In Chapter 4 of A Confident Heart by Renee Swope is best described by its title:
"God Promises Hope for My Future Despite the Pain of My Past"
At some point God will lead you gently on a journey of healing the heartache of your past. When He does this, do not run from it or shy away from it. Yes, it may be painful at first, but the eternal result is worth any amount of temporary discomfort.
Renee writes on page 75, "He walked me through a season of looking back so I could move forward. God used that time to "rebuild [my] ancient ruins and restore the [broken] places [in my heart that had been] long devastated. (Isaiah 61:4)
The Lord will often open up an old wound in order to bring a deeper healing.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has annointed Me,
To preach good news to the poor;
He has sent me to bind the broken hearted,
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 instead of a spirit of despair;
That they may be called Oaks of Righteousness,
The planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. Isaiah 61:1-3
God specializes in binding up the brokenhearted and setting the captives free.
Not only will He bind up the wounds and bring healing, He will also restore the broken places to wholeness.
The Lord will surely comfort [you] and will look with compassion on all [your] ruins; he will make [your] deserts like Eden, [your] wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Isaiah 51: 3 (pg 76).
I love this verse. The Lord will make your deserts like Eden. He will take the old, dry, empty and dead places of our lives and transform them into beautiful green fruitful gardens springing with new life!
When the Lord frees us, it is not enough for Him to simply free us. He wants to completely restore our lives. Then, when we are free, we can show others the way to freedom.
God frees us so we can lead others to freedom.
With these truths in mind, lets reflect and discuss a couple of the questions on page 82 and 83:
1. Has the pain of your past ever made it hard for you to believe God's promises and plans for your future? What do you sense He wants to change in your perspective?
2. Have past hurts robbed you of hope and affected your relationships today?
3. After reading Isaiah 61:1-3, What are some things God promises in these verses that you are asking Him to fulfill in your life? (He will do it.)
Next we will be reading Chapters 5 and 6 and will be discussing them next Thursday.