I first wrote this as a “Personal Word of Challenge” in CMT’s E-Newsletter.
Are you hurting? Now, I’m not necessarily talking about physical pain, but that can indeed be a side effect of emotional, social, and even spiritual stress factors. As many of you know, this is something that hit me hard several years ago. My body just wanted to shut down from the physical, mental, emotional, and other stresses I had been allowing it to go through.
I pray now over this word of challenge that God ministers to you as you read it.
As I sit here writing, I am experiencing many, many different emotions. I am presently going through an unusual situation where a certain person (who is not in ministry and is Christian in name only, not scripturally) is proceeding with some very unethical actions towards my family. I prefer not to go into an explanation here in the Vault. I will say that it appears that this person is attempting to be a menace rather than a threat. (And evidently, they have done similar things to others in the past.) We have had to change one of our phone numbers and place high security access on the account. We are considering legal action, but are unsure of how to proceed.
I share that extremely personal information with you as a point of reference as to how it has affected me in other ways because I want you to realize how outer circumstances are affecting you. It has been very difficult to get any work/ministry effectively accomplished over the past weeks because of this ongoing annoyance. And, when it came to the forefront again yesterday, I just sat there feeling confused. I realized I was having the same feelings as I did when my home was burglarized in 1990. I spent time with God just to be comforted, built up, and at peace so I could rest last night.
It was today that I realized how this situation was affecting the ministry. I’ll ask you again, “Are you hurting?” Are you hurting from calloused remarks from one of your parishioners? Are you hurting from insensitive attitudes toward your calling from others in leadership? Are you hurting from a workload that appears to be overwhelming? Are you hurting in your familial relationships? Are you hurting because you have experienced loss — a loss of family, finances, security, position, direction? Are you hurting because you have pushed yourself to the limits and feel there is nothing more you can give?
Too many times we are all involved in situations that may be completely separate from ministry, and yet those situations come in like a flood against us and sweep us away. Then, we are so involved with the situation and other responsibilities that we do not realize how our responses to family and ministry have changed.
This morning as I realized how my current situation was impacting other areas, I called to God and said, “Your Word promises me that you will raise up a standard when the enemy comes in like a flood. Father, I invoke Your Word and the Power of Your Word! Raise Your standard! Raise it high. For it is You and You alone where my help comes from!”
Take a deep breath and focus for a moment on the stresses you are experiencing. I challenge you today to take the following 8 steps toward removing the hurt. You will find it to be a remarkable leap forward in ministry, in life, in personal growth, and in finding healing from your hurt.
- Ask God to reveal to you the source of your hurt. (Wait and listen for His answer, it may not be the answer you would choose.)
- Ask God for forgiveness from any wrongful emotions or imaginings you have had involving your hurt.
- Ask God to clear your thoughts and give you His direction. (Remember, He has promised to speak, saying – “This is the way…”)
- Make a “Quality Decision” to follow His direction. Do not step out on your own. If you need to speak, then speak. If He says to be quiet, then be silent.
- Bring your mind, thoughts, and spirit to focus on His love, Your calling, and the harvest before you.
- Give Thanks! Thank your Father God for listening. Thank Him for His love shown in your life. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Thank Him for His direction. Thank Him for removing the hurt. Thank Him for His peace. Thank Him for empowering you for the ministry. In EVERYTHING give thanks!
- Go forth, proclaiming the Word. Invoke the scriptural promises in your life today! Call out loud those promises and the power therein that directly relate to removing your hurt. (Some pertinent verses you can refer to are: 1 John 4:4, Ps. 23:4, Ps: 37:1-3, Is. 54:17, Ps. 27:1, Eph. 6:12, Jms. 1:5)
- If possible, find another believer to join with you in agreement that the hurtful situation is resolved.
— Gary R. Linn, Children’s Ministry Today