A wounded spirit


Have you ever experienced a wounded spirit?  By that I mean something that grieves the very Holy Spirit dwelling inside you, leaving you in despair and feeling hopeless. Personal, unconfessed sin can leave a Christian wounded, as can sins committed against a Christian by a fellow believer. I imagine that Peter felt wounded when Jesus turned and looked him in the face after Peter had denied knowing Jesus three times (Luke 22). This was the same Peter who, at least for a short time, had walked on the water with Jesus (Matthew 14). Imagine what Peter must have thought at that moment he denied Jesus the third time—he had followed the Lord through thick and thin, watching, listening, and learning from Him, only to seemingly throw it all away in a brief, fearful moment. How does one overcome having made such a grave error?

I imagine that King David felt the same way when he sinned with Bathsheba. Filled with lust for Bathsheba after spying her bathing on a rooftop, David arranged to have her husband killed on the battlefield so David could have Bathsheba for himself (2 Samuel 11). David and Bathsheba’s sinful union resulted in the birth of a child (2 Samuel 12). David eventually took Bathsheba for his own wife. Not long afterwards, God struck the child with a serious illness as punishment for David’s sin.  Despite his desperate pleas begging God to save the child, it eventually died. Psalm 51, which is attributed to David, clearly reveals his wounded spirit in verses 1-4, as he confessed that he had sinned against God and God alone:

1Have mercy on me, O God,

    according to your unfailing love;

according to your great compassion

    blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash away all my iniquity

    and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,

    and my sin is always before me.

4 Against you, you only, have I sinned

    and done what is evil in your sight;

so you are right in your verdict

    and justified when you judge.

Imagine how wounded Jesus’ disciples must have felt to see him hanging on a cross, naked, bleeding, and slowly dying.  They had thought He was the promised Messiah who would free the Jews from Roman oppression and restore the Kingdom of Israel. After Jesus died, they hid themselves out of fear for the Jewish authorities. Juxtapose this scene of death and despair with the joy and relief experienced when the risen Lord appeared to his disciples (John 20).  

No matter how wounded your spirit is, you are never too broken to be healed by Jesus Christ. This is clear in the story of Peter’s restoration before Jesus (John 21). After having denied Jesus three times, Peter showed true repentance while declaring his love for Jesus three times; and Jesus gave immediate forgiveness. Peter was fully restored to his ministry by Jesus and just a few weeks later preached an extraordinarily powerful sermon on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). Jesus is the Great Physician who can heal any wound, whether it was caused by a personal sin committed by you or by someone committing a grievous sin against you.

Only One can heal the spiritual wounds of mankind, rebuild broken spirits, feed famished soulsChrist, our blessed Savior. He has been down the road we’re traveling; He has experienced what it means to be human. He has “borne our griefs and carried our sorrows”; “He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4a, 5b). Taken from “Christ Solves the Mystery of Our Sorrow,” a sermon by Rev. Dr. Walter A. Maier, the first Speaker of The Lutheran Hour

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Susan Filippini on January 14, 2023 at 1:45 am

    A thing of beauty. You have described soul deep pain.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Walter Wooldridge on January 15, 2023 at 7:46 am

    Sin and grief are both feelings and emotions we all have felt or will feel in our lives. Forgiveness, however, is something you must have Jesus’ help with. Good job of explaining what a wounded spirit can be. God bless you Zack. Keep up the good word to all.
    Bruce

    Reply

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