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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Jentezen Franklin » Jentezen Franklin - God Uses Life's Bruises

Jentezen Franklin - God Uses Life's Bruises

Jentezen Franklin - God Uses Life's Bruises
Jentezen Franklin - God Uses Life's Bruises
TOPICS: Brokenness, Pain

1 Kings 20. I'll begin with Verse 35. "Now a certain man of the sons of the prophets said to his neighbor by the word of the Lord," in other words, God told him say, "'Strike me, please.' And the man refused to strike him, and he said to him, 'Because you have not obeyed the voice of the Lord, surely, as soon as you depart from me, a lion shall kill you.' And as soon as he left him," which I would've never left him. He's my neighbor. I might as well move in here. This is a wild story. "And as soon as he left him, a lion found him and killed him". Look at Verse 37. "And he found another man," the prophet, "and said, 'Strike me, please.' So the man struck him," and notice the wording, "the man struck him and inflicted a wound. Then the prophet departed and waited for the king by the road, and disguised himself with a bandage over his eyes".

I'd like to read one more verse in the last verse of that chapter, Verse 43, "So the king of Israel went to his house sullen," or heavy, "and displeased, and came to Samaria". One translation said heavy under conviction. I love that. So, I wanna talk to you today about something, and I'll give you the title in a few minutes, but this is one of those wild stories in the Old Testament that has not much of any lead up to it. It almost seems random, strange, in the middle of everything, and God doesn't explain it. He leaves it up to people to come up with a message out of it. To me, it's strange because you have things you don't understand about this text. Why is a prophet standing there saying to a man with a sword 'cause it was a serious wound that he inflicted on him, required bandages and help, and he said strike me. I mean, God told him to go tell a soldier or somebody with a sword to strike him. And the Bible said, you know, that the man looked at him like you would look. What if somebody came up and said, "Hit me. Hit me".

I remember when mom used to whip me and dad used to whip me. They would say a little line every once in a while that I thought was cruel and unusual punishment because they would say something like, "You asked for it". Y'all remember those words? And I would always come back quick. I'm asking you to forgive me. I'm asking you to not do this. And they said, "No. When you didn't do what I told you to do, you asked for this, so now you're gonna get it". And it's almost like this... well, it's not an almost. This prophet is standing there saying, "Strike me. Hit me. Thus sayeth the Lord, hit me with your sword. Hit me hard. Cut me".

And the first guy doesn't do it. I mean, it's just random. This whole story is in two or three verses. And then when he didn't do it, the guy turns around and says then I just release a lion to kill you for not obeying what the Lord told you to do, and a lion came and he killed him. And then while he's out there chewing on the guy, he goes to another man, and he says, "Strike me," and I like this guy. He's like, "Where at? I don't care. I'm about to cut you bad. You have no idea". Because I believe he was thinking I know what happened to the last guy who was told to do this, so you're about to get hit. And it's really amazing. Teaches you a couple of things. When you see things in the Bible and in life there are always lessons to be learned in things you don't understand.

In life you're gonna have things that hit that you will not understand, and in the Bible there are things that seem random that you don't understand. The first thing that I want you to understand about the story is that the prophet found another man real quick. If you, if you don't have an appetite for your call and your place in what God has told you to do, if you don't love what God has given you, and you don't love the family or the husband or the wife or the life that God has given you, if you don't take advantage of the opportunities and the open doors and the times when God says I want you to do something for me, if you decide not to do it, please learn from this story God always has somebody else He can raise up. He may have to get them off of drugs. He may have to pull them out from living under a bridge. But just when you think you're all that and just when you think that you're so big and powerful and smart and talented, God says if you don't learn to obey me, don't ever forget I've got another man or another woman always waiting in the wings, and I'm gonna get my job done. I'd like to use you, but I don't have to use you. I can use somebody else, and it's all dependent upon will you obey me, even when you don't understand my instructions.

And the man smoked him and notice the text, wounded him. He was visibly wounded. The prophet was bleeding, had to have bandages put on his body, and then he went from that place immediately and waited on a spot on the road because God had told him the king of Israel, King Ahab, was coming in his chariot with his entourage down that road, and now that he had been wounded, now that he had been hurt, now that he had been attacked, now that he had bled he has something about him that immediately felt now I'm ready to go give the message to the most powerful man in the nation because I am qualified. I mean, he asked for it and then he knew he had a message from God, but he wasn't qualified to give it until he had been wounded, until he had been hurt, until he had gone through some suffering and some pain and some tears and some bleeding and some hurting. He had the word, but he said I'm not qualified. I'm not prepared, and I'm not positioned to give the king because the king would have kept on riding if he hadn't seen the prophet and the one that had bandages all over him bleeding. It caught his attention. He said, "I'll listen to that man".

So many times we think it's our talent that will bring us before great people, and certainly it helps. I'm not against it. Your education, all of that, we all need all we can get, but when it really comes down to it what I've learned and I'm a communicator, this is what I do for a living, the sermons that reach people the most and touch people the most are not ones that just are up here that are Bible, spitting out facts of the Bible and all of that's important, but it's really when in times that I've gone through woundings and hurts and cuts and attacks myself that I begin to have this authority. There's a weightiness that comes when somebody's been through something. We want a perfect life. We want no wounds, no hurts, beautiful families, no issues to ever hit our lives, and when it does come we sulk, we sour, we fail to understand that this prophet said, God, if that's what it takes, the wounds and the hurts for me to help somebody else and them listen to me because of what I've been through.

God uses, here's my title, "God Uses Life's Bruises". God uses life's wounds. Your wounds carry a message in them that men and women in a hurting world who are hurting, I don't care how hard they are. I don't care how wicked they are. I don't care how drunk they are. I don't care how high they are. I don't care how many lovers they have. When they encounter someone who's speaking a word from the Lord and that someone has been qualified by their own wounds and their own failures and their own heart broken and their own bleeding in some area of their life. There's something about that, the foolishness of preaching, and He needs wounded, hurt, bruised people to bring that message.

You say, well, I have a valid excuse to not be a good dad because I never had one. Well, you can look at it like that or you can say I've been wounded, and God can take my bruises and my wound and my cut. Because I didn't have a mother doesn't mean I'm gonna pass generational curses to my children to be the same way and to abandon their family, but God can actually use what they mean for my evil, Joseph said, concerning his own family. What they meant for my evil God can use it for the good, and I can transfer blessing and I can be an even more attentive mother or father because of what I've been through. The wounds can be used to heal and not destroy.

Well, Pastor, you just don't understand how bad I've been hurt. No, you don't understand now that you have been hurt, now that you have been attacked, now that you have been wounded, you can be highly effective in leadership. The very thing we think disqualifies us from leadership. See, we think leaders have to be perfect. Their lives have to be perfect. Somebody that I listen to needs to have it all together when in reality sometimes you need to get around some people who have been wounded and hurt and made it through. Some things, some things you go through, some things you go through, and it'll never be the same again. There's nothing you can do that can change it, and it's hard. It's hard. But God says I can use that wound. I can use that bruise. I can use that attack. I can use that divorce. I can use that.

If that disease had not come... and don't get me wrong. God doesn't send it. Read the story of Job. It's Satan that sends it. It's sin that sends it. It's the enemy that sends it. It's disobedience that sends it. But God, if He allows the wound to hurt, the attack, the blood shed to come to your life, to your family, the sword to hit you, it's only so He can give you more ability to communicate to somebody else that I went through it, and I made it. The tragedy, the loss of a loved one, the early death of some relative. God says I can use that wound to get my message across to powerful, hardened people who nobody else can reach but the wounded.

Sometimes we think if we've been wounded we can't leave. Sometimes we look at God's command and say I really can't worship today with joy because I've had such a hellish week. I really can't lead. I really can't help others because I've been wounded and I've been hurt. I can't even lead myself. I'm so messed up. I can't even get myself out of this depression. How in the world, how in the world can God use me? Because that's how He does. We've all been shot. Throw away your excuses. You say I'm the only one that's shot? No, you're not. You're not the only one hurt. You're not the only one wounded. You know children can wound you and marriage can wound you and family can wound you, and job situations can wound you and business deals that go bad and devastate you can wound you, and addictions can wound you.

Here's a big one: and friendly fire can wound you; people that you were so close and so tight with and something happened and now there is this terrible wound that doesn't ever seem to heal. But what I'm saying to you is you may never get over it, but you will get through it if you will do what God tells you to do, and some of you say, well, I want Him to take it away. Some scars will never go away. Some wounds will never go away, and it may never go away, but you will get through it, and you will stand victorious and you have a choice to make. You don't choose what sword comes at you. You don't choose what wound comes into your life. Some things just hit, and you don't understand and never will, but you do choose your response. In 1 Chronicles 2:16 there is a woman mentioned by the name of Zeruiah, and the reason she is mentioned is because she is David's sister. She is David's sister, and her name is Zeruiah, and the sons of Zeruiah were Abishai, Joab, and Asahel.

Now, keep that up there just a moment because it's so important for you to understand because the Scripture clearly tells us who this woman was. Her name was Zeruiah which means in Hebrew "my wounds". My wounds. Now look at me, everybody. My wounds. And the reason that it's important is something happened according to, you know, they name people after events sometimes that happened in their life. For example, there's the story of Benoni who was Rachel's son, and she was dying giving birth, and she said Benoni means child of my sorrow. And so she was dying and as she was dying she said his name shall be called Benoni which means sorrow. And the dad came over and said, no, no. As she was dying he said his name will not be called sorrow. His name will be called Benjamin which means son of my right hand from which is the lineage of the kings of Israel.

Wow! In that moment that dad could have named that child after the sorrow and the wounds of the mother, but he didn't do that. You remember when they lost the Ark of the Covenant, 2 Samuel 6, and the Bible said the philistines stole it and then the father in law, Eli, the high priest fell backwards when he heard the news and broke his neck and that family went into crisis, and the Bible says there was a woman giving birth, and she named the child Ichabod. Because of the pain that they were experiencing in their generation they decided to pass it in the name unto the next to generation, and the name Ichabod means the glory has gone. The glory has departed. The glory has been taken out of this family.

Well, here's the miracle of 1 Chronicles 2:16. Zeruiah's name means my wounds. They were visible wounds. Something had happened in her childhood. I don't know if she was burned. I don't know if she was injured. Something had happened that caused her to have horrible wounds. But something amazing happened through this woman because her offspring did not receive a transfer of her issues into their life. I can prove this because when you look at who her three children were it's amazing and it tells you there is Joab. Joab became the four-star commander general of the army of Israel under King David. The son of my wound became a four-star general and led in battle every war that they fought under the greatest time that Israel ever had in the expansion of Israel. The second son was called Abishai. What did he do? Read in 2 Samuel 23. You don't have to go there. Just read.

2 Samuel 23, the Bible said David was an old man. He was the only giant killer ever recorded to kill a giant in all of the Bible, but one day when he got out on the battlefield as an old man, a giant that had six toes and six fingers, that's what your Bible said, hit him. He was the brother of Goliath. Hit him, and he was coming after him because he had killed his brother and had him down and was about to slave the psalmist of Israel, the King of Israel David, and across the field comes the son of the wound. If she'd transferred wounds and offense and hurt and self-pity and depression and fear and worry, he would have never, nobody had ever seen anybody kill a giant but David, but when David was laying on the ground wounded and the king was about to take his head off, here comes the son of the wound running across there, Abishai. He fights the giant, gets between David and the giant, and slew the giant.

And then there's this third fella and his name is Asahel, and you know what his name means and you know what it says of him in the Scripture? It said that he was the fastest runner in all of Israel. He could run faster than anybody. He was the fastest in his field. So, here's a woman that has wounds. Her name means my wounds. She's carried them all her life, but instead of letting her wound produce bitterness and pain and depression and addiction and curses and bondage and low self-esteem and no belief in themselves or confidence in themselves. She raised three champions in one household with her wounds. One became a four-star general, one became a giant slayer, and another one became the fastest in his field. Don't tell me you can't do it. I know you've been wounded if you're a single mom or a single dad, but you can raise champions for Jesus Christ if you will believe that He can use life's bruise to bring about something good.

My question to you, my question to you is what will your wounds produce? Will they produce bitterness? Will they produce unbelief? Will they produce addiction? Will they product rebellion and excuses and resentment? This is what the Apostle Paul said. He had it all. He had intellect, he had education, he was gifted, he was an intellectual, and he said, yet, I don't glory in any of that, but he said I glory in my infirmities, my wounds. He was beaten with rods. He was stoned. He was beaten with a cat of nine tails. He was tied up. He was tortured. He was snake bitten. He was shipwrecked. He was stoned and left for dead. He was scarred up. He was wounded, and yet when he said, God, I wish you would take all this pain away, God said I'm not ever gonna take it away. You'll never get over it, but you will get through it. As a matter of fact, my grace is sufficient for you, and my strength will be made perfect through your wounds. I'll give you grace even though you're gonna take hit after hit after hit.

I really want God to use me, and I'm not gonna be like that prophet in the Bible. I sure ain't gonna go up and ask for it, strike me, God, come on. I'm not gonna get out in the next lightning storm and say strike me and make me walk funny so I can preach good. That's not what I'm saying. I'm not volunteering for none of that, but since we're all in it. Oh, excuse me. Look over at somebody acting real sanctified right now and say you've got wounds. You've just got your bandages on, but you've got your wounds. Would you just raise your hand and say, God, here's my wounds, here's my hurts, here's my blood, here's my sweat, here's my tears, here's my turning and tossing, here's my worry, here's my fear, here's my depression, here's my wounds, here's my hurt, here's my bruise. Would you use it?
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