Friday, May 30, 2014

Why So Much Pain?

This world is too hurt and broken. Chances are those who may be reading this have been hurt and broken at least once, likely more. I want to do two things for you: I want to tell you what you can do to find healing, and I want to tell you what you can do to stop getting hurt, perhaps quite so much. Some things are beyond our control, sometimes pain cannot be avoided, but some things in our lives we have power over, even when someone would like us to think that we don't. You always have a choice, remember that. You always have a choice. There are some common mistakes that lead us to undue pain, and I want to address those. If you have ever been in pain, please take the time to read this. This list is by no means all inclusive, but these are some things that are quite often on my heart...

1. We ignore the warning signs
Sometimes we get hurt by someone or a situation only to look back and realize that something wasn't right all along. When you got involved with that person or put yourself in that position, there was a little flag that came up, a small voice that said, "Wait a minute, are you sure?" And you ignored it. Listen to those warnings, no matter how faint, no matter how loudly the big stupid voice in your excuse filled brain tries to out-shout them. When you get a little check in your spirit, there is usually a reason, and even if it's just your imagination, wouldn't you rather consider and search out the situation more diligently before rushing in? Stop. Think. Don't fall into the dangerous cycle of being hurt through turning a blind eye. Keep both eyes open, always. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil. Prov. 4:27

2. We rush
If we are rushing into things, we may not even have the time to hear or see the warnings. No matter how right something feels, rushing, unless it is to the feet of God for deliverance, is rarely a good idea. When we move too quickly we miss the details. You notice a lot more when you walk through a neighborhood than you do when you drive through it. Take the time to observe and make intelligent informed decisions about your life. "...he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly." Prov. 14:29

3. We take bad counsel
How often do we go to the people who will tell us what we want to hear, rather than the ones who will tell us what we need to hear? If you are seeking counsel from a person because you know they will agree with you, then you're quite possibly seeking counsel from the wrong source. We need to reach out to people who will be lovingly honest with us, the ones who tell us the truth that hurts. We may be surprised sometimes to find how much they can truly relate to us and that they are speaking from personal experience and likely past pain. If somebody really cares about you, they will probably tell you what you don't want to hear, they will probably make you angry, frustrated, but they will do it all because they care about you. Someone who tells you that you are okay exactly where you are at is often someone who does not love you or even understand what love is.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Proverbs 27:6
4. We let fear win
Fear is perhaps our biggest enemy in everything in this life. Fear of letting go, fear of facing the truth, fear of pain, of the unknown, fear of other people-- what they will think, what they will do, what they will say if we make this decision or that decision, and fear of letting them down. If we want true victory in our lives, we have got to stop worrying about what people will think of us, we have got to step forth and trust. Because the right decision always, always ends with 100% peace. The road may be rocky getting there, but it's so worth it. "...perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment..." 1 Jn. 4:18
5. We reject good counsel
This could go along with no. 3, but I think it's important enough to have its own slot. Not only do we reject good advice when we hear it, but we actually try to avoid it when we're bent on getting our own way. Good counsel exists for exactly that purpose-- it is GOOD! This means that it will result in good things for you. I'm going to be frank, you get yourself into messes time and time again then sit around expecting pity and feeling sorry for yourself, but what if you had actually listened to the people who tried to warn you not to start down that path to begin with? Stop hurting yourself by closing your heart and ears. Freedom comes when we open ourselves to the wisdom of others. So listen up! A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: Prov. 1:5
6. We lower our standards
There are lots of pathetic people and pathetic situations in our world today, and sometimes it's almost easy to bend just a little bit and accept for ourselves something that is less than we know we deserve and need. Yes, I used the word deserve. You don't deserve to be treated with disrespect, you don't deserve to be abused or hurt, you don't deserve someone who will belittle you with their words, you don't deserve someone who will pressure you to cross boundaries you know you should not cross. Whether this is in friendships, relationships, jobs, etc., YOU need to stand up tall to the standards you once set for yourself. Do not stoop, stop accepting something less than you were made for. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. James 4:17
7. We hide the truth
We don't open up and let people know how much we are hurting. This may be because of shame, fear of judgment, or simply that we think they won't care or it won't make a difference. But I'm telling you, it's bogus. I have been bound more tightly by the chains of secrecy and fear of openness than any other chains in my life, and it brought nothing but constant pain until I was delivered. In the end, you realize there really was no reason to hide the truth, that healing would have come a lot easier, a lot sooner, and so much pain could have been spared if you just would have been honest. I want to tell you, it is never too late to open yourself up. Sure, openness always brings the risk of hurt, but in my opinion the hurt that heals is much better than the hurt that burns on with no hope of recovery, the hurt you bear alone. Stop believing the lies that the enemy of your life wants you to believe, stop living in emotional isolation. Seek help, go to people you know will care for and love you... I believe there are many more of them out there than you think. Start by looking to the One who created you. "...the truth shall make you free." Jn. 8:32
8. We accept defeat
When the above steps have been taken, quite often they lead to a feeling of utter defeat. We accept "This is what I am, who I am, I've gone so deep, I've strayed so far, there's not even a point in trying to get out of this mess." Friends, that is a lie from the depths of Hell itself. It is NEVER too late to turn around, it is NEVER too late to heal, and there is NEVER a point where we should give up and accept this lowest standard of living. The bottom line is, within this sort of thinking lies the greatest torment, the greatest hopelessness, the greatest despair and poison of the soul, and the only thing that separates such a person from their healing, is choice. Make the choice today to be healed. Your life is in your own power, you are in control of the decisions you make, you write the story, you take the first step. So get up and take it.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 15:57
In closing, I want to say this. I understand that pain is real, I understand that what you face may look very powerful and seem overwhelming, and I'm not saying that escaping it is the easiest choice you will ever make, it will probably be the hardest, but I can say that once you do make it, you will find the perfect peace your soul craves. I beg you with all of my heart this moment to break the chains that bind you to what is hurting you. End that relationship, walk away from that situation, tell that person what you did, ask for forgiveness, make it right, own up, face your fear. If you don't know where to start or how, then reach out. You may have someone closer to you than I am, and I'm certainly not the wisest person in this world, but whoever you are, whether I know you or not, if you need help, I offer myself. Don't hide any longer. God wants to set you free.

For with God nothing shall be impossible. Luke 1:37
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows... Isaiah 53:4

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