Summary: 1. God will give us fellowship (vs. 1-7). 2. God will give us forgiveness (vs. 8-9). 3. God will give us a fresh start (vs. 9).
God's Help for the Hurting Heart
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Nov. 3, 2013
*Years ago, Mary and I used to get into fights on the way to church. Maybe it was the stress of getting two small children ready for Sunday school, or maybe the devil just tried to upset us when we were trying to worship God. Of course that's not the only time we ever argued, but it seemed real easy to get into a squabble when we were headed to church.
*Then as soon as we opened the car door, there was an instant transformation. We would put on the happy mask, and no one knew we were going at it tooth and toenail a few seconds before.
*I'm happy to report that we no longer fight on the way to church. Of course we come in separate cars. But probably all of us have put on masks at church. Many times it's to cover up a hurting heart. They ask, "Hey, how're you doing?" You put on a big smile, and say, "Fine, fine," when nothing could be further from the truth.
*Lots of people are hurting in our world, including God-fearing, Bible-believing, Jesus-loving Christians. One estimate I read said that probably a third of us are hurting right now. And if you aren't, one day you will.
 Sometimes we hurt from the grind of life.
*Think of a mom who works a fulltime job, then heads home to her other fulltime job. She is completely worn out, and it hurts. Think of a dad in danger of losing his job. Or he's got the job, but he can't make the money go far enough. Or he's got the money, but he can't get 25 hours in a 24 hour day. And the frustration hurts.
*Maybe you are sick. Maybe your wife, husband, child or parent is sick. It may even be one of those times when there is nothing you can do about it. You feel helpless. And the helplessness hurts.
 We can hurt from the grind of life. And we can hurt from grief.
*Many families in our church have gone through the loss of a loved one in the last few years, and that's not the only kind of grief. Some of us have been through the loss of trust, the death of a relationship with your husband or wife.
*Or maybe you lost a child, not through death, but through a broken relationship. Years ago, a friend told me an old saying about children: "When they are young, they step on your toes. But when they get older, they step on your heart." Sometimes that old saying is true, and it hurts.
 We can hurt from grief. And we can hurt from guilt.
*2 Corinthians 7 tells us that there is such a thing as "godly sorrow." It comes from the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. And the Apostle Paul tells us that this godly sorrow is a good thing. Why? -- Because it leads us to turn away from sin, and turn toward our Savior Jesus Christ.
*Sometimes we feel guilty, because we are guilty, and it hurts. But Psalm 34:18 talks about this kind of hurt, and says: "The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit." And in Isaiah 61:1, our Savior says: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound."
*No matter why we hurt, God wants to help. And today's Scripture shows us how.
1. First: God will give us fellowship.
*One of the best things about Christianity is fellowship. John mentions it four times here in the Word of God, but what is fellowship?
*Somebody said fellowship means "two fellows in one ship." Ed Wood explained that fellowship is the idea of having something in common. It means a partnership, community, participation. (1)
*Tim Peck said that fellowship "describes 'mutual sharing,' whether it's sharing our lives, our hearts, our possessions, or our tears." (2)
*This is the kind of fellowship God wants us to have with each other. Listen to John in vs. 1-3. Here John called Jesus "The Word of life," and said:
1. That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life
2. the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us