Week 3 – LIFE Group Session

Week 3 – LIFE Group Session

– Hi and welcome back. In this session, we’re gonna
see what the Bible says about how to be emotionally healthy. You know in all my years
of counseling people, I’ve learned two truths about life. One is that everybody has
hidden emotional wounds. You may be masking it but everybody has at least one emotional
scar from their past. The other thing I’ve learned
is that emotional wounds take longer to heal than physical wounds. You see physical wounds can
heal on a matter of days but it can take years and years to get over emotional wounds. But there’s good news. Jesus Christ wants to
heal your hidden wounds. He wants you to be emotionally healthy. In the Bible, God gives
himself different Hebrew names. In Exodus 15 he says, “I am Jehovah Rapha” which means I am the Lord who heals. The Bible says this in Psalm 147, “He heals the broken-hearted
and bandages their wounds.” now you may say, how does he do that? ‘Cause I’d like to have
my hidden wounds healed. Well, today, we’re
gonna look at five steps that God will take us
through to heal our wounds and improve our emotional health. The first step begins
when I reveal my hurt. Now you’ll never be emotionally healthy until you face your feelings straight on. The Bible talks about the
problem of stuffing your emotions and not talking about them. In Psalm 39 we read, “I kept very quiet. “But I became even more upset. “I became very angry inside “and as I thought about
it, my anger burned. That’s Psalm 39 versus two and three. What he’s saying is
that holding on to hurts is like carrying hot coals in your heart. Your the one who’s gonna get burned. Listen, hidden wounds don’t heal. They fester. And pushing a hurt aside or
down doesn’t get rid of it. It just makes it worse. Because we live in a sinful world, people abuse other people. I have no doubt that many
of you watching right now have been abused in some
fashion by someone else. You know it’s amazing
how people respond then to abuse in many different ways. Some people try to
respond by forgetting it. I’ll just put it out of sight, out of mind and I’ll hide it. But when you swallow your hurt, your stomach will always keep score. Some people try to run from it. You know and there are
many ways we try to do this like get drunk, do drugs, go to bed with people we don’t even know. Bury ourselves in work. Well listen, it just doesn’t work. Some people try to just ignore it and act like it never happened. Some people try to cover up their abuse. You know for some reason, we feel guilty when we’re abused by others, don’t we? We think it’s our fault. We don’t want anybody to know so we push it down. It’s like a coke bottle
that you’ve shaken up. It’s about ready to explode and one day, the top’s gonna blow off. Listen, none of these ways of escape work. If you wanna be emotionally healthy, you have to be honest about your pain, about your fear, about your anger, about your resentment and bitterness over what people did to you. You have to be honest
about the way you felt when you were abandoned,
abused or ridiculed. You’ve gotta start by
revealing your hurts. You know I’ve heard it once said, revealing your feelings is
the beginning of healing. So you’ve gotta be honest about it. Now some of you are
thinking, honest with who? Well, it’s actually three
different types of people. The first person is you need
to be honest with is yourself. You see, you have to admit your feelings that you’re ashamed or you’ve
been hurt or you’re angry. Now secondly, you’ve
gotta be honest to God. You need to say God, this is how I feel and then you vent it, you let it out. Now listen, God can handle it. God already knows how you feel because he saw it when it happened and believe it or not, he hurt with you and he grieved with you. It’s not gonna surprise God
when you’re honest with him about the pain in your life
and the shame that you felt. He already knows and he already cares and he already loves you. He just wants you to be honest with him. You see, it’s for your own benefit to get it out and tell him all about it. Now finally, the third type of person, you’ve gotta find that one
who you can be honest with. That one person that you can trust, now this is key and I’m
sure that some of you, this sort of scares you
because you’ve been hurt, you’ve been betrayed by doing that before. And I just wanna say,
I’m truly sorry for that. But remember, as one
person wasn’t confidential, there’s a bunch who truly are. Don’t allow one event to
skew an incredible need that God wants you to have. You see, there’s something healing about revealing your
feelings to such a person. The Bible says, “When I
kept things to myself, “I felt weak deep inside me. “I moaned all day long.” That’s Psalm 32 verse three. What he’s saying is, he’s
saying it’s emotionally draining to keep things silent. When you stuff it down, you’re
the one hurting yourself. You need to start by getting this out and getting it off your chest, you’re never going to get well until you learn to reveal your hurts. Here’s step two. Release those who have hurt you. Now listen, you can’t
be emotionally healthy as long as you harbor resentment. For your own sake, you’ve gotta let go of your right to get even. The fact is you only have
a limited amount of energy, you know that, emotional energy and you’re gonna spend it
in some way or another. One of the most difficult
decisions you’ll ever make in life is do I wanna get well or do I wanna get even? And none of us have enough
emotional energy to do both. So let me give you a little secret. Getting even will not take away your pain. You see, some of you have done that. You’ve been able to get back
at the person that hurt you. You know it didn’t solve the problem but you did it anyway. You still however feel the pain. Folks there’s only one
way to get rid of the hurt in your heart and it’s
through forgiveness. You say, but they don’t
deserve to be forgiven and I didn’t say that did I? They probably don’t. But you didn’t deserve
to be forgiven either. But God is forgiving you. The Bible says, “It was
while we were still sinners “that Christ died for us.” Listen, God forgave you and I even though we didn’t deserve it. And now he says, “Get
rid of all bitterness, “rage and anger, “brawling and slander, along
with every form of malice. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, “forgiving each other just as in Christ “God forgave you.” That’s Ephesians four, verses 31 and 32. Now I’m not saying forgive
them because they deserve it. I’m saying forgive them because you do. You can’t get on with your future as long as you’re stuck in the past. You can’t enjoy life if
you’re holding on to a hurt. You’ve gotta let it go. You’ve gotta give up
your right to get even. Not because they deserve it but because you do and you
wanna get on with your life. You know the reason why you
hold on to your resentment is subconsciously, I know
you’re probably thinking, if I forget it, they’re
gonna get away with it. Listen you think by
holding on to your hurt, somehow you’re hurting them, you’re not. You’re only hurting yourself. You’re forgetting that
God saw all the hurt that was done to you. He saw the abuse, the
injustice, the prejudice and even the rejection. The Bible says, “You have
kept a record of my tears.” And one day, God is
going to settle the score because he is a God of justice. But as long as you keep
trying to get even, you’re just getting in God’s way. So either you can spend
the rest of your life trying to get even or you can
take it to God as His word and let him do it. You know the Bible says,
“Never pay back evil for evil. “Never avenge yourself. “Leave that to God for He has said “that He will repay those who deserve it. “Don’t take the Law into your own hands.” That’s Romans 12 verses 17 through 19. We need to trust God to balance the books and settle all the scores. We need to stop trying
to do his work for him. Listen, why should I
forgive those who hurt me? Well, for one thing,
again God is forgiving me. Secondly, I’m gonna need more
forgiveness in the future and thirdly, it’s the only
way I’m gonna get well. There’s no other way. You have to release
your right to get even. The third thing I have to do to improve my emotional health is I have to replace the
old lies with God’s truths. I have to replace the old
lies with God’s truths. You know our brains are
like a tape recorder. It is recorded every single
experience in our lives, everything you’ve done,
every place you’ve been, everything people have said, good and bad, right or wrong, true or false. Our brain is an amazing recorder. Now some of you, when you were kids, had adults or authority
figures in your life who said things like, you’re stupid. You’re ugly. You’re worthless. You’re never going to amount to anything. I’m embarrassed to call you my child. You’re uncoordinated. You’re dumb. Why can’t you be smart
like your sister or brother and on and on they have said stuff. It could’ve been 30, 40, 50 years ago and you’re still acting on old lies and wondering why you still do the things that defeat you. Well, you’ve got to replace those lies with God’s truth. The Bible says, “Let God
transform you into a new person “by changing the way you think.” How does God change us? How does he transform us? By changing the way we think. We can’t erase them but we can
most certainly replace them. If you wanna change the way
you feel about your life, you have to change the way
you think about your life. So, how do we do that? Well first, you have to pray and say, God, would you heal my memories? Those things that hurt me, would you heal my memories and change the way I think about them. Secondly, you need to fill your mind with God’s word, the Bible. We’ve mentioned this in every session. The more you fill your
mind with scripture, the more it will replace the
old lies with God’s truth. Here’s one of those truths
to fill your mind with The Bible says, “Jesus,
who makes people holy, “and all those who are made
holy have the same Father. “This is why Jesus isn’t ashamed “to call them brother and sister.” That’s Hebrew’s two, 11. Did you hear that? Jesus is not ashamed of you. That’s good news. You know psychologists have proven that the way we see ourselves
is largely determined by what we think the most
important person in our lives thinks about us. So I wanna suggest to you that you make Jesus the most
important person in your life. Let him replace the old
lies with his truth. He will tell you the
truth 100% of the time. And one of those truths, he is not ashamed of you. If you wanna change the way
you feel about your life, you have to change the way
you think about your life. You have to replace old lies with God’s truths. Here’s number four. If you wanna be healed
from your hidden wounds, you have to refocus on the future. You have to get your
attention of your past and on to God’s plan for your future. Now, there are three steps
to refocusing on the future. They’re actually in Job chapter
11 where the Bible says, “Put your heart right. “Reach out to God. “Face the world again,
firm and courageous. “Then all your troubles
will fade from your memory, “like floods that are past
and remembered no more.” Now here’s what he says, first it says, “Put your heart right.” That means, give up
your right to get even. Release the people who’ve hurt you. Forgive them whether
they deserve it or not because it’s the right thing to do. And it’s the only way
you’re gonna get well. So put your heart right with God. Secondly it says, “Reach out to God.” You need to ask Jesus Christ
to come into your life and to begin healing of
all your hidden wounds. You need to ask him to start bringing good out of the evil that it happened to you. Now here’s the real question. Do you really wanna get well then. If you do, stop focusing on your hurt and start focusing on
your healer, Jesus Christ. The third thing it says is, “Face the world again,
firm and courageous.” Don’t withdraw. Don’t pull yourself back into a shell. Start living. Stop saying I’m a victim and start saying I’m a victor in Christ. Start looking ahead. Now, if you do these steps, notice what will happen. “Then all your troubles
will fade from your memory “like floods that are past
and remembered no more.” now wouldn’t you like that? Wouldn’t you like to
have all your troubles fade from your memory? Well, then take these steps. Here’s a very important principle. If you wanna forget, you have to refocus. You can’t forget the past by saying, I’m gonna forget it, I’m gonna forget it, I’m gonna forget it. Well, look what you’re doing. You’re actually still thinking
about it the whole time. Forgetting doesn’t work that way. You refocus on Jesus Christ
and his plan and purpose for your life and become so
consumed and committed to that that you don’t have time
to think about the past. That’s refocusing. My friends, your past is not your future. That was then and this is now. You don’t have to stay stuck in the past because you have the power
of God through Jesus Christ to look to the future. The old you is not the new you. Your past is not your future. You need to take these steps. Reveal your hurt. Release those who have offended you. Replace old lies with God’s truth and then, refocus on the future. When you do that, you will be able to do what Solomon wrote. “Look straight ahead
with honest confidence; “don’t hang your head in shame.” Now listen, this last one is vital. For I truly believe
you’re never fully healthy until you come to this step to reach out, to help others. If you’re not there yet,
you’re not healthy yet. Because that’s the fifth step
of God’s healing process. He wants to redeem your pain. He wants to use your experiences
to help other people. The Bible says, “God comforts
us every time we have trouble. “So when others have
trouble, we can comfort them “with the same comfort that God gave us.” That’s what ministry is all about. God meant for us to help each other. And he can use your emotional pain for the good of other people. Do you wanna be emotionally healthy? Well, you can. If you will follow these steps that we talked about today. The Bible says, “When
someone becomes a Christian, “He becomes a brand new person inside. “He’s not the same anymore. “A new life has begun.” That’s 2nd Corinthians
chapter five, verse 17. You know some of you have
stepped across that line. You’ve accepted Christ in your heart. But you haven’t revealed your hurt. You haven’t released those
who have offended you. You haven’t replaced those
old lies with new truths. So you’re still living in your old life even though God is giving you
the power to have a new life. You need to take hold of that life today by taking these steps of healing. And you can begin that right now. Would you bow your heads. And would you repeat these words, quietly in your heart. Just say Jesus, I realize that you see and you feel all the pain in my heart. The hurt, the resentment,
the anger and the guilt. You see it all. I desperately need your healing for my hidden wounds, my emotional scars. Today by faith, I’m taking
these initial steps. Help me to admit the
things that have hurt me. To myself, to you, and to
at least one other person. Thank you for bringing me to a safe place in this life group where I can do this. Today I want to begin the healing process by asking you Jesus to come into my life. I’m going to need your help. To stop focusing on getting even and instead, focusing on getting well. I’m gonna need your help
and the help of others to release those who’ve hurt me and replace the old lies with your truths. I wanna refocus on the future and your plan and purpose for my life. I look forward to the day that I am so emotionally healthy that I’m able to help others the way you’re going to help me. In your name I pray, amen. I look forward to our next time together. (gentle music)

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

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