I have run into situations in which I could see very hurt people reaching out to others only to be handed some simplistic advice, and I often wondered if I was only one that felt this way. I never understood WHY people would hand over some little tidbits of scripture, and felt it would be a way for these people to forget about their wounds and instantly be transformed.
If people would just get RIGHT with God everything would be fine!
Shaming others when they are in the depths of despair with telling them that they went into relationships just GET and not to GIVE!
Love is not a feeling its an action!
God never promised you that you would be happy!
People bend themselves into pretzels trying to make things work, and people tell them:
WORK on yourself! Don't worry about THEM!
They would quickly claim that they were CALLED to tell the truth about things, but one thing they always seemed to miss was the empathy and compassion part of it. I'm NOT saying people don't need to hear truth okay! Its the delivery that seems to fall short in my eyes. I don't always disagree with what they are saying, but they put it in a way when you receive it that makes you feel like there is something truly wrong with you if you don't GET IT! If you don't grab on to their message, and live it for all its worth!
I enjoyed Jacky Hughes description of this:
Healing doesn't come through nice syrupy prayers about God making it all better! It doesn't come through saying "God has not given us the spirit of fear but of love, power, and a sound mind,"as if repeating something like a parrot has the magical quality of transforming someone's life. It comes by teaching people that they are in a battle, and that the things that have happened to them are battle wounds. The only way people get to heal up in Jesus is when they start to understand the battle strategy.
As a new Christian, having Bible verses like the one above quoted at me could drive me to the depths of despair. I could do that parrot repeat, but I was totally unable to find relief from my feelings. It took a long time to understand that we don't heal by quoting scripture, we heal by finding the weapons that the scriptures tell us are there to fight with.
You can't be a Christian and not be at war, but this is a different kind of war. You enter the battle wounded, and every skirmish with the enemy means that you get more healed. You don't get taken off the battle field wounded, you end up learning to fight while you are down on the ground.
We do get that promised inner peace. It comes by learning to wield a sword.
I think alot of people forget that part. Don't you?
The reaction people get to their hurts at times encouraged even myself to shut down, and not reach out because I knew what they answers would be. I also knew in my gut there was more to it than what they were handing over. I felt like they were telling me to do my job as a faith follower, and asked me to give to God because quite frankly they didn't want to deal with it.
If people would have explained about the battle like Jacky did I guess I could have accepted things a bit more. As it was I felt like I was being blown off, and their 'parroting' as she mentioned of scriptures should be a good enough.
Lets us take a different take on this issue when it comes to martial abuse, domestic violence, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, etc.
I think Psalm 28 speaks to both the victims and the abusers alike. It speaks to what God is, and what he will do on behalf of those on both sides of the abuse equation. It tells us that in any life cirucmstnace we can have confidence in three unshakeable truths!
1. GOD is listening!
David is speaking in this passage, and I'm not quite sure what the circumstance was when he was writing this passage. It did sound like he was NOT in the best emotional state!
Psalms 28:1-2 GW By David. O LORD, I call to you. O my rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. If you remain silent, I will be like those who go into the pit. (2) Hear my prayer for mercy when I call to you for help, when I lift my hands toward your most holy place.
Ever been there yourself?
David is screaming to God to please listen, because if he remains silent that he will fall into that pit as others have before him.
Can you identify with David? I think most of us can!
For those on the receiving end of abuse these feelings of desperation are normal. Don't allow others to tell you otherwise! You also need to know that he is listening to you, and the bible also tells us this as well!
1 John 5:13-15 GW I've written this to those who believe in the Son of God so that they will know that they have eternal life. (14) We are confident that God listens to us if we ask for anything that has his approval. (15) We know that he listens to our requests. So we know that we already have what we ask him for.
God hears your cries for help. At times we may not think so, but if we look back in our lifes you will see ways God has shown you that he does. God listens and responds to the hurting and desperate people!
Psalms 34:1-22 GW By David when he pretended to be insane in the presence of Abimelech; Abimelech threw him out, so David left. I will thank the LORD at all times. My mouth will always praise him. (2) My soul will boast about the LORD. Those who are oppressed will hear it and rejoice. (3) Praise the LORD'S greatness with me. Let us highly honor his name together. (4) I went to the LORD for help. He answered me and rescued me from all my fears. (5) All who look to him will be radiant. Their faces will never be covered with shame. (6) Here is a poor man who called out. The LORD heard him and saved him from all his troubles. (7) The Messenger of the LORD camps around those who fear him, and he rescues them. (8) Taste and see that the LORD is good. Blessed is the person who takes refuge in him. (9) Fear the LORD, you holy people who belong to him. Those who fear him are never in need. (10) Young lions go hungry and may starve, but those who seek the LORD'S help have all the good things they need. (11) Come, children, listen to me. I will teach you the fear of the LORD. (12) Which of you wants a full life? Who would like to live long enough to enjoy good things? (13) Keep your tongue from saying evil things and your lips from speaking deceitful things. (14) Turn away from evil, and do good. Seek peace, and pursue it! (15) The LORD'S eyes are on righteous people. His ears hear their cry for help. (16) The LORD confronts those who do evil in order to wipe out all memory of them from the earth. (17) Righteous people cry out. The LORD hears and rescues them from all their troubles. (18) The LORD is near to those whose hearts are humble. He saves those whose spirits are crushed. (19) The righteous person has many troubles, but the LORD rescues him from all of them. (20) The LORD guards all of his bones. Not one of them is broken. (21) Evil will kill wicked people, and those who hate righteous people will be condemned. (22) The LORD protects the souls of his servants. All who take refuge in him will never be condemned.
For those who are the perpetrators of abuse you need to know this as well! GOD is listening, and he will not allow this wrong to continue and to by unpunished! In the above passage I do believe he is trying to tell perpetrators something in verses 15-22!
God says this pretty firmly in Psalms 50:
Psalms 50:16-22 GW But God says to wicked people, "How dare you quote my decrees and mouth my promises! (17) You hate discipline. You toss my words behind you. (18) When you see a thief, you want to make friends with him. You keep company with people who commit adultery. (19) You let your mouth say anything evil. Your tongue plans deceit. (20) You sit and talk against your own brother. You slander your own mother's son. (21) When you did these things, I remained silent. That made you think I was like you. I will argue my point with you and lay it all out for you to see. (22) Consider this, you people who forget God. Otherwise, I will tear you to pieces, and there will be no one left to rescue you.
And here again in Psalm 64:
Psalms 64:1-10 GW For the choir director; a psalm by David. Hear my voice, O God, when I complain. Protect my life from a terrifying enemy. (2) Hide me from the secret plots of criminals, from the mob of troublemakers. (3) They sharpen their tongues like swords. They aim bitter words like arrows (4) to shoot at innocent people from their hiding places. They shoot at them suddenly, without any fear. (5) They encourage one another in their evil plans. They talk about setting traps and say, "Who can see them?" (6) They search for the perfect crime and say, "We have perfected a foolproof scheme!" Human nature and the human heart are a mystery! (7) But God will shoot them with an arrow. Suddenly, they will be struck dead. (8) They will trip over their own tongues. Everyone who sees them will shake his head. (9) Everyone will be afraid and conclude, "This is an act of God!" They will learn from what he has done. (10) Righteous people will find joy in the LORD and take refuge in him. Everyone whose motives are decent will be able to brag.
God is listening and will act against wrongdoers!
Think back on your life, and either write down ways you have seen God demonstrate this to you! We would love it if you would also share here as well! Either way remember God is listening, and God does hear!
Next time we will speak about how God is Just!
Healing Through Fighting - Part Two God Is Just
Healing Through Fighting - Part Three God is Able
Healing Throught Fighting - Conclusion