Knowing Our Kinsman Redeemer
About the Guest
Has someone maliciously hurt you or someone you love? Did you know you have an advocate who hurts with you and is angered by the wrong done? International Bible teacher Kay Arthur talks about God's role as a kinsman redeemer and His promise to believers to avenge their blood.
Kay ArthurKay Arthur is one of America's best-known and most-beloved Bible teachers and authors. With her husband, Jack, she is the co-founder of Precept Ministries International, the leaders in inductive Bible-study resources. Kay also reaches hundreds of thousands of people internationally through her "Precept upon Precept" inductive Bible studies. In addition, her daily and weekly television programs air on over 900 stations in 30 countries.
Has someone maliciously hurt you or someone you love?
Knowing Our Kinsman Redeemer
Bob: Have you ever quoted Philippians 4:13 to someone “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me” and then walked away discouraged or defeated or depressed? Here’s Kay Arthur:
Kay: The problem is we’re not living like conquerors; rather we’re living like the conquered—either conquered by our circumstances, conquered by our pain, conquered by our worries or our anxieties instead of “more than a conqueror” and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Tuesday, March 15th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I’m Bob Lepine. Kay Arthur joins us today to help us understand how we can walk faithfully with Christ, even when the path He has put us on is a painful one.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us.
Dennis: I am under divine assignment here.
Dennis: Yes. I have been given my marching orders.
Bob: Directly from . . .?
Dennis: My daughter.
Bob: OK, alright.
Dennis: My daughter Ashley is in the audience.
Bob: We have a studio audience joining us for FamilyLife Today. Ladies, welcome.
Bob: Nice to have you all here.
Dennis: Barbara’s here.
Bob: There are a few gentlemen here, too.
Dennis: There are.
Bob: I should say, “Gentlemen, welcome.”
Dennis: Ashley’s husband Michael is here. Glad to have him. But Kay Arthur is our guest today. So, Kay, this is your fan club, at least for today. Welcome back to FamilyLife Today.
Kay: You know what? It’s a fan club only because these people have discovered truth for themselves and they have learned that they can study the Bible on their own and get what any theologian would get if they will spend enough time in the Word, comparing Scripture with Scripture, because the Bible has all the answers.
Dennis: Well, they have the real disease and I know who infected them.
Kay: The Holy Spirit.
Dennis: Yes, and He used you to sneeze on them, I think!
Kay Arthur is the President – actually, the Co-President – of Precepts Ministry, along with her husband Jack. She has written over a hundred books and Bible studies for adults and children. Your ministry spans the globe. And here’s the question Kay, out of all the verses in the Bible, what is your “life verse”?
Kay: I don’t have a life verse.
Bob: You do have a particular fondness for that section of Scripture from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 20. . .
Kay: Yes, yes.
Bob: Yeah, OK.
Dennis: That passage.
Bob: You like that one.
Kay: Right, right, I do. And you know, just from “In the beginning, God created” and to “He is coming and His reward is with Him” . . .
Dennis: And in between when He created and when He’s coming back, though, there’s something that occurs and that you write about in your latest book When the Hurt Runs Deep, and it’s subtitled Healing and Hope for Life’s Desperate Moments. There was a story you told in here that, frankly, ticked me off. I got angry.
That was your response, too . . .
Dennis: . . . .as this young lady came to seek your counsel.
Paint the picture of how she came up to talk with you; because you didn’t even know this young lady.
Kay: No. She came to our women’s conference, and after I finished teaching, I think it was on forgiveness. After I finished teaching on forgiveness, she came barreling down the aisle. She’s in a sweatshirt, she’s very overweight. She’s got a big roll around her waist. Her hair is greasy; no make-up.
She’s coming barreling down the aisle at me, and her words were, “How can I forgive my father?!” And I said, “Oh, honey, come here and sit down and talk to me.” It was a break, and I turned her back toward the others and just said, “Tell me what happened.”
To make a long story short, her father had raped her and was sexually abusing her. She had two, no three, children by her father. The first one, they had an abortion. The second one lived, and then died. And then the third one, she moved out of the house with this one, and then she tried to commit suicide. They went for group counseling, and the father said, “You’re a liar. You’re a little slut. That’s all you are.” You know, he wouldn’t own up to what he had done.
So, she tells me all of this, and I looked at her and I said, “That makes me so angry!” All of the sudden, she was looking at me full in the face and she said, “What did you say?” I said (again), “That makes me so angry. God is angry.”
And it hit her for the first time that there was a judgment, that there was a sentence upon this man because he had done wrong. So, she said, “No one has ever said that to me.” I explained, and I showed her. And in this book, When the Hurt Runs Deep, we look at the places where God says that He is angry, and we find out that God gets angry more than any other person in the Bible because He’s righteous and because He’s holy, and because He hates sin.
He’s going to deal with sin. In 2 Thessalonians, it talks about His coming. He is
coming with flaming fire. He is coming to deal with His enemies. He is going to rule with a rod of iron.
Bob: How do we deal, though, with the idea that He is sovereign? That He ordains whatsoever comes to pass? It’s like He ordains it, and then gets angry at it when it happens?
Kay: Yes. It’s not that He’s the author of sin, but He lets men act in their sin.
Kay: He could restrain them, because He has. He could restrain them. But, because He is God, He’s a redeemer. We have to remember that from the very beginning of the Bible, it’s redemption. It’s all about redemption. It’s all about the Redeemer.
Now, in His sovereignty, He has allowed man to have a kingdom. But He is going to squelch every other kingdom except His, and He is going to rule with a rod of iron.
Bob: So He is angry with this father who perpetrated this horrid sin on his daughter?
Kay: Right. And He will judge him, and if that man does not repent, he will spend eternity in the lake of fire where “the worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched.” And they are an eternal abhorrence to all mankind. I don’t think we can wrap our minds around the fact that each one of us is eternal. Every human being, once they’re born, is eternal. It’s either eternal life or eternal death.
But, see, part of this comes – and, I believe, the reason people aren’t being healed more, and wholly, and fully, and able to move forward – is because they don’t know God. Jesus said, and He was quoting Deuteronomy 8:3, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.”
This book is the words of God! What am I doing? I would say that if you would study the Bible you wouldn’t need When the Hurt Runs Deep, you know?
But if you read When the Hurt Runs Deep, the greater portion of this book is Scripture. Why should I give them just clever stories? So much of Christianity today in the United States of America is therapeutic rather than redemptive. I mean, I can give you all these clever things, but it’s not going to heal you. He sent His Word and healed them!
Dennis: This book is really a reflection, in many regards, of your life and of what you’ve been through – the valleys you’ve slogged your way through over your lifetime. You make a statement in Chapter 8 that says, “Life changes. God does not.” You go on to ask the question: “Have you ever experienced a hurt so devastating, so demeaning, so confusing, unbearable, and inexplicable that you wish you’d never been born?”
Now, Kay, you’ve experienced some pretty tough things in your life.
Dennis: Have you ever experienced something that devastating?
Kay: You know, in the chapter on suicide in this book, I tell about three times that suicide came to my mind. Once before I was saved because of my miserable marriage and my shattered dreams and then twice, after I was saved.
One was because I had been hurt so badly – so badly – that I just wanted to get even with that person. The third time was when (this sounds so funny) I was overwhelmed. I was with my mother, taking care of her, and I had to go home. I didn’t know that the women’s conference was that weekend. I thought it was later. I was worn out with ministry.
I will tell you, I know my God. I know my God. I don’t know Him to the degree I want to know Him, but I know a lot about Him. I’m accountable for that. I stand in awe. In the morning when I get up and I make my bed and I make my coffee, I sit there. When I sit down in the chair or in my bedroom (it depends on what season of the year it is as to what room I’m in), I just sit there and I think, “You’re God. And that’s all that matters.”
When I read my Bible – and I was reading the other day in Isaiah 40, which is the prophecy about John the Baptist, but then it goes into God, saying “Who measured the sand?,” and “Who did this?” and “Who did that?” Then I thought, “God, why am I concerned about a single, single thing? Why am I concerned about that? Because You’re God!”
If I can remember that He is God, that He sits above the circle of the earth!
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning [from Genesis 1:1]? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He Who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent . . . It is He Who reduces rulers to nothing.” (Isaiah 40:21-22)
I don’t have to sweat the politics of today. I don’t have to think that this ruler or this ruler or this president is going to do it. All I have to do, and I am impassioned about it, is to wake people up and say, “It is time do what Jesus Christ said: “Deny yourself, take up your cross.”
Kay: It is our hour to live or to die for Jesus Christ and to stand for truth no matter what.
But you’ve got to know it, and you’ve got to be righteous, and you’ve got to let go of the things of this earth. We’re just a mess in America.
Excuse me. How did I get to that?
Bob: There’s a fundamental issue that you’re talking about here. I think when we talk about suffering and we talk about hurt, we have to pull back and ask ourselves the question, “Do we believe that God is good and that all His ways are good?”
Kay: That’s right.
Bob: And if we do, that reframes everything, doesn’t it?
Kay: It does. And do I believe that He is so omnipotent and omniscient and sovereign that He is able to take every situation in my life, in your life, in our lives, and cause them – they’re not good; some of them are hell, horrible, and horrific – but is He able to take them and cause them to work together for my good, so that I will be like Christ?
At the end of Romans 9 – we stop at Romans 8:28, and we don’t go to 8:29: “whom He foreknew, He predestined, marked out before hand, to become conformed to the image of His Son. He’s making me like Jesus!
And at the bottom, “What can separate me from the love of God?” Then He says, “There is nothing!” So through Him we overwhelmingly conquer. The problem is we’re not living like conquerors, rather we’re living like the conquered—either conquered by our circumstances, conquered by our pain, conquered by our worries or our anxieties - Instead of “more than a conqueror” and “this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.”
How do we overcome? By our faith.
Bob: But the person who says, “The pain is so severe; I just can’t believe a good God would let this level of severe pain come my way. How can I really believe God is good with the pain I’m experiencing?” . . .
Kay: First of all, God says He doesn’t give us anything we cannot bear. So what I have to say is that pain is not more than you can bear, or God wouldn’t let you have it. So what do you know that you need to live by? What is God trying to teach you to let go of, so that you’re studying your Bible and discovering truth for yourself?
See, I believe with all my being that God brought you to the Kingdom and FamilyLife to the Kingdom, but also Precept to the Kingdom. There’s no other ministry as I know that is singly focused on teaching children, teens, and adults to study God’s Word for themselves so that they know the whole counsel of God. We’ve been in the Old Testament for years now. It has transformed us, because that is where you meet God.
So when this trial comes, number one, He will not give you anything – for “there is no temptation, trial, or testing 1 Corinthians 10:13, and that word is “peirasmos” which means temptation, trial, or testing] taken you but such as is common to man. You are not unique. God is faithful. He will not permit us to be tested or tried or tempted above what we’re able to bear, but He will make a way of escape.”
So you can know that if that trial comes, you can handle it. But see, we want to handle it our way. God’s way is that He sends His Word and heals them. I’m not saying that you don’t take time to get healed. I’m not saying you don’t cry. But I’m saying you dry your tears, and you get up, and you move forward in faith.
You bring every thought – I mean, there’s so much in here. That’s why when the hurt runs deepwe run practically through it. But there’s so much that God’s given us to take us through a trial.
Dennis: What I hear you saying, Kay, is what God calls us to is to believe the truth of His Word and the promises He’s laid out there and not live by feelings.
Dennis: The temptation when we go through difficult times is to implode around how we feel. At points, I feel like it’s a battle between how to think and believe versus being overwhelmed and swamped by my feelings that lead me to unbelief.
Dennis: Now, one of the things you did in your book that I’m going to ask you do. I’m looking at the clock. You’ve got two minutes to do this, Kay, so this is going to be a real tough assignment. You give readers some handrails, or hand-holds, of faith.
What I want you to do is just go through these in staccato-like fashion and just encourage that person who is facing a difficult circumstance and just needs to be reminded of these.
Kay: Of these seven hand-holds of faith that you get hold of.
Kay: For reasons we may not understand, Number One: God allowed it. God allowed it. I may not understand it. So what am I to do in this situation?
See, our tendency is to run toward the arm of flesh. Jeremiah says it will not hold. You are to seek the companionship of the Lord. There is no Comforter in all the world. It’s His Name! In Isaiah, He is Wonderful Counselor, He is Mighty God. He is there to counsel us. Face the facts. Don’t deny what happened. Face it, actually face-to-face. You’ve got God at your side, so you can deal with it.
Then go ahead and grieve. Weep and wail. Express your frustration, your anger, your disappointment. I don’t hide anything from God, because He knows it anyway. So just tell Him. Lay it all out there. But then, He’s at your side, so what does He say about it? Then don’t continually revisit the details.
I was told by my mother when my dad died unexpectedly. He wished he could have talked to you (Dennis). He was an Episcopal priest, and once I became a Christian, we didn’t have what we had before.
I started to remember it and then I thought, “I’m not going to think about that. I can’t change it. I can’t alter it. It’s going to make me miserable.” Paul said, “Forgetting those things that are behind.” So don’t revisit the details. There’s a whole chapter on pulling the plug on.
Dennis: Let me just interrupt you there because I really like that point. Another way of saying the same thing would be, “Don’t rehearse the hurt.”
Kay: That’s right! That’s right because what you think on . . . Now with all the research on the brain, we know there are chemicals. God knew the brain before man ever discovered it and the hormones. That’s why He tells us: “Count it all joy” and “In everything give thanks.” He gives us these promises of what we are to do.
Time and practicing His truth will bring healing. It will bring healing if you practice the truth. You’ve got to live by every word! And then, finally, when I see that there’s a redemption, like my immoral background – I got mad at God one day on the mission field and I thought, “Where were You when I was a teenager? Here I’m teaching these teenagers, I’m married twice. I’ve got a divorce in my background. I’ve got a suicide. I’ve got two boys who don’t have their natural father. This is not what I wanted. This is not what I ordered.”
And God just said, “If you’ll quit moaning and groaning about your past, and you’ll share it, I’ll use it.” Every time somebody comes up to me, male and female, and says, “Thank you for being vulnerable. Thank you for sharing. I’ve been there” or, “Your life is like mine” and, “Thank you for helping me.”
You know what? That’s what it’s all about. That’s what it’s all about! So you comfort others with the comfort that God gave to you. No trial – don’t waste your sorrows – no trial is without purpose. No sorrow goes deeper than the love of God and the purpose and calling of God.
Dennis: I like that you characterize all seven of these as “hand-holds of faith,” because sometimes I think we think of these matters, or don’t think of them, in terms of being faith. But as I was reading your book, I thought about the conclusion that Job came to, and it’s really the conclusion of your book over and over and over again.
In Job 42, Job basically said this: “As a result of everything I’ve suffered, everything I’ve felt, everything I’ve seen, all the losses I’ve experienced, he said, ‘Before I had all of this happen, I knew about You a little bit, God.’ But now he says, ‘I see You. I know You. I’ve experienced You. And I’ve found You to be trustworthy.’ “
That’s really what you’re pointing the reader to do – to put your hand in God’s hand and take the book – not your book, but His book, the Bible – and apply it to your life by faith, and not live by those feelings.
Bob: I think it does help when we have someone who has been down the path ahead of us; who has walked in the dark valleys, who turns to us and says, “Here’s what I have found is true. Here’s what the Scriptures say.” They point us back in that direction.
Kay, that’s what you’ve done for us in the book When the Hurt Runs Deep, which we have in our FamilyLife TodayResource Center. I want to encourage our listeners to go to FamilyLifeToday.com to request a copy of the book.
Again, the book is called When the Hurt Runs Deep by Kay Arthur. Our website is FamilyLifeToday.com Or call toll-free at 1-800-FLTODAY. 1-800-“F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then the word “today.” When you get in touch with us, ask about a copy of Kay’s book and we’ll let you know how you can get a copy sent to you.
You know, I am all the time running into folks who are new listeners to FamilyLife Today - folks who have just tuned in or just found us for the first time in the last several months or even in the last year. I am always encouraged to hear their comments about the program and about how God is using it in their lives.
Not long ago, Barbara Rainey was speaking to a group of women, some of whom were not FamilyLife Today listeners. She gave a message called “Three Essentials for Every Married Woman.” She talked about remembering what’s at the core of your role as a married woman. We took her main points from that message and put them on a laminated card that women can keep in their Bible, or have it posted on the refrigerator or above where you wash the dishes, or on your mirror in the bathroom – wherever you’d like to put it.
We’d love to send you a copy of Barbara’s “Three Essentials for Every Married Woman.” You can get this laminated card when you call us at 1-800-FL-TODAY and request it. 1-800-FLTODAY, or go online at FamilyLifeToday.com and request a copy from us there. We are limiting this to one per household, but especially if you’re a new listener and want to find out more about FamilyLife Today, here’s a great way to do it. Call 1-800-FL-TODAY, or go online at FamilyLifeToday.com to get Barbara’s “Three Essentials for Every Married Woman” laminated card.
And be sure to be back with us tomorrow when we’re going to continue our conversation with Kay Arthur, talking about how we can find help and hope When Hurt Runs Deep.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We will see you back tomorrow for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.
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