Today we continue the series, “When You’ve Been Wronged.” We’re looking at the life of Jacob—a biblical figure who, in many ways, made a mess of his life. God meets him, reaffirms his covenant with him and renames him Israel. Sometimes God needs to humble us and bring us to a point of great need in order to reconcile us to Himself—and to others.
God used circumstances in Jacob’s life to force him on a journey back home to reconcile with his estranged brother. He could no longer hide from his wrongdoings. On the way, he wrestles with God and is left in a dependent state. For the first time in Jacob’s life, he cannot rely on his own devices or schemes—and despite his fear, he has to reconcile with Esau God’s way. God has reconciled us to Himself, and He is the author of our reconciliation with each other.
Jacob lied and manipulated to get the things he wanted out of life, even the very thing God had already promised to him from the beginning when he said, "the older will serve the younger." Jacob's hastiness and deception left him fractured from his family and filled with fear. In the midst of his risky return journey to face his brother, he had an encounter with the God of his fathers who had not forgotten him.
Imagine getting a one-on-one counseling session with God. Who could give you better advice? Well, Cain allowed his anger, envy and jealousy to override the counsel given to him, personally, by God—and killed his brother Abel. He was so blind to his own sinful jealousy, all he could think about was avenging his wounded pride at any cost. Let's heed God's warning today that sin is crouching at the door.
Biblical forgiveness doesn't always make sense to us. According to our human reasoning, if we are wronged, we shouldn't have to let go of our anger until the other party makes it right. But when we look at Jesus we see another example. When wronged, He did not respond in kind but entrusted it to God. Let's take a look at this beautiful passage in 1 Peter together on today's episode of "5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer."
All of us have been offended at one time or another but what does scripture say about clinging to an offense? When we become blind to our own faults and desire vengeance no matter the consequences, we're beginning to put the hurt of that offense above God in our lives. Join Pastor Lutzer as we again address the topic of "When You've Been Wronged," as we learn together that whatever we do not forgive, we pass on.
Are you ever overwhelmed with anger? Or perhaps you perpetually keep others at a safe distance, guarding yourself against any possible hurt. Join Pastor Lutzer as he begins a new mini-series, entitled, "When You've Been Wronged: Moving from Bitterness to Restoration." Let's be guided by God's transforming word as we navigate the hurt and bitterness that often exists in fallen human relationships.
Today, in the last episode of our series on the pandemic, Pastor Lutzer guides us through some of the most comforting passages in the Bible. We learn that Jesus says to us: "I am not only your refuge and strength, I am your forerunner through all suffering and uncertainty." He has been there before and He says to us, "Follow me."
How do we make sense of the suffering we experience and still cling to what we know of our merciful, loving God as presented in scripture? To Pastor Lutzer the answer is this: we live by promises, not by explanations. Join us for the second to the last episode of the series "Pandemics, Plagues, and Natural Disasters: What is God Saying to Us?"
During times of crisis, many may turn to atheism and renounce any underlying meaning to personal and communal suffering. What do you say in response? How do you reassure your own heart when doubts arise? In Pastor Lutzer's experience this is more often a matter of the heart than the head. Join us today as we take an honest look at these difficult truths together.