Jesus at the Center of Freedom
Emotional Healing • Message 1
January 21, 2024
(Luke 4:18-19. C/R: Psalm 147:3; Isaiah 61:1-2; John 10:10)
Today we are kicking off a new series called Jesus at the Center of Freedom. The reason I’m doing this series right out of Breakthrough is because I want to show you areas that God can and will often breakthrough in our lives…
See for years I had a sort of faith where God would save me for heaven but wouldn’t help me on this earth. So, what I want you to get right off the bat is this…
God saves you for heaven and He helps you here on earth.
John 10:10 (NIV)
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
And to show you this what I want to do is spend some time looking at the 4 areas of Jesus earthly ministry from Luke chapter 4.
Luke 4:18-19 (NKJV)
“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 proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Luke 4 happens right after Jesus is baptized then goes into the wilderness for 40 days and do you remember what He was doing? Fasting…
Can I just tell you this past week, I took some melatonin gummies to help me go to sleep. As I was chewing them, I thought I have never tasted such delicious melatonin gummies.
Please tell us your story from Breakthrough by submitting it online at brookwoodchurch.org/breakthrough or scan the QR code on your program. Also, you don’t have to wait until next January to fast again. Let me invite you pick one day, it can be one day a week or once a month, to practice the spiritual discipline of fasting. Don’t wait a year.
Right after Jesus starts His public ministry He goes to the synagogue and He reads the Scripture and the Scripture for that day just happened to be Isaiah 61, which we just read in Luke 4. Coincidence?!? I think not!
He read this because it reveals what Jesus is doing in His earthly ministry, how He helps us on this earth, how we can experience breakthrough…
There are 4 things this text shows us He does, and we are going to spend 4 weeks looking at those…
Today I want to look at emotional healing. This comes from Luke 4:18 where Jesus says is quoting Isaiah 61:1-2
Luke 4:18 (NKJV)
“… He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted…”
The Greek word for brokenhearted is syntribō. It’s a picture of a person who has been shattered by life. Like a mirror that was once whole that’s been shattered and broken into all the little pieces.
What Jesus is saying here is I’ve come to heal those who have had their heart shattered and bruised. All of us have had our hearts broken at some point.
Kintsugi, the Japanese art, teaches that broken objects are not something to hide but display with pride. By displaying broken pottery, it is possible to create new life thanks to its scars.
And there are some of you who have felt like a portion of your life has been shattered. And you have two options: just suppress it and pretend like that pain or that disappointment isn’t that big of deal (this is often what men try to do). The problem with this is it’s like a bone that has slipped out of joint—you can live, but it’s not how you were designed to live. Or you can try to move towards healing and inner peace. You can, with boldness and courage, face the things that have happened to you. And here is the good news, part of Jesus’ job description is to heal the brokenhearted.
Psalm 147:3 (NIV)
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
So when you draw near to Him, and invite Him into your life, the shattered pieces or the disappointments, He will bring inner peace… He will heal those areas, and how does He do it?
Let me give you a few…
B. Ways God Heals the Brokenhearted:
1. He transforms you in your pain. (Romans 5:3-5)
Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
I have said this before, this is the spiritual season of my life. God is growing me like crazy ; my spouse and I never fight, my kids listen to me, my boss thinks I’m amazing, my friends think I can’t do anything wrong, and nothing in my life is bad!
I wish spiritual growth was like that. However, it’s the painful times that people will say this was a season where God did His richest work. Some fall away from the faith in difficult times, but many are transformed. They become a person they couldn’t have been without that situation in their life.
You know one of the reasons I know the Bible is true, because there are some things that seem like terrible advice, but then when you slow down and think about it, you see how true it is.
You’ve never walked up to someone and said, how are you doing, and they go, absolutely great, my whole life is falling apart, just glorying in my suffering…
This isn’t glorying in pain, but in what it produces.
Yet when you slow down and reflect, what Paul is showing us is that pain has the ability, if we let God heal us to give us perseverance, where we can face more disappointment and not be crushed. Character, whereas God heals us. He makes us look more like Him on the inside. And hope, hope that God is good, and He’s got us. Pain can transform us.
Have any of the married people ever had a fight… anybody have a fight on the way to church…? The other day, Steph and I had a bit of a disagreement. She said, you should have done this differently… And very calmly, spiritually, I said something like, Sorry, I forget I should have asked you because everything you do is perfect… She bumped into a bruise…
But have you ever talked about something, and you made a joke about something that you thought was on the surface and then they gave you that evil look or they ran out of the room… You thought, gosh they are so sensitive… Don’t say that because what you did was you bumped a bruise. You opened a wound they haven’t been healed from… it was from something her dad said to her, it was what her first husband said, or her teacher, or one of her co-workers… and it’s something that hasn’t been healed! BUT THAT IS WHY JESUS CAME!
What do you think of when you think of Pebble Beach… in California. The constant roar of the ocean takes these pebbles from the shores, and it tosses them and rolls them, and grinds them. The constant pressure, crushing and force on them creates something amazing…
Think about it, people from all over come to these shores to collect these stones… they are put on display in cabinets and shelves. They’ve been transformed by their circumstances.
What I find so rich is that on the other side of Pebble Beach, you can go to a quiet cove that is sheltered from the chaos and storms, and you will find hundreds of pebbles that are never taken because they haven’t been transformed. They are still rough and sharp; they haven’t been formed.
I believe some of the people that God puts on display in our church are people who have gone through the most painful storms, they are people who have felt the weight and the crushing of life, the grind of circumstances… but they’ve come out transformed and God using them a model to those of us in our church!
2. He gives your soul rest. (Psalm 23:2; 46:10)
For many people, we view busyness as a status symbol. People often perceive those who are busy to be important and impressive people.
In a recent survey I was reading, people were asked the question, how are you? For 8 out of 10 people, the answer was one word… busy.
Now, where are my Type A people, the ones who are always moving? You know, the ones who are paying the bills and brushing their teeth at the same time… I have seen someone shave when they drive… You move, you multi-task, one of your greatest feelings is when you crush the day! Who are you?
I am like that naturally, but there is something I noticed years ago… sometimes the busyness was just an attempt to distract myself from all the noise in my soul. It’s like when I sat down, the voices in my head would get loud.
There was a story of a man who suffered from depression, and he went to meet with a famous psychologist. The psychologist found out the man was working 14 hour days. He said, Here’s what I want you do. Work 8 hours a day, then go home, sit and spend time alone for the rest of the night… The man left and worked 8 hours and then read different books, played his favorite music, and read the newspaper… The man came back and said to the counselor, it’s not working… He told him what he did, how he would work 8 hours then go home and read and listen to music… The counselor interrupted him and said, No, no, no, I told you to be completely alone… The man said, I can think of no worse company than myself. Then the counselor said, but this is who you inflict on others for 14 hours a day…
Oftentimes, the pressures, pain, and past voices linger in our heads once we sit down. It’s hard for us to sit and be alone. Sometimes, if we are honest, we can have so much disappointment and self-hatred that we hate being alone…
We always talk about forgiving our greatest enemy… but what if your greatest enemy is yourself?
There is someone that I love even though I don't approve of what he does. There is someone I accept though some of his thoughts and actions revolt me. There is someone I forgive though he hurts the people I love the most. That person is… me.
But it’s when we face those things and invite God in that He gives us a peace… we get to the place where we don’t have to distract ourselves with TV, our phones, movies, snacks and shallow conversation. You can learn to feel relaxed and not nervous… aware, calm, unafraid… this is possible…
Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God…”
Psalm 23:2-3 (NIV)
He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. …
Maybe the psalmist understood that in stillness, our deepest thoughts bubble up to the surface, but when you bring those to God, you find out He’s God, and He gives you a rest and power…
3. He allows you to love others. (Isaiah 61:1-3; 1 John 4:19-21)
1 John 4:19-21 (NIV)
We love because He first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And He has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
Do you ever notice how much hostility there is in our culture? This culture talks about love more than any other generation and yet there is more hatred and division than ever before.
Because to love and serve others is to be vulnerable… I heard an interesting stat…
Do you know the top reason why you decide if you like someone? The top reason, do you know what it is? It’s if you think they like you…
So, I don’t know if I’ve told you this, but I really like you guys. You are my favorite church.
We don’t want to be vulnerable; we don’t want to act too interested in the job or the person until we know how they feel. This culture talks a lot about love, but the moment people don’t agree or there is a problem do you see much love from others? No!
Because to love is to risk and be vulnerable, and we hate being vulnerable. We hate it. And most people have a heart that is incapable of loving others truly because your heart is cold because you try to protect it.
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.
Think about it, Jesus chose a disciple who betrayed Him. This is just my thought, but part of the reason I wonder if He did it was to model a love that risks and puts itself out there. Love is wounded and wrong but it keeps showing up…
Usually, this is something that is brand new or something we have constantly avoided. It’s still painful, so we try to medicate it with busyness, pornography, shopping, hobbies, drinking, education, religion, or you name it. If you have some of those symptoms, God might be showing you there is a pain that He wants to heal.
Sometimes it takes a while, and it’s a process, but you can reopen the wound, or a person can send you spiraling… God is often showing you there is something else He wants to do in the situation to bring greater healing…
The goal is to allow things to become scars, where we are marked by the event or things in our life, but it doesn’t hurt us like it did. It has been healed. The only way to healing is to invite Jesus into your heart.
Kintsugi, you can still see the mark or scars… but it’s whole… it’s not shattered.
God wants to make you emotionally whole… there are going to be some things you are going to need to work through… and some things you’re going to need to process it… and bring others into it… But Jesus wants to make you whole… He wants to bring freedom to that area today…
Ask the Holy Spirit to bring the memories… and bring them to the place of healing. bring them to mind. Don’t allow us to conjure them just bring them to our attention…
Isaiah 61:1-3 (NKJV)
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”