As a pastor to hundreds of people I can testify that there is no shortage of hurting people in this world. Those who are dealing with sickness, disease, personal problems, broken relationships, loneliness, financial pressure, etc. The list of reasons for the hurting seems endless.
We know that Christ came to save sinners from their sins but the hurt is often still a reality in our lives personally and corporately. Because we live in a sin cursed world and people sin they do hurtful and hateful things which always affect themselves and others as well. Christ's work on the cross and his resurrection offers sinners true spiritual healing and His biblical principles can supply us with a better life while on this earth journey toward our perfect eternal home. Yet hurt will be a part of our lives and we must learn to deal with them and help others to do the same.
With this is mind —how can we best help them? As I suggest a few ways to minister to those hurting I must admit I still am learning myself and my list is certainly not exhaustive.
FIRST- HURTING PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW SOMEONE CARES!
Sometimes when people are hurting we really don't know what to do and because of that we do nothing. Let me encourage you that even if you have no answers or any means to relieve their hurt you can care about them. Communicate your concern and cares. To remain silent will only frustrate them as they will think you don't care because you are not reaching out! You don’t need to have the answers or the means to solve their problems but your loving concern will make a major difference in their lives at their time of pain!
SECOND- HURTING PEOPLE NEED HELP IF POSSIBLE!
James chapter 2 says that if we we have the means to help a brother or sister in Christ and do nothing our faith is vain. When we see a hurting person we need to stop and ask ourselves what do I have to give that can help meet their relieve their hurt? Would some money help them? Perhaps childcare, a few meals, loaning a car, driving them to the hospital, a listening ear, a skill we possess , and countless other resources we already possess that would be great ways to help those hurting. Don't wait to be asked but be ready to use what you already have to meet needs and relieve hurt!
THIRD- HURTING PEOPLE NEED COMMUNICATION!
With so many means of communication availed to us today, we can reach out and touch others daily, weekly, and regularly as never before. Asking the how they are, what do they need, how can we pray, expressing our desire to help them carry their burden. Letting them know they are not in this alone. Phones calls, texting, messaging, email and of course there is nothing any better than a short personal visit!
FOURTH- HURTING PEOPLE NEED THE BIBLE!
When the occasion avails itself it is always proper and helpful to share Bible verses for those hurting to read and meditate upon. The Psalms are loaded with hundreds of WORDS that our Lord has given us to bring peace to our troubled souls. Verses that we can pray and sing to our Lord and as we do they will minister inwardly to our heart as nothing else will do. Share God's Word with every hurting heart!
FIVE- HURTING PEOPLE NEED PRAYER!
Sometimes the only thing we can do is pray on behalf of Hurting People! But interceding on behalf of others is one of the greatest gifts we can give to any other human and it is one of the most productive things we can do. Prayer changes things in our lives and the lives of others. The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
SIX- HURTING PEOPLE NEED JESUS!
Jesus is the only ONE who can bind up the hearts of the brokenhearted. He is the only ONE who can heal the heart and soul of those hurting! When we minister to another believer who is hurting, their number one need is Jesus. When we are seeking to help an unbeliever there number one need is Jesus! Let the hurting know that Jesus loves them, has saved them or will save them. Jesus is with them, He will help them. He will give them direction and in his time he will work all things out for His glory and their good!
The need to help hurting people is huge. As we look around our churches and communities, we see hurting people everywhere and to be honest it can be overwhelming. Yet, while we can’t do everything, we can all do something to show the love of Christ through our lives to those who are hurting.
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound” (Isaiah 61:1).
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.