For your Maker is your husband— the Lord Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. – Isaiah 54:5 There are many things that need to take place for us to find recovery from any number of mental health issues, sin problems, or character change.
These include trusted friends, possible professional counseling, medication, education, the church, and Scriptures.
But one thing is central to all recovery and maintaining our new life, and that is the Good News, the gospel message.
For the next four weeks, we’ll explore the powerful message of the gospel and how it relates to our recovery from anything in our lives that we struggle with.
The gospel, the good news about the death, burial, and resurrection should be central to all recovery. But sometimes we miss this. It is so obvious, that we walk right by it. We can miss the forest for the trees.
As I was counseling a young man (a disciple) this year on a pornography issue I asked him, “Where does the cross fit into this situation? How have you integrated the gospel into your life?” His answer? “Oh, I already know all that.” I was shocked and I asked him back, “So at the age of 19 you already know all that?” Fortunately, he humbled out and we had a great conversation about the role of Jesus’ good news in his life in regard to his sin.
The cross is God’s answer to our problem of separation from Him. Most of us know this factually, but may struggle with it relationally. We’ve been redeemed, bought back by God, through the cross. This changes everything – it is the most important and greatest defining moment of human history – that a holy God would buy us back to be His own.
The cross reveals the Redeemer . Redemption means to buy back or to pay a ransom for another’s debt. Our God is called the Redeemer (Psalm 19:14) and Jesus on the cross was his ransom (Mark 10:45). This theme runs throughout the scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments. It’s the very heart of God.
Has your sin, character deficiencies, or mental health issue ever caused you to feel less than everyone else, like you don’t belong or are not worthy? Most of us at one time or another feel like this. We feel we don’t measure up or may live guilt-laden lives.
Or perhaps you’ve done something so shameful that you’ve never shared it with anyone else out of a sense of shame or fear. Sometimes mental health challenges cause us to isolate or berate ourselves into a mindset of never doing enough. The gospel deals with that by emphasizing the redemptive nature of God.
Watch this video, called Falling Plates.
Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them . – Luke 1:68
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole. ” – Galatians 3:13
If we’ve been redeemed, then we’re redeemable. No matter who you are, what you’ve done, or how poorly you think of yourself, God finds you worth buying back. It’s a fact.
Redemption is not about who we are, what we do, or if we can somehow earn our way back though our discipleship…no, redemption is 100% about God and his desire to bring us back. We simply joyfully accept this amazing fact and allow it to change our lives.
Meditate on the cross, marinate on God’s redemptive nature, revel in your salvation and how He loves bringing us back to him…by the cross. Read Ephesians 1, the story of Ruth, or do a word search on “Redeemer” this week and enjoy your own redemption!
Next week, we’ll continue looking at the cross and the amazing power displayed there to change our lives.The church setting is the the perfect place for recovery. Learn how to set up a Disciples In Motion weekend visit with Tim. It includes many different opportunities for mental health trainings in the church setting. Click here for more information.