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When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and he delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and he saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.—Psalm 34:17-20
Being hurt sucks.
That’s kind of the nature of it. If it were pleasant, we wouldn’t be hurt. We certainly wouldn’t avoid it like we do.
Pain is one of the oldest “problems” that philosophers try to use to disprove God. The problem with their arguments is that they treat pain as a very unbiblical thing, like it’s some sort of dirty little secret, an accident that we refuse to acknowledge. But the Bible talks about pain again and again. The Bible makes no secret that pain is a part of the human condition.
And in that, the Bible also tells how much God is involved in comforting those who hurt. When the Bible calls God the God of All Comfort, or God the Comforter, it’s not saying that God is a fluffy blanket. God loves to comfort those who hurt.
If your heart is broken, if your spirit has been crushed, something very bad has happened to you. But our God is there with us.
Many are the nights I’ve fallen asleep curled up on God’s lap. When I’m hurt, there is nothing better.
When you engage in ministry, you will be hurt. Hurt is a part of human interaction. We can’t help but hurt each other and ourselves. At Missouri State Chi Alpha, we tell all of our student leaders to be ready for it.
The fact is that you will spend years pouring into some people just to have them spit in your face and walk away. You will trust people and they will betray you. Your friends will talk about you behind your back. Someone close to you will date your ex. People close to you will die.
In those times, it isn’t wrong to be hurt. If pain were a sin, then Christ would be a sinner. He certainly wasn’t happy about having nails driven through him, about his friend turning him over to be tortured to death.
Don’t deny your pain.
Take it to God.
God is the Healer. God wants to hold you and comfort you. God loves you.
“But,” says a small voice in the back of your head, “it only says that God does this for the righteous! Surely you haven’t earned it. Why, just the other day, you did…” and it starts to list everything wrong you’ve ever done. “Maybe,” it concludes, “God is letting you hurt because you’re a sinner and you deserve it. God won’t comfort you.”
That voice is pure evil.
That voice tries to keep you from going to God because then it can keep you from being with Him. It doesn’t want you with God. It wants you alone where you can be tormented. It wants you ineffective for God’s Kingdom. It wants you to suffer.
The very act of taking your pain to God is a righteous thing. It shows faith in God, love of God, and faith is righteous (Gal 3:6, Gen 15:6). God won’t turn his back on you for showing that faith.
And God loves to comfort His children. Time and time again, the Bible testifies that God loves to heal the hurt. Why ever would God not comfort you if you came to Him? To do so would be to deprive Himself of two things he loves: comforting those in pain, and you. Even if God were completely selfish in this, He wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to show you His love. Because that’s what God wants to do.
And because of this, you have the strength to face the pain that ministering the Gospel will bring. There is no hurt that God cannot or will not comfort.
You can be betrayed by a friend because God is there with you. You can watch someone you love not love you back because God is there with you. You can take risks and fail because God is there with you.
If we are afraid of being hurt, we will never disciple people. Investing in people is risky, and you will get hurt. But the pain is worth it to see the Kingdom of God advance. And God will be there to comfort you. Like a child who scrapes her knee runs to her father, so God wants you to run to Him when you are hurt.
So do not be afraid. God is with you. God loves you!