Follow by Email

Friday, June 16, 2017

Daddy Issues

A Notification?  This early?

“I’m praying for you.” 

Huh?  Certainly, I appreciate as much prayer as I can get, but generally I can pinpoint a purpose for it.  I wasn’t sick.  I wasn’t having any major crisis. 

I reply “Thanks.  I appreciate it.”

“I know this day is hard for you.” 

This day?  It’s Sunday?  What could be the….

Oh.  It’s Father’s Day.

Father’s Day has always carried with it a variety of feelings.  Typically, it is not until someone else points out the elephant in the room that the weight comes crashing down.  I have no one to celebrate today.

But I have stop letting it be a day of mourning.  Father's Day is a day of remembrance.
Whether your father was completely absent or was less than a model example, I would encourage you to not make today a day of mourning, but a day to remember.

Father's Day is a reminder to three realities: identity, forgiveness, and the strength to forge ahead.

Reminder 1: Fatherlessness is not my identity.

Friend, the accuser will look at you on this day and declare many lies.  "You are not loved."  "You will never not hurt."  "If he could leave, so could God."

Satan's method is always to make us identify by something other than the Word of God.  When Jesus was being tempted in the wilderness, he went after Jesus identity by saying, "If you are the Son of God..."  Satan would tempt us by having us question all we are in Christ.

Don't believe his accusations.

Satan's song is loud.  But our Savior's song is louder.

The people of God overcome the accuser by embracing their blood-bought identity.

"And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death."
 - Revelation 12:11

Our value, our worth, our identity, is not grounded in the love of an earthly father, but in the love of our Heavenly Father.  God loves you!  The Son of God displayed it in his blood and by our testimony we declare it.  In the gospel, we find new life no longer defined by fatherlessness, but new life founded upon faithfulness.

God loves you, whether your father did or not.  God is healing your broken heart, no matter how real the pain is.  God will never leave you or forsake you, regardless of how far they fled.

God loved you before the foundation of the world, He sought you out by entering into this world in flesh.  He lived the perfect life none of us could not.  He willingly faced separation from the Father through his death on the cross that we might be adopted by God the Father.  He cried out, "My God, why have you forsaken me?" But, He did not stay dead- God raised Him from the dead!  By trusting in His death on the cross and Resurrection from the dead we have the promise that we will never be forsaken.  Over believers God sings,

"The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;he will exult over you with loud singing."
- Zeph. 3:16

This new identity transform how we relate to our past.

Reminder 2: Forgiveness is today's theme song.

As fully forgiven people, we can forgive.  In fact, as fully forgive people, we have no option but to forgive.

"How could I forgive a monster like him!"

But that is where the gospel becomes so much sweeter.  No one has offended you more than we have offended the Father by our sin.  Sin is not simply a mistake, sin is divine treason against our God and King.  Sin is less the son's misunderstanding and rather the son who stole his Father's wealth and wasted it on wild women.  Sin is dishonor to ourselves and to God who created us to reflect Him.  When we sin we are saying, whether we recognize it full or not, "This is what God is like."

But, God is willing and able to fully forgive.  But, not without pain.  He bore divine wrath and separation in order to bring divine forgiveness and reconciliation.

As the parable goes, the Father pursued the prodigal, even when far off and ran to him.  He did not wait to get the money back, he did not wait to even get an apology or explanation.  He responded in forgiveness at the return of the son.

If God can forgive you, you can forgive your father today.

I know he hurt you.  It may take time.  It may take your whole life.  But we must let go of our bitterness and place it on the cross of Christ, where it already is.  We need to recognize that our pasts no longer have a hold on us.  Bitterness is caused by the strain of a disappointed hopes continuing to be hoped in.

Yes, he let you down.  He broke your heart.  But, holding onto it is simply destroying you.

Forgiveness means freedom.  Forgive today.

Reminder 3: Forge ahead knowing all the wrong things to do.

With a new identity and the fruit of forgiveness, we can now forge ahead.

We may not know what being a father, or living with a father, is in experience.  But, we do know what it is not.  We have the opportunity to offer something better.   From darkness can come light.

But where the ideal is lacking, grace abounds.  God will help you to forge ahead.  This does not mean all your questions will be answered.  They won't.  It doesn't mean you don't have a long journey ahead of you.  You do.  It doesn't mean you are alone though- because you are not.

God has given you His presence but also His people.  God has given us His church to help us along our journey.  The church will help "bear our burdens" and "weep" and "rejoice" along with us (Galatians 6:1, Romans 12:15)

You've got a Father to guide you.  You've got a Father to mold you.  This Father's Day, you've got hope that will sustain you.  You are no longer defined by what happened to you.  You are not a victim.

Through Christ, all suffering that inflicts us is a means for our good (Romans 8:28-39).  The Fatherless are not victims, in Christ, they are victors!

If you have not come home to your Heavenly Father, you can turn and trust Him today.  You can find out more about having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ by watching this video.

If you have a relationship with God today, you must choose today how we must live.  Don't put off another day in anger and bitterness.  Will you forgive and forge ahead into all the good works which "God has prepared for you?" (Eph. 2:8-9)