Imagine you have a friend at church. He is very friendly and well-liked by everyone. He always greets new guests and invites them to potluck after church. He hosts a small group Bible study in his home every Wednesday night. He serves as a deacon and volunteers to help out at every church outreach event. Your friend is a model Christian to everyone at church.
One day, your friend comes to you after church service. He confides to you that he is unsure of his salvation. He wants to love God, but he fears God’s displeasure and wrath every time he slips up and commits a sin. He wonders if God’s promises apply to him. Even though he has been a Christian for over ten years, he feels so lost, discouraged, and condemned. What would you say to your friend?
There are many people who feel broken. They may be people you know who seem to have it all together on the outside, but actually are hurting terribly on the inside. They may be your friends or family members. Perhaps you feel broken and forsaken by God. This short Bible series will remind you that God loves you and there is hope for those struggling with brokenness.
Let’s turn to Jeremiah 18:1-12 and read together.
God gives us a promise in this passage that everyone can claim. God promises that if we repent of our sins and come back to Him, He can make something new of our lives.
The people of Judah felt that they were hopeless sinners and they could not change. They did not believe in God’s promise and continued walking in their evil ways. Do not make their mistake. You only have to accept God at His word and claim this promise.
Let’s turn to John 3:17; 10:10; Revelation 12:9-10 and read together.
Jesus did not come to earth 2000 years ago to condemn humanity, but to save us. Jesus shared the truth of God’s love for us. Satan has been spreading lies for millennia about the character of God. Satan tries to rob us of our awareness and appreciation of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
There is a difference between guilt and shame. When you experience guilt, you realize you have done something wrong:
“I am wrestling with an addiction.”
“I am wrestling with (a particular sin).”
On the other hand, shame causes you to think you are something wrong:
“I am nothing but an addict.”
“I am nothing but a ______.”
God uses guilt and Satan uses shame. Guilt is healthy and can lead us back to Christ. Shame keeps us away from Christ. Remember, before sin, Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed (Genesis 2:25). After sin, they felt shame and tried to hide from God (Genesis 3:7-10).
Likewise, God uses conviction and Satan uses condemnation. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins and awakens in us our need of a Savior (John 16:7-11). Condemnation drives a wedge between you and God. A person experiencing condemnation would hear something like this in their mind:
“God doesn’t like you. Why do you bother reading your Bible? You haven’t changed at all after reading it for such a long time.”
Shame and condemnation lead us into failure. Satan convinces us to be that failure. Satan sets us up to be hurt, then we hurt ourselves. Like Eve, we believe Satan’s lies, take action against God, and sin. Like the people of Judah, we feel that we are hopeless cases and cannot come to God.
Let’s turn to John 8:32; 1 John 2:1-2 ; Romans 8:1-12 and read together
Jesus is our Advocate. He loves us and believes in us so much, that He died for us. We all have value in His eyes. There is no condemnation in those who live in Christ. Jesus will always forgive all sins confessed to Him.
We have a responsibility to bear when we sin, but we are not what we do (Romans 7:17). We are not what we used to be, so we do not have to identify with past sins.
Let’s turn to Mark 9:23-24; 1 John 3:20; and read together.
Friend, do not believe Satan’s lies. Jesus loves you and will heal you, if you are willing to give everything to Him, including your brokenness and unbelief.