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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