Most people have hidden wounds that bring pain and anguish into their lives. Hidden wounds can be memories that still hurt; recollections from your past that when you think about them still cause pain in your life. They can include memories of abandonment, abuse, ridicule, criticism, prejudice, and hatred as well as physical, sexual, emotional, or spiritual abuse.
The good news is this: Jesus Christ wants to heal your hidden wounds. In Exodus 15, one of the Hebrew names of God is, “I am Jehovah Rapha,” which means “I am the God who heals.” The Bible says this in Psalm 147 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” –Psalm 147:3
How does He do that? How does God heal a broken heart?
When you look at the life of Jesus, you see He healed a lot of people—physically and emotionally. There are certain patterns and principles that come up over and over again in the way He dealt with people. They don’t always go in this order, but you can find these five principles in God’s process of internal healing. The first step begins when you…
1. Share your pain with a trusted friend or counselor.
You’re never going to get well until you face your feelings straight on and stop living with secrets. The Bible talks about the problem of stuffing your feelings down inside and and not talking about them.
“But when I was silent and still, not even saying anything good, my anguish increased. My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned…” Ps. 39:2-3
The Bible says here that holding on to hurts is like carrying hot coals in your heart – you’re the one who’s going to get burned. Hidden wounds, when you try to stuff them down, don’t heal. They fester. And pushing a hurt aside doesn’t get rid of it. It just makes it worse. The second step is to…
2. Forgive those who’ve hurt you.
You can’t get well as long as you harbor resentment. For your own sake, you’ve got to let go of the right to get even. One of the most difficult decisions you’ve got to decide in life is “Do I want to get well or do I want to get even?”
Getting even will not take away your pain. Perhaps you’ve already learned that lesson. Even after you’ve gotten revenge, you still feel the pain. Revenge didn’t solve the problem. The only way to experience internal healing is through forgiveness.
You may say, “But they don’t deserve to be forgiven!” You’re right. They don’t. Neither do you deserve to be forgiven, but God’s forgiven you. I’m not saying forgive them because they deserve it. I’m saying forgive them for your own sake.
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody… Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord..” Rom. 12:17 & 19
It’s not your duty to settle the score. In essence, God says, “I will settle the score.” As hard as it may be, you need to trust that God will take care of the people who have wronged you. You must force your focus to the future and stop worrying about whether the person who hurt you is ever punished for the wrong they did to you. Put the situation in God’s hands and leave it there.
In next month’s issue I will share with you the final three steps to experiencing God’s internal healing.
Tim Neptune is the Lead Pastor of Venture Church Naples, a new church plant in East Naples. For service times and locations, go to www.venturenaples.com or call (239) 775-5323.