8
Jul
2016

‘Broken Perspectives’ of recent shootings | Episode 40

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Why do people have to shoot each other?
Does God let it happen?
Does He know it will happen?

These are questions that we all have, but in fact, it’s the questions and conversation my wife had this morning with our 7-year-old.

As the events unfolded this morning, our kids found my wife crying a bit — crying for the the killings, grieving on behalf of the families who lost a loved one… They asked why she was crying…

It led to some very good discussion with our 7 year old, leaving it with a young girl praying for people to love each other deeper and for others to find and know God before they die.

Numb with grief

Hearing about the shootings last night in Dallas, stacked on top of other recent well known shootings around the country — one’s heart can become numb with grief and disbelief.

Well, it was about a week or more ago, while on vacation that I came across an article that I really felt the Lord wanted me to share on the podcast. It was before I knew about the most recent shootings, before the events of last night… But I feel they are fitting.

A lot of what has happened in the last week has many elements of being racially motivated. It’s an issue that we have to tiptoe around in today’s politically correct culture. It’s honestly one that I try to avoid, focusing more on the bigger picture: that we have a big God who loves us deeply and wants the best for us.

So, this article that I am going to read was written about a year ago by Pastor Kurt Bubna, on “How To Overcome a Shattered Past.” (Find a link to that in the show notes). At first, I didn’t know it’s relevance a week or more ago or why I felt impressed even then to read it… but I think I get it now. A lot of us are seeing the world through our own lens. I would say all of us are doing that to some degree.

To give an example, say I had not updated my prescription in a couple of years, and I headed to the eye doctor to get new glasses; I would hope that I would see things more clearly. That’s what happened to me the last time I went. The world seemed so much better with my new glasses. (But, honestly, it took time before my eyes were even able to adjust to the new lenses the doctor prescribed.) Now, say I had not gone to him for the new specs, I would have still gone about seeing the world in a skewed way. Now, to take that example even further, imagine that I had been in a car accident, gotten banged up and cracked my glasses in the process? What if that happened and I never went to get new glasses, and chose to live life through the lens of brokenness?

Some in this world are walking and living life through the brokenness of their past and NEED to get to the healer to allow Him to renew our mind. The NLT of Romans 12 says it well, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. In verse 3, it picks up saying, “Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”

The passage goes on to say that as believers, we are all one body, just different parts, but that we should be working together. Despite what we look like externally, what has or has not been done to us in the past, let us remember what God has done for us, and that he desires for us to see the world, and ourselves, as He does — that a true Hope can be found as we find ourselves in Christ…

How to Overcome a Shattered Past

We tend to see God through our shattered perspective, and that’s a big problem. With a severely damaged self-image, we generally have a broken God-image too. In fact, let’s be honest; some of us believe God is great and all-powerful, but we can’t imagine Him doing anything astonishing through our lives. We sing worship songs about His awesomeness, but we believe God is limited in what He can do with screw-ups like us.

A huge part of the dilemma is that we like to create gods in our own image. We make gods out of the rich and famous. We elevate leaders (including politicians and pastors) to god-like status. We put them on a pedestal somewhere prominent in our lives, but in the end it’s a puny little god we’ve made to worship rather than Almighty God. Here’s the problem: If our God is too tiny or too human (like us), then our faith and confidence in Him will be too small.

Deep down we want to believe that God can do anything, but we’re pretty sure He has limits when it comes to us. Time or space might not constrain God, but a craftsman is only as good as the material he has to work with, right? And we know what we are.

More mud than marble.

More sandstone than diamond.

More broken than whole.

I’m not a big fan of self-confidence. Despite what the positive thinking gurus have to say, I’m not OK (and neither are you). I can sit in a lotus position for hours chanting, “I am good. I am awesome. My life force in the universe matters.” But in my gut I know I’m not that good. In fact, I’m pretty messed up at times.

So what’s the alternative to emotional self-flogging? The substitute for self-confidence is God-confidence. (Stop and read that line again.) In other words, it’s not about me. So I put my confidence and hope in God and His ability to accomplish anything through a cracked pot like me.

The god I’ve created in my mind has limits.

The God of the universe does not.

I am broken.

He is not.

In fact, working with people who typically are relegated to the scratch-and-dent pile of life is God’s specialty.

Many of us feel we’ve gone too far and failed too miserably to ever get back on track. Even if God once had a great plan for our lives, we believe it’s too late now. But avoiding epic failure is not a prerequisite to experiencing an epic life.

Moses was a murderer. David was an adulterer. Rahab was a prostitute. Peter was a betrayer. Saul (aka: Paul) persecuted and imprisoned Christians. Yet each of them lived amazingly epic lives when they followed God.

We’re all in trouble if the path to adventure in Christ requires perfection. We must learn to get past what we’ve done and get beyond our glaring inadequacies. God is bigger than our foolishness.

Perhaps you often drift in your mind to some horrendous past sin you’ve committed. Possibly you’re devoured by your failure and overwhelmed by your foolishness. Maybe the misery of yesterday and the emptiness of today have stolen from you any joy or hope for a better tomorrow.

If that’s you, please listen to these words: God knows where you’ve been, where you are and where He will take you. He knows your past, present and future better than you do, but He sees a sunrise of hope on your horizon.

How do you overcome a shattered and sinful past?

You simply confess your sin and rest in God’s goodness and grace. You truly can be free and forgiven because of Jesus. Let go of the things you can’t change about your past, and trust God with your present and your future. He is able to redeem, restore and renew any life that is fully surrendered to Him.

There’s a reason why they call it amazing grace.

Did this help you?

If this show has encouraged you, Let Us Know and share it with others. While you’re in the helping mood, leave us a review on iTunes and you can leave ideas for future shows of Project Faith Journey. When you do this and subscribe to the program, other people begin hearing more of this about the changed life they can have in Christ. This is key and important. Help us reach others for Christ by sharing, subscribing and reviewing the show.

Photo courtesy: http://wtop.com/

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