God Never Wastes a Hurt

My oldest son and I are going on a missions trip to Rwanda this summer and we are so excited. We had a training on Sunday and had to come with our testimony to share. I had written mine 5-6 years ago when I was in women’s ministries but as I went to the computer to print it, I realized it needed a whole re-write to include my current circumstances. It was not easy adding in about my divorce but I realized as I was writing it, there was a much bigger common theme in my testimony, “God never wastes a hurt.” If we allow God to take our brokenness and use it to help and minister to others, then it gives our pain an even greater purpose.

Last time, I shared with you about Lysa Terkeurst’s book, “Who Holds the Key to Your Heart” and today, I want to look at a different chapter. This one is called Loneliness is Satan’s trap, Kindness is God’s reply.   In life, we will have hard times. Lysa says, “During these times we have a choice to cling to Jesus’ promises and seek his companionship or to walk in the darkness. To walk in the darkness means to be trapped by our loneliness. “   Satan would love to see us get trapped by our loneliness, to see ourselves as isolated and alone.

But God has another plan for us if we will let him. Instead of us feeling lonely and trapped, He wants us to use our hurt and pain to help others. I love this quote from this Chapter, “If you are lonely, reach out to another in kindness. For when we touch the one who needs healing, we touch the heart of the Healer Himself. And when He pours His healing through you to another, God’s healing touches you first and as a result you are healed.” Wow- this is powerful!

Who do you need to reach out to today? God has given each of us a story, a powerful story and He wants you to share it.   I know Pastor Rick always says that our hurts and pains become our ministry. Who better to help someone who struggles with infertility than someone how has struggled with infertility. Who better to minister to someone who has lost a parent than someone who has lost a parent.   Again, who needs to hear your story today?

I would like to close with this last quote from the book, “To walk the path the Lord delights in, we must be willing to let God use the circumstances of our lives to reach out to others. Let’s compare our hurts to stones littering our paths. We have a choice to do one of three things with these stones. We can use them to beat ourselves up, making our scars run deeper than they should. We can throw our stones at others, wounding them and making them also feel pain. Or we can use these stones to build bridges for others to walk across from their own darkness and pain into His healing light.”

My prayer is that we will choose the third option!

Dear God, you know all of our hearts: our hurts and pains, our joys and delights. It is so easy for us to share our joy with others but there is so much healing when we share our hurts and pains. You want us to be vulnerable with others and I pray that today we can take our hurtful stones and build bridges with them.   Use us today to show Your kindness to others by being authentic and real with all the good and hard times in our life. We love you and thank you that we don’t ever have to feel alone for you are with us. Amen!

Discontentment is Satan’s Distraction, Patience is God’s reply

I just finished reading a book by Lysa Terkeurst, one of my favorite authors called “Who Holds The Key To Your Heart?” It was one of her early books that she wrote and in it, she compares Satan’s tactics with God’s reply by focusing each chapter on one of the fruits of the Spirits! It was amazing and I totally recommend it.

In the chapter, Discontentment is Satan’s Distraction, Patience is God’s reply, I learned so much and wanted to share some of it with you.   I learned that Satan uses discontentment to lure us away; he gets us to resent where we are and distract us with things that could be. This is different from daydreaming because this is being unable to be at peace with where God has you now. It blinds you from all the good and pulls you further from fulfilling the purpose God has for you now. It steals your patience for God’s perfect timing in your life.   How many of you have been there? I know I have.   She goes on and says that “Satan is crafty and forms cunning plans with our weaknesses. What better way to paralyze our effectiveness for Christ than to make us ungrateful for what we do have and distracted by longing for all we don’t have” Wow- this is powerful!   God, help all of us not fall into Satan’s trap!

I love how she goes on tells the secret to combat this; it is found in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”  She says in her book, “The same God who gives you unshakably joy gives you strength. The same God who gives you unexplainable peace gives you strength! Now, in one amazing passage of Scripture, he explains how to be content, how to rest in the arms of patience, for He will give you the strength.”   God’s strength is powerful and we just have to ask Him for it; I think this is extremely important during those times that we are asked to wait and trust God.   Sometimes the waiting period is the hardest and that is where discontentment can appear, that is when Satan strikes.   I like how she says in her book, “We are to actively seek God and all that He intends for us to discover during this waiting period.”

This got me thinking of another book, “The Mended Heart” by Suzanne Eller that I read about a month ago where it talks about this waiting time as being in limbo. She gives the example of Paul’s ministry and him being in prison. I am sure Paul did not understand why he was there and not out preaching the Gospel in person. She points out in her book, “What Paul didn’t realize was that this limbo period would one day be the most significant part of his ministry. Those letters he wrote became the books of Ephesians, First and Second Corinthians, Romans, Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, First and Second Thessalonians, First and Second Timothy, Titus and Philemon in the Bible. Those letters, written in limbo, didn’t just influence the churches that received them while he was imprisoned at different times and places, they still impact us today.” We just don’t know what God has planned for us in the midst of the waiting time.   She continues to encourage us by saying, “Don’t underestimate what God is doing in you in this season.”

So I want to encourage you to not let Satan lure you into discontentment.   Instead hold on to the truth that you can do all things through Christ’s strength! He can give you patience as you wait on God’s perfect timing. In fact, it may just be the most powerful place of growth in your life!!

Love, Jodi