Everyone of us is hurt from time to time. Sometimes we are hurt intentionally by others and sometimes unintentionally. Some hurts are little and within a short time we forget about them. What I want to talk about are the times when we are hurt and time doesn’t seem to bring healing. Every time we think of the person who hurt us, the pain and anger wells up inside again. Most people do not know what to do and continue to live with the pain, which often gets worse with time. I believe that there are two things God wants you to do when you are hurt. If you do these two things, God will bring healing into your life.
The first thing to do when you are hurt is the simplest, but often overlooked. Simply pray and ask for God to help you. There is great power in prayer. Life Church has many people attending who are unchurched. They are always so amazed the first time they give a prayer request to our prayer team and God answers the prayer, often very quickly. God is there to help, if we will but ask Him and oftentimes humble ourselves to ask others to pray.
The second thing to do when you are hurt is more difficult, it does not come naturally. When you are hurt, God wants to teach you to forgive the person who hurt you. Many people have trouble with forgiveness, they think that forgiveness is letting the other person off the hook. Forgiveness is really about letting you off the hook, the hook of unforgiveness. An increasing number of scientific studies are now documenting that unforgiveness is a key factor in many sicknesses and that people who forgive are more healthy.
What is forgiveness? Forgiveness is simply yielding your right to get even with the person who hurt you. It is not saying that what they did was right, it is not saying that God will let them off the hook. It is giving up on revenge and praying for them. How can you forgive when the hurt is great? You can forgive as you remember that God has forgiven you. You can forgive when you acknowledge that God is in control. Nothing that anyone will ever do to you can thwart God’s plan for your life. God is able to take even the worst of the hurts and turn it around for good for those who love God.
Recently, I read an amazing story about two men, Tass and Moran, who forgave one another and became lifelong friends. Tass was a Palestinian Arab, trained by the Fatah as a sniper to kill Jews. Moran was a Israeli soldier who had seen many of his friends killed by a suicide bomber. Each man, one a Muslim, one a Jew, became a Christian upon reading the Bible. God allowed them to meet one another and through a process of reconciliation and forgiveness, made possible by God’s grace alone, they became close friends. The answer to broken relationships, the answer to hurts in your life, the answer to problems between nations is found in Jesus. He has forgiven us, so we can forgive others.
TEV Eph. 4:32 Forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ.