God never created you for mediocrity or failure. In fact, He’s called you into a life of greatness and by the grace of God it’s never too late to get back on track with Him. Have you experienced something that was devastating in your life? Maybe it’s rejection and abandonment from family or friends, the pain of a divorce, traumatic health related events, abrupt career changes, betrayal by a business partner, or disappointment over life not going the way you thought it would. The truth is that the world is full of pain, which often comes to rob us from understanding our greatness. What are some things we should know when facing the reality of pain?
Everyone has pain
All of us have pain, and much of this pain is devastating. Pain and hurt are everywhere and very few know how to bring Biblical healing to these areas of their lives. The Lord never promised that we would have life without pain, but He did promise is to give us the healing agent for all the pain the world has to offer. The older we get, the more hurt there is, andJesus is the only one that can bring healing and wholeness back into our lives.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly”
-Matthew 11:28–30 (The Message)
We all deal with pain in some way, right or wrong.
In future blog posts, we will take a look at how men and women of God in the Bible dealt with pain. Some chose to move through life at a faster pace to try and outrun their pain, while others focused on the wrongs committed against them which moved them into the dangerous waters of bitterness. Some, like King David, choose to medicate their wounds.
According to a recent survey conducted over the past five years by Pure Desire Ministry, 68% of Christian men and 50% of pastors view pornography regularly. But even more shocking is that 11-17 year-old boys reported being the greatest users. The Church is in the sexual battle of its life. As these boys become adults, the Church will be flooded with porn addicts. Everyone deals with pain in some way, and while the pornography is incredibly destructive, many are turning to it to receive some type of healing for the wounds they have accumulated. The place to start is the pain, not the addiction.
Pain and hurt accumulate and snowball when not dealt with properly
Imagine being on the shore of pristine mountain lake surrounded by serenity and peace. If you were to look at the shoreline and see waves, you may start to wonder what created the waves along the shore. Similarly, you may struggle with body image issues, critical thoughts, bouts of anger, or pornography addictions. These waves are lapping against the shore of your life, and you have to ask the question, “what is the source of these issues?”
When pain drops in our lives, it starts to snowball over time and gains momentum. When the snowball crashes, it has matured into a life altering reality. “I just don’t want to be married to you anymore. I don’t really even know if Jesus really loves me.” The unfortunate reality of pain is that few of us know how to deal with it, and time alone will not heal it. Pain can get worse over time, and many of us choose to minimize, excuse, or deny that pain even happened. How do you deal with hurts that accumulates in your life?
Our mental, emotional, spiritual and relational health are compromised by unresolved pain.
Imagine your life being likened unto the wonderful board game Jenga. With each rejection, betrayal, disappointment, and loss, another piece of the Jenga tower is taken away. Left unaddressed, it’s only a matter of time until the structure of the tower is compromised and it comes toppling down.
Accumulated pain and unresolved problems compromise our mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational health. Johns Hopkins University recently posted an article entitled, “Forgiveness: Your Health Depends on It”. It reads:
“Whether it’s a simple spat with your spouse or long-held resentment toward a family member or friend, unresolved conflict can go deeper than you may realize—it may be affecting your physical health. The good news: Studies have found that the act of forgiveness can reap huge rewards for your health, lowering the risk of heart attack; improving cholesterol levels and sleep; and reducing pain, blood pressure, and levels of anxiety, depression and stress. And research points to an increase in the forgiveness-health connection as you age.There is an enormous physical burden to being hurt and disappointed,” –Karen Swartz, M.D., director of the Mood Disorders Adult Consultation Clinic at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Bing honest and turning toward God is the only way to receive healing.
Ever since the garden, mankind’s common reaction to hurt and sin is to hide.
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden” -Genesis 3:8.
The word “hid” in the Hebrew is krýptō which means “to cover, conceal, or bury.” This is the natural reaction we all have when it comes to things we have done or have been done to us.
You have got to get honest with your pain if you want to be healed. In his book, Three Battlegrounds, Francis Frangipane says,
“Let us recognize, that the areas we hide in darkness are the very areas of our future defeat. We should realize that the greatest defense we can have against the devil is to maintain an honest heart before God. But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:6-7).’”
Satan is terrified by humility because to humble yourself is to refuse to defend. The wounds we harbor in our spirits could be healed, if only we would find the strength to come out of hiding and get help. God can heal any wound, no matter how deep and no matter how long it has been festering. There is healing in the arms of Jesus, but it only begins when take the necessary steps. We have to find the courage to ask for help. God needs more than brokenness to bring healing, He needs our full cooperation and for us to come out of hiding, once and for all.