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Sermon 29 – DON’T LET GRIEF BECOME A GRIEVANCE

22 Apr

This is what I reckon happened in heaven, and I reckon it happened because it’s inherent in every human being’s nature …

Jesus ticked all the Father’s boxes and Satan didn’t. The consequences were …. Satan felt grief at being rejected by the Father and then turned that pain feeling into a grievance against the Father. His mood actually proved that the Father was right but the envy against Jesus from that grievance got so strong he hardened his heart and set his course to prove to the Father that he could run the place just as well as Jesus. He began to hate the fact that God walked in the garden with His creation in preference to spending quality time with him, after all he’s No.3 and they’re only earthlings, so he set a plan in place to get back at the Father by taking His creation away from Him. What was Jesus’ reaction? He turned to the Father and trusted His wisdom

Humans, without realising it do exactly the same thing as Satan, but not the same thing as Jesus. If you want to follow Jesus you have to force yourself to override your human nature to want to turn your grief into a grievance and train yourself to trust the Father by faith; that’s the fight of faith.

In most every family one of the siblings ticks most of the father’s boxes and the other siblings feel rejected because they’re not acknowledged the same by the father. Contrary to Jesus’ pattern, the favoured sibling elevates himself above his brothers and sisters (“I can do it, why can’t you?”), and parallel to Satan’s pattern, the other siblings allow the feeling of rejection to quickly degenerate into a grievance mood and the seed of envy is sown. Due to the fall of Adam, Satan is the powerhouse for both these human reactions. From this point on, circumstances and voices trigger that initial pain of rejection for the purpose of constantly retrapping you to fall to envy so you fail to learn faith and trust in God’s higher plan, and ultimately destroy your chances of salvation.

Whilst I was building my new house extension I unwittingly heard voices against my father. You see, my father owned a building company and I used to work for him. One day he fired me without any explanation and without any advance wages. I deliberately didn’t hold a grievance, but I guess it hurt me deeply; I wasn’t aware at the time … I was in shock. Now, every time I do carpentry, I’m susceptible to falling into a grievance. Carpentry is a trigger that reignites my hurt feelings, and Satan knows it and uses it. It’s not a sin to be grieved (God was grieved with the attitude of the Jews Psalm 95:10); it’s a sin to turn your grief into a grievance against somebody; and that’s the trap that’s sitting there waiting to be constantly sprung against you. When you turn your grief into a grievance you’ve now become the judge and elevated yourself; it’s elevation that’s the issue, not the grief, and it’s never over just because you faced it before; it’s always there waiting to retrap you.

Without even realising it I inwardly consented to turn my grief into a grievance against my father. I was trapped in sin, even though I was the innocent victim. You can object that it is not fair, but that’s the second trap. The only escape is to turn by faith to God and trust His higher plan, then REPENT of your sin, and then FORGIVE your father for mistreating you. This is the real fight of faith; it’s against Satan tricking you to constantly take the apple, and the only answer is to react the same way as Jesus, by turning to the Father and not to your grief. The advantage we humans have over Satan is we can repent and he can’t; his heart has hardened too much.

It might seem like God has taken His finger off, but He’s using even this trap to guide you closer to Him and counteract Satan’s vengeful plan. Suffering is the pathway to God and the pain of the grief can be used as a positive stimulus to turn to God contra to your normal reaction to hold a grievance. Each time you turn to God you strengthen your faith against your selfishness. It’s a fight so it’s not necessarily over in a second, sometimes you have to hold on for quite some time, but this is the real resistance warfare.

Joseph ticked all his father’s boxes and his brothers hated him for it, but God had a higher plan and He allowed Joseph to suffer till he faced and owned his arrogance Genesis 45:5. Joseph made the choice to soften his heart and turn to God and God used the pain of his rejection to free him from his arrogance and ultimately to provide for all his family.

Looking for the Father’s approval is selfish. Faith loves the Father, it doesn’t use Him for one’s own benefits. Faith accepts the circumstances, the suffering and griefs and trusts God’s plan, and faith repents of holding a grievance.

May God challenge your grievances.

Pastor Ray Goodfellow

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Posted by on April 22, 2012 in Grievance

 

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