How Do You Help Hurting Christians?
Turn their light on!
One of the biggest opportunities to share your faith is with hurting Christians who are wondering where God is in the midst of their pain. They’re all around you! They have no idea that God wants to use their circumstances to define their testimony, not destroy it. This is a double opportunity for you to turn your light on, and theirs, at the same time.
Here’s a reality check: God is not nearly as concerned over what we go through as He is in how we respond to what we go through. In fact, God tells us that the trying of your faith produces endurance (James 1:3), He’ll never give you more than you can endure/He always provides a way of escape. (I Cor 10:13) and He’ll never leave you nor forsake you. (Deut 31:6)
Here’s the problem: Christians who lose their joy due to circumstances push people away from God. Every Christian is being watched by unbelievers who are unconsciously forming opinions about God based on the consistency of our faith under fire! We’re a city set on a hill. Like it or not, everything we do leads people to or away from God. And it’s far easier to push them away!
When we love God and live for His Purpose, to seek and save the lost, God promises to make everything in our lives work for good (Romans 8:28). The disconnect is our view of what’s good verses God’s view. God’s view of good is fixed on what will prompt the maximum number of people to accept His Son as their Lord. He never promised us a life free of pain and suffering. In fact, He often uses His unexplainable ‘Peace that passes understanding’ (Phil 4:7) in the midst of our pain and suffering to lead people to Him. So we are to Count it all joy. (James 1:2)
Your light, at its same intensity, shines brighter in darkness. As a Christian, with things going well, people expect you to have the ‘Joy of the Lord’ (Neh 8:10). But when your light shines just as bright during the trials of your life, your ability to lead unbelievers to the Lord explodes! The most powerful testimonies come from Christians who have the ‘Joy of the Lord’ in the midst of their pain.
The added bonus of pain and suffering is spiritual growth. Most spiritual growth spurts come through pain and suffering. When things are going well we have less need for God and less time for God. But when things go south, we’re reminded of our dependency on Him and usually seek Him with more vigor. That’s a good thing!
Your message to hurting Christians is this: When you see God’s Purpose in your pain and suffering, it changes everything! Don’t waste the opportunity! Use every aspect of your pain and suffering to bring everyone watching you closer to Jesus. Let your light so shine before man, that they will see God through you and want what you have.
For Christians, pain and suffering are like the ‘Big Leagues’ in our walk with the Lord. And here’s the best part! When you transfer this message into the hearts and minds of hurting Christians, their ability to lead people to the Lord will be greater than yours!