How to Restore Relationships Part 1

Pastor Mike will be speaking on How to Restore Relationships Part 1. He will be reading out of 2nd Corinthians 7:2-16.

When there are broken relationships, our confidence cannot be always in our circumstances, or even the person we’re trying to restore relationships with. But our confidence is in God, and that God is effectively working in their hearts.

Hello this is Pastor Mike Sanders, and this is Hope Worth Having, where we share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you for tuning in today, and we hope that today’s message will encourage you and strengthen you in your faith.

Today we’re going to be in 2 Corinthians chapter 2, and we are studying verse 2 through 16. And I’ve entitled the message, How to Restore Relationships, by hope that as you go through this text, that the Spirit of God will lead you to restore relationships in your life.

2 Corinthians chapter 7, and I’ve entitled it, How to Restore Broken Relationships. As we think about how to restore broken relationships, I think it’s important for us to have context of this letter, as well as this chapter, so we can see the point that the Apostle is trying to get across to us.

You know that in the city of Corinth was Paul’s premier church. This was a church that he had planted by the grace of God in the power of God, but unfortunately there was division in the church, and there was conflict.

False teachers had infiltrated, teaching heretical doctrines, trying to undercut the ministry of the Apostle, to discredit his ministry. Why was it so important for the Apostle to defend himself? Not that God wants us running out there defending ourselves based on his ministry.

every accusation, but because of the infancy of this church, and it was important for them to know that the message was credible. The only way the message of grace would be credible to the Corinthians was if the messenger was credible, and so the apostle was helping the Corinthians to understand that those that are trying to discredit him are not being honest with them, and that he is a man of great character and desiring to reach them with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Now the apostle sent one of his teammates, his partners in ministry, named Titus. Titus had been sent to the city of Corinth with a letter. His job was to take the letter to the Corinthians, and he was to help manage Some of the challenges and the conflicts that were going on This letter that Titus took to the Corinthians was not preserved by God It is not available to us.

It is referenced in the scriptures, but it is not available Do not be shaken by that if God wanted it preserved trust me if he can raise the dead he can preserve a letter But he did not intend for it to be preserved for you, and I today It was a letter that was directly for that local congregation to deal with particular Problems that they were facing It was also an effort for the apostle to restore the broken relationship that existed between him and The church at Corinth the apostle was waiting to Hear from Titus.

He was expecting to meet Titus to give an update to him but unfortunately He was unable to connect with him and he became very stressed about this situation and in the Bible tells us in chapter 2 of 2nd Corinthians that he said my spirit has no relaxing as the idea and Paul Who was struggling with this intro as that he couldn’t find?

Titus to give him an update because he had this heavy burden for the church at Corinth that he so much wanted everything to work out And he wanted the church to move forward and he wanted to have that special connection with the church The Bible says he was so troubled that he couldn’t even preach when a door was opened unto him as a result of that He decided that he would go To Macedonia and let’s just back up a little bit.

Don’t lose chapter 7, but let me just run through here in the Scriptures. So everything that I’ve said can be backed up with the Word of God, chapter 1 of 2nd Corinthians, verse 15. He says in this confidence, I intended to come to you before that you might have a second benefit to pass by way to you to Macedonia, to come again from Macedonia to you and be helped by you on my way to Judea.

He’s sharing with the Corinthians his itinerary, his travel plans. We jump over to chapter 2 to verse 13 what I just shared with you. He’s intro as and he says, I had no rest in my spirit because I did not find Titus, my brother, but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia.

Now, from that point on, the Apostle kind of digresses in this letter, and he begins to share about the victory and the triumph that we have in Christ. And he carries that message all the way through chapter 6.

And now we pick up in chapter 7, and beginning in verse 2 through 16, the Apostle brings us back to his itinerary and back to his desire to reconnect with the Corinthians. Let’s just pick up in verse 5 of chapter 7.

For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we are troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. As our text picks up the story of the Apostle Paul trying to make things right, anticipating the reunion with Titus to get an update on the church, he shares with us that within his body there was no rest.

In chapter 2, he said there was no rest in his mind and spirit. It’s the same Greek word. He is saying that he was unable to relax. He was unable to rest because of the burden that was on his heart. His spirit cannot rest in chapter 2, and in chapter 7, his body cannot rest or relax.

And he reminds us that he has been harassed. He has been conflicted on the outside. He has dealt with fears within. And I find this so amazing because not even Paul was immune to the problems of this world.

He was not immune with not only outside pressure, and problems, but he was not immune from the fears that sometimes arise within our hearts when we are struggling and when relationships are not going right.

Paul had this stress upon him that caused his spirit and body to be unable to relax. Paul needed encouragement, just like we do. You and I live in a world which encouragement is one of our greatest needs.

And this is what the apostle was hoping to hear from Titus. And what you and I are getting ready to study together is how that unfolded, how Titus did reconnect with the apostle and did share some of those blessings of the response of the Corinthians to…

The letter, which is sometimes referred to as the severe letter because the apostle had to correct some wrongs. He had to help them to confront some behaviors and thoughts and doctrinal errors in their hearts and minds.

And he was desiring that they would respond in a way that was positive, affirmative, and would restore the broken relationship. After warning the church in chapter 6 about potential compromise, he encourages them in chapter 7, let’s tie up those loose ends and let’s restore this relationship.

I don’t think that there is anything that is more painful than shattered relationships. When those broken relationships involve family and friends, the pain is even more devastating. The apostle was not so much heartbroken by what the world had done to him, but he was heartbroken by what the church had done to him.

There are many wounded believers, there are many hurting Christians, they’re in our communities, they’re in our families, they are wounded Christians. It’s not what the world did to them, it’s what the church did to them.

I find myself in many conversations, witnessing, reaching out, inviting people to church, and they start sharing their story with me, the story of hurt and betrayal and misunderstandings and miscommunications.

Sometimes the church can be a very difficult place. Some of you have found yourself in those circumstances, you understand that, but the apostle wants us to do everything that we can to restore broken relationships, especially with those who are in the household of faith.

To understand the heaviness that the apostle bore on his heart, again, go back to chapter two, because I just want you to see the emotions and the feelings that are in his heart. Look at verse one. He said, chapter two, verse one of 2 Corinthians, I determined this within myself that I would not come again to you in sorrow.

The Corinthians were upset because they felt like Paul had not fulfilled his promise to come back and see him. It was hard for Paul. And he said, I don’t want to come back and I want to have to reopen the wounds and I don’t want to have to be filled with sorrow when I meet with you again.

We jump down to verse four of chapter two, out of much affliction and anguish of heart, I wrote to you with many tears. I want you to stop there. It’s the heart of a pastor who loves the church, loves the people of God.

He is torn. He is hurting. And I don’t want you to rush through that. I want you in your mind to just imagine, if you will, the Apostle sitting at a desk writing under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, but his emotions are there.

And he is writing to the Corinthians, and he has many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you. So when we come to chapter 7, we know his heart.

We know where the Apostle’s at. We know what he is saying. So I want to pick up in verse 2 and just read through verse 7. That’ll be all the time we have this morning. But again, he says to the Corinthians, Open your heart to us.

We have wronged no one. We have corrupted no one. We have cheated no one. I do not say this to condemn, for I have said before that you are in our hearts to die together and to live together. Great is my boldness of speech towards you.

Great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation. For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side.

Outside were conflicts. Inside were fears. Nevertheless, God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation or encouragement with which he was comforted in you when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal.

for me, so that I rejoiced even more.” Let me give you three words today that will help you as you are working on restoring broken relationships. Broken relationships are a part of our life, and I want you to remember that what we’re going to cover today in these few minutes together, and what we’re going to read here in this text that we’re able to just cover in a few minutes, is actually a long time.

It’s not like overnight that all this worked out for the Apostle. So don’t misunderstand what the pastor has to say. I’m not giving you a quick fix. I’m giving you steps to take. I’m giving you a plan to work forward in your broken relationships.

And if you are one who says, well, right now I don’t have any broken relationships, certainly you are a minister of the Lord, you are an ambassador of Christ, and you may be able to assist and help in helping restore broken relationships in the hearts of others.

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