The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. – Isaiah 61:1-4
Did you ever read a passage that just jumped off the page and drew your attention? Isaiah is filled with amazing passages about the work and life’s purpose of Jesus. And this is one that is profound. “It is an oasis of hope in a dessert of dispair” is one of the quotes written about the passage. And we see it again in the new testament as Jesus comes into the synagogue, takes the torah, the ancient scrolls of the bible (old testamant, naturally) and opens them up to this page, reading it to all who are there.
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” – Luke 4:20-21
Can you imagine the first people to hear these words when Isaiah penned them down. And then, centuries later and in direct fulfillment of the passage Jesus reads this in his first public speaking that is recorded. Mission statement with lots of action, lots of areas of life covered. It is also an invitation to turn to Jesus, and know he will take care of everything.
I love breaking down the actions listed:
- annointed – to proclaim
- sent – to bind up
- proclaim – freedom and release
- proclaim – year of the lord
- proclaim – day of lord’s vengence
- comfort – for those who mourn
- provision – for those who mourn
And that list just about covers everyone – wounded, grieving, discouraged, desperate, hopeless, helpless…. and we a re in that list, aren;t we.
Each of these action statements are promises to us, that our God is with us and is aware of our state. He is offering the comfort and consolation of himself, his very provision of love and grace.
So why am i writing about this? A small group of us have been working through a book called “Captivating” by John and Stasi Endredge. This is an essential must read for every christian woman because the authors zero in on some of the most significant things that women face, beginning with identity, wounding, the spiritual destruction by the enemy and the hope of healing that is offered by Christ Jesus.
We have all received wounds that mar who and what we were created to be by God. And when these wounds grow in us they reduce our ability to reflect the glory of God. Perhaps they were words spoken out of turn, carelessly stabbing into our soul, or they were physical acts that were unjust and unwarranted. We have all been through some rough waters, and carry what an old friend refers to as “the sin scars on this earth”. Carrying the scar is much different that keeping a wound. Wounds suggest that there is damage that has not been repaired… open, gaping places that cry out for the surgeon of our soul to sew us back together again. Wounds that keep us from loving each other, trusting each other, or obeying God.
I want to ask you, dear reader, how is your soul today? Do you have something buried deep inside – an unkind word that has become something you ruminate over? an unfair action done to you that you cannot stop thinking about, fearing it will happen again? Were you brutalized by someone, or simply neglected by someone? How deep is the wound in you? How badly do you ache for relief? or long for a better place?
I want to encourage you that wounds can be healed. The first step is to spend some quiet time with the Lord, and ask Him to show you the wounds. Ask him for help in laying this out and stating them to him. He knows what you have been through. He was there with you, and he wants to bring healing to your life. But you may have to allow a little pain in to bring the healing.
Ask Jesus to Heal You – pray quietly or out loud… just ask him.
Ask him to be your father – Now this may be tough for some people because human fathers can be sources of problems, and pain. But shed those thoughts, and allow Jesus to show you what a father is, to love you, to strengthen you, to sing over you, and bless you. I dont know about you but I take great comfort knowing that my father in heaven loves me so much he sings over me. Allow him to show you what a father should be… flooding your life with love, encouragement, and his presence.
Ask him to destroy your enemies – now that can be thoughts that oppose God, or monsterous waves of depression and self doubt… all of these things oppose God, and stand in the way of you being healed. They don;t come from God…. Pray and ask Him to destroy any strong hold the enemy has on your life in any area… and trust him to do this. Remember you are loved, you are the crown of his creation, not an afterthought of creation – made to reflect the beauty and glory of God.
Forgive the past – forgiveness is often misunderstood – it is not saying good words and forgetting the error. Instead it is agreeing with God that you will lay down any rights to hold these offenses, but instead you transfer the right for revenge to God. In giving this over to God you are agreeing that you release that person (or people) of their offense. That is big stuff. You are no longer carrying the weight of the offense. Ask God to give you his insight into the offender… you might discover they are also wounded, and have not been able to find healing from their wounds.
Back to the word scar – once you have asked for the lord to heal you he will, but there may be a scar. i look at my right calf and bear a scar about the shape of Australia, resulting from a wound that healed, but left that scar, or reminder it once was a wound. We may find that relationships with people will be different… setting boundaries with people who have wounded you is acceptable and good to protect you from further wounds. Knowing that some wounds will heal slowly, it is ok to have a scar. I of ten think that is why Jesus chose to have the nail prints in his hands… to remind us that scars will be there.
Do you have wounds? Has someone broken your heart? Injured you deep inside? Jesus reminds us he has come to bind up the broken hearted, comfort those who mourn, to release prisoners from their jail cells, to preach the good news to the world.
Healing and freedom from these deep wounds are possible..it is my prayer for you.
Jesus, you came to proclaim good news to us, and to release us from the bondage of sin, the pain of wounds, and the darkness of hopelessness. You are the answer to our need. And you are the great physician who wants to bring healing and vitality to your people. Today, take your word, and by your spirit fill each of us with your love, hope, and joy. Breathe healing and passion to share this message with the world. heal us. we yield our hurts, our pains, and our offenders to you and ask that you will be our father, walk us to health, and to your will. Amen