The Healing of Our Hurts (Part 5)

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. (Galatians 6:1-3 ESV). The fourth principle we may use in order to heal our hurts is to recognize that no matter how lonely your suffering feels, you are not alone. You are at war, but you are not alone. God is with you, and he cares for you (cf. 1 Peter 5:7); further the apostle says, “Resist [the devil], firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world” (cf. 1 Peter 5:9). Fight Satan’s onslaught of lies knowing that you are shoulder to shoulder with an army of other believers. You may not know someone suffering the same thing as you in your immediate context, but you are not alone among Christians in the world and in history. God has cared for them, and he wants you to know he will care for you, too. And while the needs around you may not be identical, they are real, and often intense and overwhelming. Our reading today tells us that the military strategy for a needy, hurting, and embattled Christian community reads, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (v. 2). God’s infinite wealth and power will meet and provide for God’s weak and suffering people with God’s relentless compassion and care when they are gathered together around and clinging to God’s word, especially his promises. I am always encouraged with the knowledge that there are others who also suffer. Of course, I do not wish suffering for anyone, but knowing others have persevered through various challenges and trials gives me the strength that I can as well. For many years this concept has been used under the banner of “support groups.” I remember when I got my first invitation to attend a cancer survivor’s group. My first reaction was one of denial. I didn’t want to admit to anyone that I had cancer, much less that I had somehow managed to walk through the experience whole and restored. A very wise person reminded me that wherever I might be in my journey, there would others who could benefit from hearing my walk, just as I could benefit from hearing theirs. This brings us to two brief suggestions. First, be an encouragement to others. Help bear their burdens with your presence and prayers. Second, recognize that sharing with others your needs is not a weakness; it is a strength God has given to us for the path we have to...

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