"Decisions That Heal" by Pastor Kent Munsey

May 5, 2019

But you, Sovereign Lord, help me for your name’s sake; out of the goodness of your love, deliver me. For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.”  - Psalms 109:21-22

The choices we make in life either bring life, joy, and happiness, or they bring pain destruction and death (Deuteronomy 30:15). Some of the most important decisions that we make in life are the ones that we make when we're suffering or in pain. Jesus tells us that if you are human, you are going to experience pain hurt and suffering (John 16:33).

In Psalm 109, David is opening up his heart. In verses 4 through 11, David is not ok--he prays that God will curse his enemies. However, in verse 21, he acknowledges that he is hurting, and he asks God for help.

When we are hurting, it is easy to err. Proverbs tells us that there is a way that seems right, but ultimately leads to destruction (Proverbs 14:12). We often say things we don’t mean or do things that don’t reflect our true character when we are in pain. Here is a list of “Please Don’ts” and a few Do’s for when you are in pain.

1. Don't ignore your hurt. Often we hurt because of growing pains. When you start growing, it's painful but it's temporary. You might be hurting physically from an ailment or emotionally, and that pain is real. In Psalm 39, David says that when he kept quiet about his pain, he was overcome with anxiety. We often try to postpone what is painful, but procrastination turns minor hurt into major hurt. What are you pretending to not know today in your health or your relationships?

2. Don't run from it. Part of human nature is that when we panic, we run. We are professional escape artists. Please don't run from what's hurting you. When you run from your pain, it follows you. Wherever you go, there you are. When you run, you only create temporary relief. When we run, all we're doing is delaying the inevitable.

3. Don't hide. It's ok to not be ok. It’s ok to not be perfect. If you find that you're miserable and frustrated, it may be because you're hiding, you're being dishonest with yourself and others about your pain (Psalm 32:3). We're able to hide more easily than any other generation before because of social media and filters. But the truth is that you can't buy love or happiness, and you can't hide from your pain. Let's be a church that is committed to being honest, to not masking or putting on filters.

4. Don't quit or give up. In the deep place of his despair, David called on the Lord (Psalm 130:1). God is the lifter of our heads (Psalm 3:3). Don't quit or give up, and God will lift you out of your pain.

5. Do entrust Jesus with your pain. David says in Psalm 142:2 that he brings God all of his complaints, and when he’s ready to give up, God knows what to do. When you tell God everything he will give you the words that comfort and strengthen you; he'll bring you hope. Sometimes God doesn't take away the pain, but he will bring insight into the process that gives us peace in the pain.

6. Do entrust your hurt with those who God sends to support. God always works through people. When we're hurting, we often don't see how our hurt is spilling into others. Most of the time everyone sees that you're hurting. Everywhere you go, there you are. When you're not okay, everyone around you usually knows it. Your God doesn't just want to lift you out of your pain, but he also wants to send people to support you. James 5:16 tells us that the only way we can experience true healing and wholeness is when we allow others into our pain. It’s important to be discerning about who we allow in--because allowing the wrong people in can bring more hurt and destruction. When God sends a person to support us in our pain, that person will be someone who affirms who God is and what he is doing in our life.

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  1. Are there any unresolved hurts in your life that you need to acknowledge?

  2. How do you typically deal with pain in your life?

  3. How have you experienced the truth that procrastination turns minor hurts into major hurts?

  4. What do you believe that God is calling you to do with your pain?

  5. Who do you see in your life who has perhaps been sent by God to support you in your pain in this season?