In today’s session, Derek provides Scriptures that address God’s ability to bring healing to hearts wounded by rejection. There are wounds of feeling unwanted, unloved, uncared for, unappreciated, or losing God’s perspective of one’s own value. Derek especially looks at two primary areas where rejection occurs—between a husband and wife, and that of a child from his or her parents.
It’s good to be with you again, as we draw nearer to the close of another week. I’ll be continuing today with our special theme for this Christmas season: The Love of God.
In my talk yesterday I spoke about the marriage relationship as a pattern of God’s love. I based my talk on Ephesians chapter 5 where Paul says, “Husbands, love your wives even as Christ loved the church.” And I pointed out five features of such love all of which apply to the love of God. First of all that love provides the motivation for all that follows. Love your wives as Christ loved the church and then everything that Christ did for the church proceeded out of His love for the Church. Secondly, it’s a self-giving love. Christ gave Himself up for the Church. Third, love produces a vision of what it can do in those it loves. Christ envisaged a spotless bride even as He looked down on a world of sinners for whom He gave Himself. Fourth, love makes full provision for all the needs of those whom it loves. Christ makes full provision for His bride as a man makes full provision for his own body or for his wife. And fifth, the ultimate purpose for this love is union. And Paul there quotes the words from Genesis chapter 2, “For this purpose a man will leave his father and mother and will cleave to his wife and they will be one flesh.” Two become one. That is the ultimate purpose of divine love, is union with those who are loved.
Today I’m going to share about The Healing Power of God’s Love, and I pray that even as I share, there may be the healing power of God in these very words and in this message that I bring to you.
Yesterday, amongst other things from Hosea chapter 2, I showed you a picture of how God allures us by His love; He entices us. He brings us into the Valley of Achor, the valley of trouble, but then as we are in the midst of the trouble, He opens the door of hope to a revelation of Himself in His love to bring about an everlasting union with those He loves.
Today I’m going take another passage from the same prophet Hosea to present to you the healing power of the love of God. It’s just one beautiful verse in the last of chapter of Hosea, Hosea chapter 14 verse 4 where God is speaking about Israel’s backsliding and unfaithfulness, and nevertheless, He declares that ultimately He will heal them. And this is what He says in Hosea 14:4:
“I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.” (NIV)
Notice, as I’ve said many times and I’ll probably be saying it again in the further course of these talks on the love of God, it’s a free love. “I will love them freely,” God says. It cannot be earned. There is no way we can deserve it. We either receive it freely or we don’t receive it at all. God says out of that free, undeserved love will come healing for all Israel’s waywardness, for all their backsliding and for all the problems it has brought upon them. I want you to see that God’s love is the ultimate solution for our problems, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, financial, individual, national. There is only one ultimate solution, it’s the love of God. God’s love and His healing power covers every area of our pesonality. There is no area of the human personality that cannot be touched and changed and healed by the love of God. But I want to speak especially of the healing power of God’s love for one of the deepest, perhaps the deepest, of all human wounds, the wound of rejection. The wound of feeling unwanted, unloved, uncared for, unappreciated, of losing the perspective of your own value. And I want to take two passages both from the Old Testament to deal with the healing power of God’s love in two of the primary areas where we experience rejection. The first, the rejection of a wife from her husband. The second,rejection of a child from his parents. Let’s look first of all in Isaiah 54, verses 4 through 8. The picture of the rejected wife and God’s promise to her. Isaiah 54 verses 4-8:
“‘Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. [There are three things that torment us: shame, disgrace, humiliation. Almost any woman that’s been through a divorce knows something of the meaning of those words, shame, disgrace, humiliation. God goes on...] You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your maker is your husband, the Lord Almighty is his name, the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit, a wife who married young, only to be rejected,’ says your God. ‘For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,’ says the Lord your Redeemer.” (NIV)
There are many applications that applies to God’s people Israel. It applies also to the Church of Jesus Christ, but it also applies individually in the life of each one of us who has come into that place of need where we felt despised, rejected, we’ve been humiliated, somebody has let us down, a husband or it might be a wife. Some personal relationship we’ve built so much upon has crumbled and failed us and we are left, as it were, sitting in the ruins, sitting in the dust, humiliated, embarrassed, disgraced. God says I will heal that situation, I’ll come into that situation and I will be to you whatever that human person failed you in. If it’s a woman, I’ll be you husband. If it’s a man, I’ll be your strength. I’ll encourage you. I’ll lift you up. That is the power of God’s love, but it is free. Bare in mind that it is free. You cannot earn it, but out of the Valley of Achor, of trouble, God will open to you the door of hope. Don’t despair, don’t give up. Bare in mind that in the love of God there is a solution and there is healing for you, for each one of us.
I’ve spoken about the healing power of God’s love for those who have experienced rejection in a broken marriage relationship. I want to touch also briefly on the healing power of God’s love for the one who has experienced rejection from his parents, maybe from both father and mother or only from one parent. I believe personally this is probably the commonest single problem or agony of our contemporary culture is the child who has never known real love and acceptance from his parents, and primarily from his father. For I believe that God created children to feel the need of a father’s love. That through that feel they might go beyond the human father and find a heavenly father. But whatever way we view this there is no question that one of the deepest hurts that many people face today is the hurt of feeling unwanted, unappreciated, unloved by those who naturally who would be the first and the most loving, our parents. And in Psalm 27 verses 9 and 10, David himself, the psalmist, faces this problem and shows us the solution. Psalm 27 verses 9 and 10:
“Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior. [Notice that word, reject, do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior.] Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” (NIV)
You see, even if father and mother are not to us what we could reasonably expect they might be, even if they forsake us, even if they abandon us, and I’ve dealt with many people who in childhood were actually abandoned by their parents, nevertheless, we can turn to the Lord and say, “Do not reject me. Lord, don’t treat me as my parents treated me. You can take the place of father and mother just as you can take the place of husband to the rejected woman.” So it’s in this free, unmerited love of God that comes in through the valley of trouble, the Valley of Achor, opens up a door of hope that we can find healing for every wound especially the wounds of rejection.
If you have been struggling with this problem, maybe today you say to yourself, “Well, I’m really there in the Valley of Achor.” Turn to the Lord and let Him open to you the door of hope and reveal that love which alone can heal the deepest of all your wounds.
Our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again next week at this same time Monday through Friday. Next week I’ll be continuing with this inexhaustable Theme: The Love of God.
As we draw near to the close of this year, I want say a special thank you to eachone of you who has shared with me the financial burden of this radio ministry. May I also ask you frankly to remember the ministry once more with a generous gift before the year closes. This will be a great source of encouragement to me personally and will help me to continue and expand the ministry in the New Year that lies ahead. To each one who responds I’ll send an autographed copy of my book, Appointment in Jerusalem. This is the dramatic, true-life story of my first wife, Lydia, and the children’s home she started in Jerusalem. Countless people have written to tell me that it’s the most moving and exciting story they’ve ever read.
Also, my complete series of talks this week on the Love of God (Part 2) is available in a single, carefully edited cassette. Stay tuned for details.