Tag Archive | Jesus

Christians: Are We Taking The Easy Way Out?

This weekend, I watched a movie that was very good – gut-wrenching, actually.

Movie clips of this particular movie were shown here as well https://www.life.church/watch/ during Pastor Craig Groeschel’s annual teaching of At The Movies (every year at Life.Church, they teach on a different movie each week during the month of July).

If you haven’t seen Hacksaw Ridge, you truly need to.

As I was watching one particular scene, my heart broke in excruciating pain…tears just rolled down my face.

As Life.Church showed this clip, it was used to show the importance of saving the unsaved…which is very important. My mind went beyond that to each person who has ever went through grief – especially those who felt abandoned, betrayed, or wounded by the Church. My heart immediately thought about those who nobody went to check on or those who nobody “went back” to help save them. I hear more stories than I can count of how nobody took the time to love hurting people back to life.

As a grief specialist and grief group leader, I hear the most heart wrenching stories people have experienced. For almost 10 years now, helping people for 20-50 hours each week, these stories have caused my heart to truly go out to those who hurt…stories about death of loved ones, grief over wrong personal decisions or a loved one’s hurtful decisions, adultery, abuse, military grief, PTSD, abandonment, extreme hurt and conflict in families and churches, church abuse, suffering, heavy guilt and regrets, illnesses, addictions…I literally hear every story that has wounded a human heart.

Before a person comes to me for help, many times, they’ve already sought out help from church leaders, family members, and friends. The hardest – and most taboo – situations of grief (suicide/suicide attempts, the after effects of rape or murder, all situations of abuse, death of a child or young person, church/spiritual abuse, etc.) are the most challenging to help.

Something that has happened time and time again, and has been said numerous times, is this:

“I went to my pastor (or fellow church staff or church member) for help, and they never got back to me…I felt I wasn’t important.”

Or worse….

“My pastor, church staff, and/or fellow Christians knew about my situation…and they ignored me. They never even called to see how I was after I reached out for help.”

Watching Hacksaw Ridge, when the main character is courageously sacrificing himself and bravely doing everything in his power to save as many as he can…and pleads, “Lord, help me get (save) one more”…my heart sank.

Just like a physical war, when someone goes through heartache, grief, or pain and they are wounded, if someone does not go and help them…the alternative is to leave them for the enemy to devour. This is beyond true spiritually, too. When a Christian is wounded, and the Church doesn’t take the time to care, the enemy is more than happy to delightfully devour them, too.

Watching that scene of Hacksaw Ridge, all I could think of were the several people I know who have quit going to church, and the ones who have turned to atheism – or even other religions – because they went through a harsh life challenge and felt like nobody cared.

We as Christians have got to demand higher of ourselves. 

Yes, everybody is busy. 

Yes, it may not be someone’s specific responsibility because, after all, they did not cause the pain. 

Yes, it is totally time-consuming. 

Yes, it truly is messy.

And there will always be people in the church or on staff who will make excuses by saying things like, “hurting people hurt people”…”we won’t help others who aren’t taking responsibility by taking the first steps to help themselves”….”nobody is perfect.”

But, the example of Jesus Christ is to deny yourself and pick up your cross…and part of picking up your cross is to actively love people back to life – especially those who are unsaved or those who have been hurt or who have left the church.

And it’s not just church members who have been hurt by the church. There are many who are (or who were) on church staff (or their spouses/families) who have been deeply wounded by either fellow church staff members or members of their congregations, too.

Jude‬ ‭1:22-23‬, “And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.”

  1. Hurting people do not hurt people. Hurting people help heal people because they understand what being hurt feels like. Jerks hurt people and then refuse to make it right.
  2. The attitude of “I’ll help people once they help themselves…” is very flawed. I am so very thankful that God doesn’t treat people that way. He loves…He gives grace…He initiates healing…He lifts us up and carries our burdens for us.
  3. The argument of “Nobody is perfect…” fails what God commands in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Of course, nobody is perfect, but God certainly gives us some very sobering and serious responsibilities as believers on how to treat others – especially reconciling with those we hurt or those who may have something against us. He even instructs us in Matthew 5:23-24 to leave our gifts at the altar until we actively go make things right with those we have hurt or offended…and says to not come back until this is done first.

God doesn’t give us these responsibilities of how to treat others – or how not to treat others – to be difficult; He gives us these precious responsibilities so we will be careful with each other’s heart and spirit. He understands the potential terrible cost if we are not careful with His instructions.

I heard the most profound statement this week from a young person who had been deeply wounded and wronged by their church:

“People always knock certain shady TV evangelists, but all they do is steal money. What about the pastors at churches who hurt people in their congregations? They steal peoples emotions and spirit. Money is readily replaceable…trust is not.”

To hear someone young be so wounded and jaded by the Church really concerned my heart. Hearing their story…and then hearing how the leaders at their church knew about the hurt they inflicted — yet didn’t show good character by going to them and working things out…there just are no words. 

Satan loves taking people out. The enemy knows if he can get Christians or church leadership to wound someone, the likelihood of additional generations being spiritually destroyed will ensue:

Proverbs‬ ‭27:23-24,Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds, for riches don’t last forever, and the crown might not be passed to the next generation.”‬ ‭

When someone is deeply wounded, it doesn’t just affect the individual who was hurt. It affects everyone they’ll ever come in contact with…and future generations.

•You may be reading this, and you may be one who has been deeply wounded. On behalf of every Christian, I apologize profusely to you for your pain. You should never have been left alone in your time of hurt, somebody should have cared enough to reach out to you and loved you back to life. Please, please, please know that God wanted for you to be treated with love, kindness and respect…it’s not His fault – or His Will – when people disobey scripture by mistreating others or not helping them. I humbly ask you to please forgive the Church. God loves you and has not forgotten you!

Isaiah‬ ‭40:27-31‬,Why would you ever complain, O Jacob or Israel, saying, “GOD has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? GOD doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. Butthose who wait upon GOD get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.”

Isaiah‬ ‭49:15-16‬, “Can a woman forget her nursing child? Will she have no compassion on the child from her womb? Although mothers may forget, I will not forget you. I have engraved you on the palms of My hands. Your walls are always in My presence.”

•You may be reading this right now and you know for a fact you’ve wounded a fellow believer, but you never made it right. I strongly plead with you to go to that person (or persons) and courageously apologize for your wrongdoing…Most importantly, for them. Secondarily, for the judgment that can fall onto you:

Matthew‬ ‭5:23-24, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”‬ 

Colossians 3:25, “For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.”

Proverbs‬ ‭17:13, “Evil will never leave the house of one who pays back evil for good.” ‭

•You may be reading this right now and you personally know of someone who was wounded by another believer. If you know of someone who is wounded, please consider being the one to make a difference. 

Matthew‬ ‭25:40, 45‬, ““The king will answer them, ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did for me.’…and…“He will answer them, ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you failed to do for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do for me.’” 

 I don’t think most people drop the ball purposely, but it does happen unfortunately. An apology, or genuinely caring for others from the heart, goes a long way.

My heart is for the hurting, the grief stricken, and those who have been spiritually wounded. I know of many Christians who this is so very important to their heart, too.

Majority of the Christians I know are really amazing people who genuinely care about others. They actively love people and truly enjoy serving others. When others hurt, they genuinely hurt for them, too!

We all (totally including myself) need to do better and become more mindful of others.

When we’re tempted not to make things right with those who we have hurt or offended…or we are tempted to leave it up to someone else to do our part…or we believe the lie that we are too busy or things are too awkward or messy to get involved…I really pray that we each will consider how we can make these situations better for everyone we know.

I know I can do better.

The rest of this year, let us prayerfully consider reaching out to those who used to attend our churches or those who were once in our LifeGroups, Sunday School class, or Small Groups – those who we never see anymore. I pray we consider the people we know who quit going to church because they were hurt, deeply offended, or wounded. 

Consider calling one person a week to check on them to see how they’re doing and ask if there’s anything you can do to help them. May we each choose to love people back to life.

As a Christian, we never want to be known as someone who took the easy way out… Especially since Christ never did.

Be the example of Jesus to others that you would hope someone will be to you and your family.

Jesus’ example is very, very clear:

Luke‬ ‭15:4-7‬, ““Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

I love how God used sheep in this passage of scripture. I don’t believe it’s coincidental that the above scripture and the following verses deal with sheep and lions. Think about this:

1 Samuel‬ ‭17:34-36‬, “David replied to Saul, “I am a shepherd for my father’s sheep. Whenever a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it, and rescued the sheep from its mouth. If it attacked me, I took hold of its mane, struck it, and killed it. I have killed lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them because he has challenged the army of the living God.””

1 Peter 5:8, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

The above verses speak of sheep and lions. Just as David vigilantly looked out for his earthly father’s sheep, how much more should we as Christians look out for, and help and defend, our Heavenly Father’s sheep? The enemy’s goal is to challenge and hurt God. If we don’t actively care for those in the Church…yes, even those who have left it…then we are part of the problem.

When people waver in their faith or leave the church, or when we know of people who are hurting or who have been deeply wounded, or when there are leaders (or church members) in the church who have hurt people and not made it right – yet no one corrects them or holds them accountable – we really need to start addressing that in our churches. When no one seems to care during these situations, we must ask God to soften our hearts and also for wisdom to know how to effectively reach out to those who have been wounded.

We have got to stop taking the easy way out…..we have got to expect more of ourselves and do better.

If a family member of ours stopped attending family functions and quit communications, would we simply shrug our shoulders and have an apathetic attitude of, “oh well?” Would we merely accept it and just move on? Would we think that it wasn’t our problem or responsibility? Absolutely not! We would call them and we would fight for that precious family member and our relationship with them. 

God considers Church family relationships to be of utmost importance…they’re a reflection of His relationship to us, His Bride. That is something we all need to deeply consider.

The only response a Christian should have to those who are struggling is this: Snatch them from the flames…help and encourage them…be the best version of “Jesus” to them…meet needs wherever possible…and love them back to life!

We have got to do a better job of focusing on helping people in their spiritual walk, being deeply concerned with their eternal destination, as well as care about peoples hearts, their hurts, and what truly matters.

Galatians 6:1-2, ““Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

John‬ ‭13:34-35‬, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Never discount a person’s hurt…or their potential. There are some people in life who have been deeply wounded, but they will blossom greatly when the right people genuinely take the time to care about them. There may be weeds, but please understand that underneath the hurt and weeds is good soil. All they need is for someone to take the time to rinse the mud off of their heart, and water them with compassion, so the Sonshine can work miracles.

Luke 10:2….“The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

Tell God you’re willing to be a worker for Him in building people back to life. Ask God to grant you the gift of seeing people how He sees people, and to love people how He loves people. Ask God to impress on your heart, and every believer’s heart, to deeply care about saving both the lost and the hurting.

I’ll always be grateful to the people in my life who had a deep burden for the harvest. They saw an ugly, dying weed, but decided to care about me and love me back to life.💕

Please take a moment and soberly watch this video and listen to this song. Then pray and ask God to show you who you can love back to life. We each need to make a strong commitment as Christians to stop taking the easy way out.❤️

Movie clip from Hacksaw Ridge: https://youtu.be/Oy6kwogmhRY

Song by Keith Green: https://youtu.be/8yJd0JMzq7k


Who can you love back to life today?

If you have been hurt or wounded by the church, I highly recommend Saddleback Church in California. If you don’t live in California, they offer online services, too. Life.Church also offers online experiences.

http://www.saddleback.com

http://www.life.church

You are so very valuable and loved!

Gratitude & many blessings,
Kim

©2017 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.

❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

For more encouragement:

❤️Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/getting-your-breath-back-after-life-knocks-it-out-of-you-kbh-niles/1112403330?ean=9781449725617 

❤️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

❤️Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships 
2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed 
3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites 
4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

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Delighting in God Through Trials~Part 2

Everybody will go through trials during their lifetime. Some will go through one or two, while others will go through multiple trials and hardships. 

Nobody enjoys going through trials. They’re uncomfortable, heart wrenching, and they’re even confusing, frustrating, and depressing at times.

Like a roller coaster you can’t choose to get off of, there’s intense ups, downs, twists, and turns throughout a trial or grief experience…and just when you think you’re about to go on a smoother track, life can suddenly send you going upside down or spiraling downward without any warning. 

When you become weary of the trial or grief experience you are facing, you can become depressed, anxious, discouraged, and feel isolated. When you really get tired of the trial or grief experience, you can begin to resent God or become upset with Him for not rescuing you from your trial quick enough.

Something I have found in the past — and I continue to learn — is God has a very unique timetable for each trial we go through in life. You can’t go over it, around it, under it, or above it…you can only go through it. 

So what do you do when you’re hurting and terribly disappointed by life? 

Some prematurely quit, sit down in the middle of their grief and unknowingly create a lifetime of continual hardships. Stuck. Stagnant. Very little hope.

Some grow greatly bitter and turn their backs on God or other key relationships. They turn their backs on the only One who has the power to get them through (and out of) their storms, and who has the power to use their life message to help others later on.

I think a lot of times, the trials we go through in life are thrown at us by the enemy because he knows we will become distracted by them. When we’re terribly distracted, it cuts off a significant amount of the communication and deep friendship we should be enjoying with God and other loved ones. This can also tempt us to think, behave, and believe differently than we normally would. 

There’s a better way.

When we make the decision to love God no matter what, and truly love and delight in Him through the trials we face, that’s where breakthroughs happen…even miracles.

It’s too easy to become resentful, discouraged, or bitter. Lots of people simply give up…and the enemy counts on that happening! 

You may not have the power to change the past or your present situation…but you do have the power to cooperate with God so He can bring good out of your trials or grief experience.

If you feel tempted to give up today, don’t. Like I said, there’s a better way. Today, I challenge everyone to stop primarily focusing on the trials and ongoing hardships they are going through (as much as possible)…and instead, use that time to turn your focus onto delighting in God and loving Him.

Your unfaithful mate or unkind family member? God’s capable of changing their heart. Ezekiel 36:26, “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.”

Your rebellious or prodigal child or family member? God has the power to change the course of their life and direct their very steps…Proverbs‬ ‭16:9‬, “We make our own plans, but the Lord decides where we will go.”

Your illness? God has the power to heal you. He can cause great good to come from it…John 11:4, “When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”

Your heartbreaking losses in life? God can restore your heart and bring intense healing! He can give you a double blessing! Job‬ ‭42:10, 12‬, “Then, after Job had prayed for his three friends, the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had had before…The Lord blessed the last part of Job’s life even more than he had blessed the first…”

EVERY problem or heartache we face, God has the incredible, miraculous, and powerful ability to intervene and create a strong message out of our hardships…even if our trials aren’t worked out the way we wanted them to be.

Got a mess? God can turn it into a message. Got a test? He can turn it into a dynamic testimony. Got scars? He can turn them into bright stars so others can find their way to Him through you. God can turn victims into victors…He can turn your trials into triumphs…and He can turn your pain into a pulpit that reaches many! Never doubt the incredible power and purposes of God!

So instead of becoming upset with God, sitting down or stopping halfway through the trial, or becoming angry or bitter…get angry at the one who truly caused your pain…the enemy. 

It’s interesting how we are tempted to succumb to the enemy’s prompting to be upset with God. The enemy knows if we become upset with God or become bitter, we will cut off our communication with God, harm our relationships with others, and possibly not fulfill our life purpose. We’ll also fail to learn the rich lessons we can learn through trials...and miss the treasure God has for us after we come out of the trial. 

Consider this: “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family (of believers all over the world) is going through the same kind of suffering you are. In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power to him forever! Amen.” (‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:6-11‬)

No matter what’s happened…no matter how terribly you’ve responded to your trials…God is waiting with open arms right now to love you extravagantly, heal your heart, and help you through your heartache. God isn’t being mean, picking on you, or playing games with you; He loves you and already knows exactly how He is going to bring you through your trial and even use your trial to help others!

Instead of turning from God or being upset with Him, choose — from this day forward — to go out of your way to delight in Him. There truly is great treasure when you choose to love, serve, and delight in God through life’s trials and storms. 

Are you needing an example of how to accomplish this? If you’re in the middle of a trial, I encourage you to take the time to read Psalms, Proverbs, and Job. David, Solomon, and Job are all excellent to learn from on how to love, delight in, and serve God through life and also through terrible hardships.

Always realize this: God will never leave you or fail you through a storm. Trust Him with all your heart, extravagantly love Him, delight in Him, and know that He truly is on your side! He will guide and direct you to better paths!

How can you delight in God starting this week? Talk to God and seek to find in the Bible all the ways He likes to be delighted in. My next blog post will be my favorite ways to delight in Him!

Never forget how much God loves you and how greatly He treasures you!

One last thing I’d like to share…an incredible quote from Joni Eareckson-Tada who became paralyzed from a diving accident many years ago and recently went through stage 3 breast cancer: When people see us smile, in the midst of chronic pain, cancer, quadriplegia, whatever, they will look at us and think: ‘Her God must be pretty great to inspire that kind of loyalty. I think that’s amazing that she can smile in the midst of her affliction. I want what she has. I need her joy.’ Oh, what a rich testimony that is!” 

Amen! The only way any trial, loss, frustration, illness, trauma, grief, or heartache can win in our lives is if we fail to cherish and delight in God through it. Our victory is in and through Him! God is the way to get through our toughest trials. Delighting in Him is an honor!

Psalms‬ ‭37:3-6‬, “Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday.”

Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Gratitude & many blessings,
Kim

©2016 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.

❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!❤️

For more encouragement:

Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/getting-your-breath-back-after-life-knocks-it-out-of-you-kbh-niles/1112403330?ean=9781449725617 

FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships 
2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed 
3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites 
4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

❤️

‭‭

My First Christmas In Heaven

❤️🎄MY FIRST CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN🎄❤️

I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below,  

With tiny lights, like Heaven’s stars, reflecting on the snow

The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away that tear. 

For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs, that people hold so dear,

But the sounds of music can’t compare with the Christmas choir up here.

I have no words to tell you, the joy their voices bring, 

For it is beyond description, to hear the angels sing.

I can’t tell you of the splendor, Or the peace here in this place.

Can you just imagine Christmas, with our Savior face to face?

I’ll ask Him to light and comfort your spirit. As I tell Him of your love.

So then pray for one another, As you lift your eyes above.

Please let your heart be joyful, and allow your spirit to sing.

For I’m spending Christmas in Heaven, and I’m walking with the King.

I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart. 

But I am not so far away, We really aren’t apart.

So be happy for me, dear ones, You know I hold you dear. 

And be glad I’m spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I sent you each a special gift, from my heavenly home above. 

I sent you each a memory of my undying love.

After all, love is a gift more precious than pure gold. 

It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other, just as my Father said to do. 

For I can’t count the blessings or the love He has for each of you.

So have a Merry Christmas and please wipe away that tear,

Remember, I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year!

~Author Unknown

Hoping everybody has a Christmas season filled with love, comfort, encouragement, and HOPE!

Gratitude & blessings,

Kim

For more encouragement:

Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

FREE YouVersion reading plans:
1. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

2. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: 
https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships 

3. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed 

4. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief: 
https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites 

Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (book): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/getting-your-breath-back-after-life-knocks-it-out-of-you-kbh-niles/1112403330?ean=9781449725617 

Doubt~The Unpopular Word In Christianity 

Doubt is a very unpopular word in Christian circles. Most Christians would be afraid to admit any form of doubt they might have—due to feeling guilty for having thoughts of doubt or due to the judgment of others. 

When doubt surfaces, some consider it a lack of faith or a lack of believing God and His Word…so as a result, many suffer and struggle silently. Through their silent struggle, they can become stagnant in their walk with God. 
Some can even leave the church altogether.

I’ve seen it time and time again…someone will go through grief, or an extreme life challenge, and it throws them into unknown territory. 

Their Christian friends don’t know what to do with them…their fellow church members aren’t sure how to best help them (in fact, they’re not incredibly sure what to do other than say the customary, yet well-intentioned, “I’m praying for you. Let me know if there’s anything I can do”…after quoting Romans 8:28 for good measure). 

At that point, the hurting person becomes discouraged since no real help or genuine solution was offered. And the hurting person is in so much pain they now simply choose to withdraw.
Then the hard questions and doubt start pouring in.

Is God real? Where do I fit in? Does God care? Do others care? Why am I having to go through what I’m going through? Why did God allow______?

You may know someone this has happened to…or you might be the one who is battling doubt and unending questions today.

It is imperative to know how to handle our doubt(s) so we can prevent bitterness or discouragement, and overcome any and every obstacle that is keeping us from experiencing the rich relationship with God we are fully capable of having. 

Truly think about the doubts you have today. 
Be completely honest.
Do you feel like God didn’t protect you from a situation? Are you discouraged by how other people or Christians have treated you? Did someone deeply wound your heart and fail to make it right?
Are you doubting that God can heal your broken heart…save your marriage…help you financially…forgive you…fully accept you…heal your broken soul…work in the life of a rebellious spouse or child? Are you doubting that He can provide…or that He can work in any other situation that is tearing you apart inside or making you worry? 

I have intensely worried and doubted God in some situations…and, sometimes, not even have known or realized it at the time. 

There are many reasons we doubt. 

Many doubt God cares. But did you know that God actually bends down from Heaven to hear our prayers, heartaches, concerns, and even our questions? 

He’s so good! He doesn’t have to bend down to hear us, but out of His great love, He willingly chooses to. 

Did you know that God has collected every tear you’ve ever cried and written every heartache you’ve ever experienced in a ledger? 

God truly cares about each and every heartache and heartfelt question or request we have. He cares about each of us and every situation we face—past, present, and future. 
He even knows how He plans to cause good to come out of the tough situations we face after we trust Him and lay our situation(s) at His feet. The good comes after we trust God and fully allow Him to work in us and through our doubts.

You may be thinking, “Fine, but I feel disconnected. I really don’t even feel like praying.”
If you feel stale in your relationship with God, doubt is most likely the culprit. 

Do you wonder how God handles doubters? In scripture, God shows a loving example of mercy and compassion to the most famous doubter, Thomas. 

Jesus didn’t judge Thomas, and He wasn’t harsh with him. In fact, the exact opposite happened. Jesus showed sheer love and understanding to Thomas.

Today, truly think about and label your doubt. Ask God to reveal any doubt(s) you hold in your heart. Be completely honest and transparent. The answer(s) revealed just might surprise you. 

Choose today, like Thomas, to take your doubts to God…have the courage to have a bold, beautiful, breaking conversation with Him…and place your doubts in His hands. He already knows what is in your heart so be honest and transparent. Invite God to work in your heart and through your life challenges—pursue Him and His amazing heart with everything you have and don’t quit! The reward truly is a closer and much richer relationship with Him!

©2014 Kim Niles/Grief Bites

Lookup: 
Psalms 116:1-2
Psalms 56:8
Psalms 17:6
Matthew 7:7-8
John 20:24-29 

©2015 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.

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Resources~
Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (book): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/getting-your-breath-back-after-life-knocks-it-out-of-you-kbh-niles/1112403330?ean=9781449725617 
Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com
Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief
FREE YouVersion reading plans:
1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships 
2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed 
3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites 
4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: (Coming November 4, 2015)