Thursday, February 5, 2009

Steps to Healing

I know that spiritual warfare is behind much abuse. Only by understanding it, the enemy, and the Lord can anyone truly be set free and healed. What steps should a Christian take who has been wounded in order to find genuine healing? 1. Recognize there is a personal God who loves you (see John 3:16). His love can break through any darkness and help you feel not only loved but beloved, God's child and a member of His family, wholly accepted and given all the rights of being a family member: peace, joy, hope, and the love of His people. 2. Give your broken heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (see Like 4:17-21). This act of faith seals the relationship and brings you into intimate friendship with Jesus Himself. 3. Trust Christ for promised hope and liberty (see Luke 4:18; John 8:32, 36). Jesus will give you the hope and freedom you desire. He alone is capable. 4. Be strengthened in the inner person by God's power (see Ephesians 3:16-17). God alone can give us the strength to overcome. Time and patience are needed. Healing usually happens in a context of meaningful discipleship relationships, worship, prayer support, fellowship, teaching, and growth. It's a process that often takes time and patience. We need fellowship and the friendship of loving, accepting people. Many broken people are isolated and lonely. Loneliness is to the soul what starvation is to the body. As the testimonies in this chapter show, healing always takes place in the larger context of family, friends, and the local church. Getting involved in a God-honoring church is an essential of true healing. Don't give up on the local church. Furthermore, don't go to church to get beat up, but go to be built up. As God's truth enters the heart, the result will be spiritual wisdom that in itself will strengthen and heal that tender "inner person" that is often so vulnerable to the abuses of this world. Louise found this out in a beautiful way. Now thirty-seven, she had been in a series of failed marriages and a number of affairs until one day she found Christ after she "decided to try Him," she said. It happened when the Lord brought a precious lady into her life at work. This Christian lady began to share Jesus with her and eventually led her to Christ. "The problem I have now," Louise told me, "is I really don't know where I belong." She felt alone, perhaps because of her treatment as a child. Neither her father nor mother wanted her or her twin brother. She was unwanted, and her parents had made that clear every day of her life. I recommended a good, caring church. I even made a couple of phone calls to make the introductions of Louise. That Sunday, she later told me, it took all she had to get out of bed and actually go to church. By the grace of God, though, she made it. As she got involved, she soon found there were a number of problems in her life that had to be resolved. For one, she had not paid income tax for several years, An attorney in the church helped her get that squared away. The church also helped her with mortgage on her house that was about to foreclose, and they helped her purchase a car so she could get around. She told me the greatest thing they did for her, though, was being "there...when I desperately needed them. If one member of the body could not meet my need they would look and find another one who could. In a matter of several months of being in the church there was a realtor, a tax lawyer, a finance expert, a medical doctor and several sisters who came alongside to meet specific needs at that time in my life." I believe the greatest part of her growth and healing has taken place through her local church. I urge every reader: Do not give up on the church that Jesus Christ is building. Yes, God's people still sin; yes, and they make mistakes. But if you seek out people who are truly walking with the Lord, you will inevitably find them loving, resourceful folks who will often give you the shirt off their backs to help. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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