Summary: A sermon based on John Baker’s Book, Life’s Healing Choices, and for Celebrate Recovery. It is on the second beatitude "Blessed are those who mourn"- Matthew 5:4
Evening Service for 3/1/2009
(Mat 5:4 NIV) Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Glen and Jo Ann live in Orange County, California in a low lying area. It flooded one year and the local newspaper sent a reporter, in a boat, out to Glen and Jo Ann’s neighborhood. The reporter found Jo Ann, sitting on their roof watching large objects floating by, so he climbed up on the roof to interview her.
As the reporter questioned Jo Ann, he saw a barbecue float by, and then he saw a large golden retriever pass by on top of his doghouse, and finally, a sports utility vehicle! A few minutes later, he saw a hat float by; but after it floated about 20 feet past the house, it started floating back upstream. When it got about 20 feet on the other side of the house, it started floating back down again. The reporter watched the hat go by 7 or 8 times, and finally he asked Jo Ann, “Do you have any idea how that hat is floating up and down stream?” “Oh, that’s just my crazy husband, Glen. He said he was going to mow the law today, come hell or high water.”
The problem with many of us is that we are still focusing on the lawn while our home is floating away. We have the crazy notion that we are in control.
A. Does this beatitude mean that it is good for people to mourn?
B. What are they mourning over?
C. In Celebrate Recovery, they talk about the 12 step program (AA). However, they tie it in with 8 choices based on the Beatitudes. Give a plug for Celebrate Recovery- Monday night at 7 pm.
B. This material tonight is adapted from Celebrate Recovery in a book by John Baker called, “Life’s Healing Choices.”
C. From Blessed are the Poor in Spirit we learned that no matter how hard we try to keep everything under control, we are powerless to control our tendency to do wrong and that our lives are unmanageable.
Thesis: Tonight we are going to talk about how to receive God’s power to help us with our hurts, habits and hang ups.
I. First, let’s talk about two of God’s blessings in disguise: grief and pain.
1. Grief- All of us have broken areas in our lives- things that bring us grief and pain.
A. We mourn our past mistakes- I wish I hadn’t done this or that. We have hurt people and we have been hurt by others.
B. We mourn our loss of control- Mourning is what happens when we finally face the truth that we are powerless to control our tendency to do wrong and that our lives are unmanageable.
C. We discover God’s pathway to comfort. As long as we don’t get stuck in the mourning process, mourning can serve as the pathway to comfort and to the help and hope God has ready for us. (Isa 61:3 NIV) to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness 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.
2. Pain- God’s antidote for denial
A. Denial is a kind of sickness and needs a powerful antidote. C. S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain. Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Pain is God’s way of letting us know something is seriously wrong and needs our attention.
B. If the appendix bursts, and we feel no pain, we would be dead.
C. Pain is God’s fire alarm. Some people ignore or disarm fire alarms. Many do the same with pain. We try to mute the noise with people, work, food, alcohol, and many things. If we ignore the alarm, the house could burn down.
D. Something significant here. Just because God allows pain to enter our lives does not mean that He causes the pain, and it certainly doesn’t mean that he enjoys seeing us in pain. Pain is often a consequence of our poor choices or the poor choices of others. God allows these poor choices to play out. God loves us and wants to lead us out of our pain and into His healing. The miracle is that God bring good out of our pain by using it to lead us to His comfort and away from our denial. (Rom 8:28 NIV) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Is God getting our attention?