I have found that when those I lead and love are hurting, I hurt as well. I hurt for them, and I hurt with them. Whatever the reason for the hurt I often find myself identifying with their burden and in a real sense carrying the burden myself. I do not want to take credit for this but I want to give God the credit for His work in me producing this response. I think it has to do with LOVE and God's love bears the burdens of others.
During those times we are hurting with others, how do we, find God's grace for our own hurt and how do we find grace to help those who are hurting? In other words, HOW CAN WE HELP OTHERS WHO ARE HURTING WHEN WE HURT? Especially as spiritual leaders, partners in ministry, parents, friends of a life time. Well. first of all we mast find grace for our own selves and then find practical ways to give that grace to others.
Following are some suggested thoughts as to where we find help when we are hurting because others are hurting and then how to help those who are hurting!
I. TRUST IN THE LORD WHEN YOU ARE HURTING!
Trust in the Lord with all thy heart..... - Proverbs 3:5
I cannot lead if I am floundering in a perplexed confusion. Yes, we are human, even leaders. And because we are human we will struggle in our and others hurts. Yet we must find God's strength and anchor our trust in Him alone. We must in our own walk find God's amazing grace and strength in our hurt so we may lead others to seek and find that same strength as they trust in the Lord!
II. CAST YOUR CARE UPON THE LORD WHEN YOU HURT!
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.—1 Peter 5:7
Before you counsel or seek to encourage others, try to get alone with the Lord to cast your care upon Him. Spend some time casting your cares upon Him and allowing Him to lift your burdens somewhat with His presence and provision of faith. As you allow the Lord to bear your burden you are gaining strength to bear the burden of the one who is hurting. If you want to be a burden bearer, not a burden giver you must cast your burden on the Lord first! Then graciously, humbly and patiently lead them to do the same.
III. SPEND TIME ALONE WITH THE LORD WHEN YOU HURT!
And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.—1 Kings 19:12
Grief has a way of quieting our hearts so we can hear the still, small voice of the Lord. When you are hurting and one you love is hurting make sure to spend a little time alone with the Lord. Well maybe spend a lot of time! Listen to Him in the Bible and on your knees. Ask Him to direct you at this time and to help you speak godly direction into your hurting friend.
IV. SEEK THE HEART OF THE LORD WHEN YOU ARE HURTING!
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.—Proverbs 4:23
Draw near to God with a sincere heart. - Hebrews 10:22
The most dangerous time you may ever experience and are especially vulnerable to Satan’s deception it is when you are hurting and bearing the hurts of others. Be careful to see that your heart does not become bitter or disappointed in what the Lord is allowing. God is good and He is good all the time. Reflect on the eternal side of things. God has good purpose and plans for His own. Watch your heart because you will never be able to help another without the heart of God.
V. YIELD YOUR TONGUE TO THE LORD WHEN YOU ARE HURTING!
A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.—Proverbs 29:11
Be slow to speak. - James 1:19
Remember Job's friends who thought they were helping him. If they really wanted to help perhaps they should have spoke less and when they did they should have spoken truth with grace. When we are hurting we need to listen to God who will always speak with truth and grace. God is a refuge where hurting people can hear His helpful and hopeful words. When we hurt may we run to Him and listen to His words and then may we run to those who are hurting and speak in such a way. Far to often when we hurt we speak to ourselves in ungracious and untruthful ways. And when others are hurting we find ourselves speaking before we have considered those words and they only hurt the hurting more. When others are hurting fewer words may be necessary. Certainly gossip, criticism, sharing to many details are not in order. In general when people are hurting speak less but when you do speak make it profound.
VI. GIVE YOUR EFFORT TO THE LORD WHEN YOU ARE HURTING!
But through love serve each other. - Galatians 5:13
When you are hurting because others are hurting do something to help them. In so doing you will find help for your own hurt. Helping hurt people can help hurt people overcome hurt. Don’t avoid those who are hurting, and don’t assume everyone else is serving them as they are hurting. Yes, allow them space in their hurt. Give them personal time to be alone or with their closest family to sift things out. No, don't smother them as they are dealing with their hurt. But, do what you can to help. A phone call, stop in and make a short visit just to tell them you love them and are praying for them. Send a note, make a gentile and caring contact with your eye. Take a meal, send a gift card. There are hundreds if not thousands of ways to carry out a need meeting expression.
Terry has been the Senior Pastor of Liberty for 30 years. He and his wife, Karen, have 4 children, 11 grandchildren, and 1 spoiled dog named Cooper.