Soul-Care Articles: Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Biblically-based, Clinically-sound, Truth-oriented

Posts tagged ‘hurts’

Loss Is Real, But So Is Jesus

SOURCE:  Taken from an article by  Karl Benzio/Lighthouse Network/Stepping Stones

Loss Is Your Door to His Stability

When we are children, the reality of loss is a lesson taught and learned very quickly. Missing a meal, seeing the needs of others met before our own, watching a mother’s attention focus on a newborn sibling, losing a beloved toy, losing at games, loss through parent’s divorce or job relocation, death of a close family member, or death of a pet. Perhaps the worst to absorb is the loss of innocence through abuse or extreme life circumstances.

Life is filled with many kinds of loss. And regardless of the cause, one thing is certain: all loss hurts. We recover quickly from some losses. But others take months or even years to absorb and process. Certain losses are temporary while others are permanent.

Nowadays, many people are facing the loss of their jobs because so many businesses are closing or downsizing. This kind of loss can be devastating to anyone, but especially to the breadwinner of a family. Even losing a second job may represent a threat to survival, credibility, identity, or stability for our spouse or kids.

Job loss can produce many emotions, but fear is usually at the root of any uncomfortable response. Will I lose my home? My child is leaving for college this fall—will I have to break the news that it will be impossible? We have built up credit card debt trying to keep our heads above water … what now? Who will respect me? Will our marriage survive this pressure? Will she still love me? Do I still have worth and value to anyone?

These concerns are very real and can seem extremely threatening. If we keep our eyes on the waves of hardship, we will sink into despair and hopelessness. This is the time when it is difficult … but also imperative … to focus on Jesus, not on the problems. This is the time to remember that He, not that job, is our source of value, peace, security, comfort, redemption, and abundance.

We may go through some real challenges. We may have to tighten our belts and make some sacrifices. These struggles are not easy, but with Jesus, we have hope, and more importantly, a powerful peace. Our jobs may be gone and the economy may be falling apart, but God has not changed. Step back from the hardship and see your life from God’s perspective. If you think He has abandoned or persecuted you, think again. It is because of His mercy and loving-kindness that we are not already obliterated by the adversity.

Today, dig into the areas where you struggle or have experienced some recent hardship. What is the fear at the bottom of the issue? Infuse Jesus’ teachings into your fear, let Him bring healing and comfort to your pain. Then re-evaluate your struggle through these new lenses. Remember, great and abundant are His stability and faithfulness in all things. How you handle loss is your decision, so choose well.

My Father and Lord, This economy and my finances have left me feeling angry and fearful. Help me to regroup … to remember that You are here, that You love me and my family, and that You have a plan. Help me remember that this economy, my recent loss, or any other adversity have not taken You by surprise … and that You have already made a way for me. Thank You that Your compassion never fails and that Your stability and faithfulness are abundant. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One who provides my stability, Jesus Christ; – AMEN!

The Truth
It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.  

Lamentations 3:22-23

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

John 10:10

What Questions Should I Be Asking God?

SOURCE:  John Eldredge

Most of Us Have Been Misinterpreting Life

Most of us have been misinterpreting life and what God is doing for a long time.

“I think I’m just trying to get God to make my life work easier,” a client of mine confessed, but he could have been speaking for most of us.

We’re asking the wrong questions.

Most of us are asking, “God, why did you let this happen to me?” Or, “God, why won’t you just ________” (fill in the blank-help me succeed, get my kids to straighten out, fix my marriage-you know what you’ve been whining about).

But to enter into a journey of initiation with God requires a new set of questions: What are you trying to teach me here? What issues in my heart are you trying to raise through this? What is it you want me to see? What are you asking me to let go of ? In truth, God has been trying to initiate you for a long time. What is in the way is how you’ve mishandled your wound and the life you’ve constructed as a result.

“Men are taught over and over when they are boys that a wound that hurts is shameful,” notes Robert Bly in Iron John. Like a man who’s broken his leg in a marathon, he finishes the race even if he has to crawl and he doesn’t say a word about it. A man’s not supposed to get hurt; he’s certainly not supposed to let it really matter. We’ve seen too many movies where the good guy takes an arrow, just breaks it off, and keeps on fighting; or maybe he gets shot but is still able to leap across a canyon and get the bad guys. And so most men minimize their wound. King David (a guy who’s hardly a pushover) didn’t act like that at all. “I am poor and needy,” he confessed openly, “and my heart is wounded within me” (Ps. 109:22).

Or perhaps they’ll admit it happened, but deny it was a wound because they deserved it. Suck it up, as the saying goes. The only thing more tragic than the tragedy that happens to us is the way we handle it.

(Wild at Heart , 104-6)

Even Though . . . . . .

SOURCE:  Alice M. Canny/Discipleship Journal

Even after I confessed to God and my husband, my past haunted me. I am an adulterer, I thought time and again. Every day that I get up, that is what I am. I wanted to serve God, but I felt unusable because of what I’d done.

Then God showed me people in the Bible who failed or sinned yet went on to serve Him. I began to imagine how these individuals might complete the statement “Even though I have….” As I wrote out the following list, God’s promises of forgiveness and restoration became real to me.

Abraham: Even though I have lied, I can be God’s friend.

—Gen. 12:10–20, Jas. 2:23

David: Even though I have committed adultery and murder, I can have a heart that pleases God.

—2 Sam. 11:1–17; Acts 13:22, CEV

Elijah: Even though I have been depressed, I can regain strength and joy to serve God.

—1 K. 19:3–18

Jonah: Even though I have refused God’s assignment, I can find it again.

—Jonah 1–3

Matthew: Even though I have committed extortion, I can be a disciple of Jesus.

—Mk. 2:13–17

Zacchaeus: Even though I have stolen from others, I can feast with Jesus.

—Lk. 19:1–10

Martha: Even though I have been distracted, I can experience Christ’s love and truth.

—Lk. 10:38–42, Jn. 11:5, 21–26

Peter: Even though I have denied Christ, I can feed God’s sheep.

—Jn. 18:15–27, 21:15–18

Thomas: Even though I have doubted, I can believe.

—Jn. 20:24–29, Acts 1:13

Paul: Even though I have fiercely opposed Christ, I can be a great witness for Him.

—Acts 22:1–21

These people sinned and displayed weakness, but none of them became permanently unusable to God. The same is true for us. Though we may stray from God’s plan for our lives, He promises to forgive us when we confess (Is. 44:22, 1 Jn. 1:9). We do not have to wear our failures like a name tag: liar, thief, adulterer. The only label that permanently defines us—and qualifies us for God’s service—is “child of God.”

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