This week the series “Healing Life’s Hurts” continued as Pastor Chris lifted our spirits with a message on mending the brokenhearted. Drawing from the story of Naomi, and her daughter-in-law and Ruth, he showed us how God promises that in a world of pain He brings wholeness from brokenness. In the book of Ruth, we learn that Naomi’s husband had died, followed by both her sons’ deaths. Initially she blamed God and in self-pity cried out, “Things are far more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord himself has raised his fist against me.” (Ruth 1:13) Soon after, Ruth has a divine-appointment with a relative of her late father, a wealthy and godly man named Boaz. Naomi shares with Ruth that, according to custom and law, Boaz is their family’s “kinsman-redeemer.” Boaz and Ruth marry and bear a son who later becomes the father of Jesse, grand-father of David. God not only provided help and healing for these widows, but He restored them in front of many witnesses, “Then the women of the town said to Naomi, “Praise the Lord, who has now provided a redeemenr for your family!” (Ruth 4:14)
Chris gave us “Three Godly Ways to Handle a Broken Heart:”
- Prioritize the Presence – when pain consumes you, fall into community, don’t fall away
- Stand on the Character of God – trust Him to be, “…close to the brokenhearted…,” to “…keep track of all your sorrows.” (Ps. 56:8) and that He, “…causes all things to work together for the good of those who love God and are called…”
- Be the Gatekeeper of Your Mind – “…take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (1 Cor. 10:5)
Questions for Discussion
- Naomi changed her name in the midst of her agony, telling others to call her Mara, which means “bitter” instead of Naomi which means “pleasant.”
- In what ways do people identify themselves by their hurt, failure, betrayal, disappointment, or grief?
- What are some biblically healthy ways to see yourself during and after a painful experience?
- Like Boaz, the “kinsman-redeemer” Jesus comes to restore us, “…he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” (Ps. 34:19) He promises wholeness from brokeness, “He heals the brokenhearted…” (Ps. 147:3)
- When have you been rescued by the Lord in your distress?
- What was your mindset before He restored you and what was it after?
- Chris exhorted us, with scripture, to remain in community when the going gets rough. Isolation or busyness are our natural responses when we are hurt. We are at risk of becoming “detached Christians.” He urged us to, “Fall into community, not fall away!”
- Describe some reasons Christians might fall away from community.
- What should our response be to those who are hurting in our midst?
- How do you identify those who are hurting? How do you reach out?
- How have you shared your difficulty with others and what was the result?