Cry With Those Who Hurt

ImageDeep pain and intense trial have a way of giving one perspective. You realize what really matters. You realize where your priorities weren’t in line with Scripture. You realize that God truly is the only One in control (Especially when it seems like everything is spiraling out of control.).  You get a front row seat into where your faith is growing and where it really falls short. You see the enormity of God’s grace and power. You feel God’s care and nearness is a unique way (Even though at times it can also seem like He’s nowhere to be found.)

And you are uniquely positioned to care for others. Mark Altrogge put it very well…

No one can identify with the “fury of depression” or severe anxiety like someone who’s experienced it.  No one can sympathize with someone who has lost a loved one like one who has also been through a loss.  But God says we can comfort those in “any affliction” because we have had an experience of affliction.  We may not go through the precise suffering someone else does, but we know what pain feels like.  We know what suffering feels like.  And we can tell others from experience that God cares for them.  We can assure them that God was faithful to us and will be faithful to them too.

It think comforting and supporting others is one of the reasons God allows us to walk through intense seasons of trials and suffering. But, what do you do if God is calling you to care for someone and you really can’t relate to their trials? Here’s a couple of suggestions:

  1. Don’t shrink back from caring just because you can’t relate. The gospel and truths in Scripture apply to EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness. Nothing is more important and helpful than objective truth on a hurting and often very subjective soul.
  2. HOWEVER, preach truth with DISCERNMENT, compassion, and careful care. When someone is hurting or deeply struggling it’s not helpful to simply preach truth with no thought to how it will land on your friends ears.
  3. Do more listening than talking. You can’t speak truth unless you know what’s really going on, so listen and listen a lot. Often times the speaker is aware of the truth and they just need a listening ear. Sometimes just a chosen, appropriate Scripture after listening is all that’s needed to encourage their soul. Or a simple, I’m praying for you, what can I do to help? And if you listen more than you talk, they feel like you really care and want to understand. Nothing is more discouraging than a friend who thinks they’re helping and in reality all they do is talk, thinking they understand you when they don’t.
  4. Cry and hug! I know guys probably don’t do this a lot, but for girls this serves a lot! Romans 12 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Sometimes the best thing to do is just to sit, cry, and give them a hug.

Ultimately, God is the One working in their lives. He has promised to see them through. As we serve and care for our friends we have to remember that He is the One that died for their soul. We aren’t called to fix all our friends problems. We’re called to care, love, and remind them of the One Who paid the greatest price and suffered more than we can ever imagine. But, we’re not Mr./Ms. Fix It and we’re not the answer to all their problems.

Photo: © Friday | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

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4 thoughts on “Cry With Those Who Hurt

  1. “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.”
    –1 Peter 5:7

    It is a happy way of soothing sorrow when we can feel–“HE careth for me.” Christian! do not dishonour religion by always wearing a brow of care; come, cast your burden upon your Lord. You are staggering beneath a weight which your Father would not feel. What seems to you a crushing burden, would be to Him but as the small dust of the balance. Nothing is so sweet as to

    “Lie passive in God’s hands, And know no will but His.”

    O child of suffering, be thou patient; God has not passed thee over in His providence. He who is the feeder of sparrows, will also furnish you with what you need. Sit not down in despair; hope on, hope ever. Take up the arms of faith against a sea of trouble, and your opposition shall yet end your distresses. There is One who careth for you. His eye is fixed on you, His heart beats with pity for your woe, and his hand omnipotent shall yet bring you the needed help. The darkest cloud shall scatter itself in showers of mercy. The blackest gloom shall give place to the morning. He, if thou art one of His family, will bind up thy wounds, and heal thy broken heart. Doubt not His grace because of thy tribulation, but believe that He loveth thee as much in seasons of trouble as in times of happiness. What a serene and quiet life might you lead if you would leave providing to the God of providence! With a little oil in the cruse, and a handful of meal in the barrel, Elijah outlived the famine, and you will do the same. If God cares for you, why need you care too? Can you trust Him for your soul, and not for your body? He has never refused to bear your burdens, He has never fainted under their weight. Come, then, soul! have done with fretful care, and leave all thy concerns in the hand of a gracious God. –Spurgeon

    Sermons on Joseph –

    Sovereign Grace Church – http://sgcsc.org/media.php?pageID=27
    Sinclair Ferguson – http://www.firstprescolumbia.org/templates/System/details.asp?id=43244&PID=916298&sa_action=&sa_search=joseph

  2. Thank you. It seems like there is no end in sight but I know that is not true. Thank you again and may God continue to bless you.

  3. I pray God continues to give you much grace and mercy as you walk through this season.

  4. So true and well said. I am going through several struggles and trials right now. I still do not know all of the whys or to what end, but I know there is purpose which gives me hope. Romans 12 is my favorite… Many times we need to walk in the shoes of others to know what they are going through so we can better help them. Thanks for this.

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