Summary: This is the third in a series on how to deal with stress in our lives. God’s antidote for wounded emotions. All the sermons in this series are taken from the 23rd Psalm.
Guilt, Grief and Grudges
How to Deal With Damaged Emotions
Today we are continuing our series Stressbusters. We are going through the 23rd Psalm and looking at seven ways we can relieve stress in our lives. We have already looked at how to deal worry and how to deal with busyness. Today we are going to looking at how to deal with our damaged emotions. Psalm 23:3 says:
He restores my soul Psalms 23:3 (NKJV)
This is good news; we all need our soul restored. We get hurt not just physically but also emotionally and spiritually. Life is tough. We get beat up. We get discouraged, depressed and disappointed. We have failure, fatigue, frustration and fears. We all have hidden hurts from our past. We carry wounds, battle scars and emotional garbage. God wants to restore our souls.
How does He do this? He does this by making three changes in your life:
1. He removes your GUILT.
2. He relieves your GRIEF.
3. He replaces your GRUDGES.
1. Let God remove your GUILT.
Nothing destroys a soul faster then guilt. Look at what Psalm 38 says:
My sins have flooded over my head; they are a burden too heavy for me to bear. My wounds are foul and festering because of my foolishness. Psalms 38:4-5 (HCSB)
This is a person who is plagued by guilt. There are two problems with guilt.
A. We all have plenty of reasons for guilt.
B. We can’t get away from it.
How do we deal with guilt? There are lots of options:
We can deny it. We can try to pretend that it doesn’t exist. We can try to bury it – but that doesn’t work. It’s still alive. Denying guilt doesn’t deal with it.
We can minimize it. We can say, “It’s no big deal.” But we know that it is. If it was no big deal why do we still remember it? Why can’t we forget it? Why can’t we move beyond it? Minimizing it doesn’t work.
We can rationalize it. We say, “Everybody does it.” But we know that is not true; everybody doesn’t do it. Even if they did – that doesn’t make it right. When I try to rationalize it – I am trying to put my head over my heart – but the heart always wins out. “Rationalize” means “rational – lies.”
Most common thing we do with guilt is that we beat ourselves up with it. We administer self punishment. We don’t see ourselves as God sees us. We feel less then human – less then God values us. We see ourselves with little importance or worth. We tell ourselves, “I don’t deserve to succeed.” We live in our guilt.
None of these work. There is only one solution to guilt. You have to give it to God.
He restores my soul Psalms 23:3 (NKJV)
Circle the word He. Only He can restore my soul.
How does He do that? Through Jesus Christ. The most basic truth of Christianity is that Jesus Christ has already paid for all your sins. Everything you’ve done wrong has already been paid for. The stuff you have already done, the stuff you are going to do, all your sins have been paid for. The screw ups, the mess ups, the accidents, the mistakes, the boo boos, the blunders, the fumbles have all been paid for. That’s why Jesus went to the cross – to pay for your sin. No psychologist can remove your guilt; they don’t have the power to forgive your sin. They don’t have the power to remove your guilt. Only God can do that. The Good Shepherd has the power to restore your soul.
How do you get forgiveness from God? By trusting in Him. You don’t beg Him. You don’t bribe Him. You don’t bargain with Him. You just believe Him – you trust Him. Accept that Jesus Christ went to cross for you.
Some of you say, “Pastor Tom, I trust in Jesus – I believe in Him yet I still feel guilty.” That means you don’t understand the forgiveness of God. When God forgives it is immediate, it’s free, it’s complete, it’s unconditional, and forgiveness takes care of your sin the first time you ask. Look at 1 John 1:9 with me.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NKJV)
Circle the word “all”. How much sin does God cleanse you of? A part, some, a smidgen, a bit – no He cleanses you of ALL.
When you get your utility bill and you pay it in full – you know there is money in the bank – you know the check is good – do you still worry about it? No! The moment you pay the bill you stop sweating it. It’s paid for. Jesus on the cross said, “It is finished. It’s paid for. It’s over and done with.” So what are you worried about? If God forgives your confessed sins – shouldn’t you? Let God remove you guilt.