and Sarah) left everything. Imagine the things people said about Abraham’s risky plan. “Sure God spoke to you Abraham… You are an idiot Abraham.” Imagine what Sarah said! People don’t understand when you are trying to move in God.

Nonetheless, it was that step of faith that took Abraham to his next step – living as a stranger in tents in a foreign land. Wouldn’t that be enjoyable? No sooner had Abraham gotten there when a famine came. He went to Egypt where Pharaoh said, “I want Sarah,” and took her. How many think that might be a heart-wrenching experience? The woman you love taken away by another man! However, if you know the story, God took care of them and the situation. There was the heart-wrenching experience with Abraham’s nephew, Lot. Abraham loved Lot. Abraham raised Lot, but there came a tremendous dissension between them. They separated. There was Abimelech – another man taking Abraham’s wife. There was that horrible thing with Hagar, which produced Abraham’s son Ishmael. How horrible was that?

Genesis 21:10-11 …And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son.

There were many, many troubles giving blows and wounds to Abraham. Instead of stopping Abraham, the tests, trials, and afflictions took him to where Abraham wanted to go AND to where God wanted him to go. Think about it. It was only after all those issues, ninety-year-old Sarah’s womb opened, one hundred year old Abraham’s loins worked, and Isaac was born. At level 3, Abraham was exactly where he wanted to be. He had his life and his promise, but Abraham was not yet where God wanted him to be.

One more step of faith, one more trouble, one more burden, and one more heart-wrenching, ripping experience awaited Abraham. There seems there is always “one more.” Abraham had to be willing to sacrifice the most important thing in his life to God – Isaac. Abraham was willing. At the altar of that sacrifice, God said…

Genesis 22:12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Our troubles, tests, and heart-wrenching, ripping experiences prove exactly how much we fear(yare’ – fear; revere) God. Do we have faith to do what he said? The Lord wants us to have a faith that takes us through hard times so that we are not just surviving, but thriving. FAITH IS VISION IN DARKNESS. Faith is moving through the darkest times of life and coming out better – better person, better in God, better period. That’s what happens when you do it right. You are HEALED WITHOUT SCARS.

I want to ask a question. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being doubt, 5 being wavering faith, and 10 beinggreat faith, where is your actual faith?

We all experience wounds in life. We don’t get to select when or what those experiences will be, but we do know they are coming. The Bible says we are appointed for afflictions. Life is designed in a way where no one can carry certain burdens for us. However, when we investigate, we find those lonely times actually made us who we are today. They stretched us and shook us, but brought stability to us. We learned true praise in the difficult times, not good times. We learned exactly who we are in those times. We developed authentic faith and learned the difference between authentic and theoretical faith. Life was done to us according to our faith. As God did with Abraham, faith is taking us to where we become who we want to be and who God wants us to be. Where is your faith level today, right now? I don’t mean theoretical faith. I mean authentic faith? Take a look back at the last real wound, burden, or difficulty you experienced. Did you come out without scars, or remain in the same place to be scarred again? It is done to you according to your faith.

Other Related Sermons:

Faith Of God – sermon video audio notes

The Promise Easter sermon video

Prisoner of Hope sermon notes audio

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young