Some of you come from broken families, and you might feel like asking, “Is there hope for me?” I met somebody not long ago, and their parents had been divorced, and their grandparents had divorced. They were asking, “Can my marriage make it?”
I want to say to you today that no matter what kind of family you’ve come from, no matter what kind of personal history you’ve had, you can be the forerunner of a whole new generation of people who are going to stand up and serve God.
Kelly and I are very close friends with a lovely family. Once time, the wife started telling us her testimony, and we were astonished.
When she was a little girl, her mother had some severe mental difficulties and would have fits of rage and paranoia. Because of this condition, bizarre things would make her mother angry; she would blow up at this little girl who was only four or five years old. The mother would throw her in a closet and leave her in there all day long in the dark. On top of that, her father would come home drunk many nights, and there was physical abuse in the situation.
She grew up in that type of environment until she met Jesus as a 15-year-old. She wasn’t allowed to go to church, but she went anyway, praise God! She started growing in Christ and being healed from the years of trauma. Then she met a wonderful man. They got married and started having children, and we would’ve never guessed her history because she just seemed so emotionally and spiritually healthy.
If you find yourself in a difficult family situation, do not give into despair. When Paul was talking about our future hope in Christ, he said, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14, ESV).
Do not be overcome. Realize that the power of the Holy Spirit lives in you, and he’s going to give you the authority to stand up and be renewed.