Hope Heals Hurting Hearts & Blogger Linkup

hope for hurting hearts

Welcome to week 4 of the Hope for Hurting Hearts series! Remember how we discussed the word “hope” in Scripture typically means our English word-“expectation?”  Our expectation, or hope, should always come from the Lord.  How do we know we can trust Him?  Because of His unfailing love for us!

The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147:11

 

For so many years, I read the Bible and prayed as an item checked off the to-do list.  Can you relate?  I really performed my “religious duty”… not recognizing the God of heaven wanted to do more than give me a hope for the future.

He wanted to heal my past.

He wanted His Word to be the healing balm that would restore my soul.

god wants relationship

God desires a personal relationship with me- not a religious experience.

I simply checked in and out like clockwork, fulfilling the ceremony, performing the ritual of daily Bible reading and prayer time.  And then when tragedy after tragedy struck my life, I begged God to tell me what He wanted from me. I poured out my heart and left no tears unshed.  When making my soul bare before Him, I discovered that is exactly what He was requesting.

An open heart. Bareness.  A willingness to listen for His voice…

and then His Word caressed my wounded soul as the healing balm of Gilead.  

The oil of gladness replaced my bitterness and His strength became my strength.

In my ebook, The Sensational Scent of Prayer, I describe how Hannah’s desperate desire for a child had broken her heart. Completely spent, the Bible tells us that she poured out her soul before the Lord.  

Imagine a pitcher of water completely full of water. I think most of us pray “small” prayers, a little here, a little there.  We pour out a tiny sip at a time, seeking strength and renewal.  But our pitcher still has water in it.   We fear pouring out our soul because then, we believe we will be empty.  The truth is:

Without that emptying, we can never be filled with Him.

What is it that needs to be emptied so that your heart can be filled with the hope of Christ and His love?



When Nothing Else Can Reach- A Guest Post

Today we are privileged to read more words that give Hope to Hurting Hearts.   I want to introduce you to another awesome friend of mine, Kara Chupp.  Common sorrows carry common bonds and Kara and I have much in common, especially through our God and Savior. Kara is married to her husband Jason, and they have five kiddos, four here and one in heaven.   They also have a muppet-like-mess of a dog, non-breeding Madagascar Hissers (who have had over 100 babies), and a whole mess of stick bugs.  Kara writes mostly about family, adoption, grief, education, traditions, literature, organization, Heaven, and most-importantly- her love for God.  You can find her family adventures at The Chuppies. Today she gives us a post- Music gives hope when nothing else can reach. Now from Kara:

I wrote this post mentally on an elliptical machine.

My husband and I started a weekly-date-night-routine that includes a neighborhood walk and then a few minutes at a local exercise facility.

I brought my iPod this time.

Because last week I counted the seconds on the clock.

And somehow I wandered my way into our “Selah” play list.

It’s full of all the songs that were meaningful to me during those days, weeks, and months after our daughter Selah died.

And in moments it took me back…

I remember the first gift from God that came through music.

I was planning to pick up our older children from school and then the call came.

The one that said…

“Head straight up to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital”

And I felt my hands shaking, a pit in my stomach…

The little-one-so-loved in the carseat behind me.

I had known it deep down,

That something was wrong.

But it was like a vacuum, the air sucked out of me…trembling in fear.

And then I heard an echo…

Of the song that was playing right before my cell phone rang.

A children’s album…but powerful.

“Do not fear, for I am with you…”

And I knew, in that moment when I was gasping just to take a breath,

That those words were from Him,

For me.

And it was like that all along the way…

And Selah died.

I could spend pages trying to tell you how much that hurt.

And how much it still does sometimes.

And even if I tried–

I wouldn’t have really explained it at all–

That kind of pain that leaves you with a silent scream,

A deep-down-moan, crumpled on the floor.

But…when we came home from the hospital

Without her.

My heart felt numb.

I wanted to trust God.

I wanted to cling to Him.

I threw myself on our bed and read straight through Job.

But all I felt was–

Pain.

And tired.

And empty.

And sad.

And…tired.

And far from Him.

I tried to read His Word.

I wanted to cling to verses.

But in that deep place of heartache…

The only thing that could reach my heart was–

Music.

And you may have different pain…

Everyone enters the hard-hurt for different reasons.

And we walk through it on different paths.

For us it came with the death of our daughter.

But sometimes it’s those with the living-grief that I weep for most.

Those who live day-after-day with no end in sight to the suffering.

But all hurting hearts have one need in common–

Hope.

And maybe you are like I was,

And nothing seems to pierce through the numbing shell of pain,

Just maybe His-music can pull your heart from the heavy dark?

And so,

As I said…

I was thinking about this post and was weeping on the elliptical as our daughter’s playlist took me back to those first few days of sorrow.

When my aching heart was a dam that needed to overflow.

It was the lyrics and the melodies of the songs that pulled me back to Him

It was what He used to help me feel again,

To help me sense His presence and love.

And so I just want to encourage those of you who are hurting, but who can’t seem to feel…

David didn’t just write his Psalms…

He sang them. He wept them.

He poured out his heart in them (Psalm 62:8).

He cried out day and night before God (Psalm 88).

And I have wept these Selah songs in the shower and on walks in the rain as the water drops mixed with tears.

I have shouted them in the closet and in the car and in the darkness…when only God and I could hear the music.

I have whispered them over dishes, hoping others won’t notice.

And I have cried through them on an elliptical machine, pretending to wipe away the sweat.

That drip. drip. drop. of melting hardness.

His patient love surrounding–

Through the melody.

There’s a way that God reaches hearts through music.

Maybe yours?

Because I know He pulled me close in the notes.

He wants us close and if you feel you just can’t feel…

Let His music draw you near.

Sing with me…

“I hope in God; for I shall again praise Him…

At night His song is with me” (Psalm 42: 5 & 8).

Sing in joy and sing in sorrow…let His music heal your heart.

praise songs that bring hope to hurting hearts

Several hope-songs from my Selah Playlist:

I Will Lift My Eyes– Bebo Norman

Grace– Phil Wickham

Hallelujah Jesus– Evan Wickham

Praise You in This Storm– Casting Crowns

Blessed Be Your Name– Chris Tomlin

Still Here– Superchick

Cannons– Phil Wickham

Awake and Alive– Skillet

I Will Praise Him Still– Fernando Ortega

Bring Me to Life– Bebo Norman

Give Me Jesus– Jeremy Camp

In Christ Alone– Newsboys

You Make Beautiful Things– Gungor

 

What songs has God used to bring hope to your hurting heart?

How to Bring Hope to Hurting Hearts

5 statements Jesus made to Help Hurting Hearts

Welcome to Week 4 of the Hope for Hurting Hearts series. We’ve covered What To Do When You Feel Like There’s No Hope in week 1, and in week 2, we discussed What To Do When You Can’t See Hope.  This week we move a little different direction: How to Bring Hope to Hurting Hearts.

Many times I believe that Christians don’t minister to hurting hearts because they are unsure of what to say or do or how to respond. Because we are afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing, we do nothing. I can’t say that I know exactly what to say, or do, or how to respond in every situation either.  But I do know where to go to get answers! This week, let’s take a look at our master example.

What did Jesus say to hurting hearts?

In Matthew 9:2, the story of the paralyzed man is relayed. This man was blessed enough to have four friends who brought him to Jesus and they were tenacious enough to creatively find a way to get the man in to see Jesus when the house was overflowing and there was no way to get in.  Removing the roof, they carefully lowered their friend so that he could be in the physical presence of Jesus. Jesus said to the paralytic:

“Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”

A little further down the chapter, in Matthew 9:23, a woman with an issue of blood has the blessing of passing by Jesus.  Her faith was so strong that she was determined that just touching Jesus would cure her disease.  And she was right.  Jesus told the woman:

“Be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.”

Matthew 14 tells how the disciples were at sea as the Lord had given them instruction.  On the fourth night of their little adventure, Jesus began to walk on the sea towards them and they were extremely afraid. But Jesus said to them:

“Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

In Luke 6:10, Jesus was in a circle of people once and a man with a withered hand was present.  His only words to the man were:

“Stretch out your hand.”

The man’s hand was instantly restored fully and appeared as the other hand.

When we look at Jesus’ words to those with hurting hearts, regardless of their pain, whether physical, spiritual, or emotional, I see four beliefs we can learn to extend to hurting hearts today.

1. God loves you so much that He sent His Son to die for you; He wants to extend grace to you, His child.

2. Your faith in God is encouraging.

3. Jesus is with you; He has promised to never leave you or forsake you as His very own.

4. Healing comes when we obey the Lord; just take it step by step.

Jesus spoke healing to volumes of hurting hearts as told in the four Gospels. He never just did “nothing” but many times over in the Bible, we read that he was “moved with compassion for the people.”

What do you think about keeping the above four statements handy so that you have some go-to words when you don’t know what to say to a hurting heart?  Or you could cut out slips of paper in advance with the above printed words, and simply pass a statement along to encourage a hurting heart.

“always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,” I Peter 3:15

Could you leave an idea for bringing hope to a hurting heart in the comments below? I’d love to read and share them!

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