Pain Has a Voice
Pain is a signal that tells us something has gone wrong. Pain is meant to get our attention so we will look for the cause and address it. If we ignore the pain, it will most likely get worse until the cause is dealt with. If we neglect to focus on the root issue, the injury can worsen.
Physical pain tells us that something is broken, missing, or something isn’t functioning the way it should. Pain is a sensor that demands we direct our attention to an area the requires repair. Physical pain comes in varying kinds of responses and differing severity of suffering. The treatment type and longevity of healing will depend on the injury.
If a physical hurt is not healed, it can result in limited mobility, impairment, partial or full disability, and feelings of helplessness and vulnerability. Any sort of discomfort can also cause irritability, anger, depression, and anxiety. Pain can keep us from functioning in life, costing us in resources, relationships, and more.
Pain can be a result of our own doing, someone else’s doing, or a combination of both. Recovery may require that we discover the cause of the hurt, so effective treatment can begin, changes be made, and restoration be completed.
Heart and Soul Pain
In similar fashion, heart and soul pain is an indicator that something isn’t right and needs our attention. Something has been broken, perhaps a relationship. Something is missing, maybe a loved one passed away. Maybe something isn’t functioning the way it should, possibly failure in a pursuit, a business, a ministry, or a community.
Our soul includes our emotional and mental condition. If we are not whole in our soul, then it will manifest in pain. It’s a different pain than a body wound, but it is a wound nonetheless. The salvation Jesus offers is a Greek word “sozo,” which includes healing and wholeness spirit, soul, and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
When our heart is hurting, we are referring to the inner core of who we are. It’s more than emotion. It’s more than mental. Our spirit is crushed and in need of renewal. I believe Jesus can heal us anywhere we hurt, if we choose to trust Him and stand on His promises.
What is the Pain Telling us?
The pain isn’t the real issue. The unhealthy thoughts and emotions and behaviors we experience are often the results of something that goes deeper. What is the underlying issue of the pain? Deal with the cause of the pain, and the pain will subside. Not only will pain or heartaches leave; but any dysfunctional thoughts or behaviors will change. Guilt, shame, and fear will stop tormenting. Unhealthy thoughts and emotions will stop bombarding you. Addictive behaviors will lose their hold.
Root it Out
We need to listen to the voice of our pain, and go to the cause. Here are some principles to get to the root issue (not in any order):
· God will never force you to deal with a root issue. You have to want to be free more than you want to hurt. You have to want to be free more than you want to live beneath God’s best. Invite God into your process.
· Identify the trouble. Did you believe a lie? Were you rejected, mocked, bullied, abandoned, betrayed, abused? Did you make a wrong choice?
· Identify your part, if any. If we do have responsibility, we need to own it.
· Humble ourselves and get away from any self-sufficiency. We need to lean on Jesus.
· We must forgive any person who was part of the issue. If necessary, confront that person and try to reconcile. We also need to receive forgiveness for ourselves if we had a part in the problem.
· If we believed an untruth, we need to learn the truth, renounce the lie and embrace what is true.
· We need to take authority over any negative words that were spoken over us, and use our mouth to speak what is true.
· Take authority over Satan. He’s a real enemy.
· We need to mediate on the Word and what God says about us.
· We need to pray and soak in God’s loving presence.
· Lift up our eyes to God instead of to people or to ourselves. Only God is perfect.
· Accept a victor’s mentality instead of a victim’s mentality. This means refusing to let the issue become our identity. It was something that happened, not someone we are. Jesus came to give us our true identity, but we can’t receive His if we don’t let go of ours. He won the battle for us, but we have to choose to receive what He says about us.
Healing, Wholeness, and Hope for Freedom
We can’t be fully free until we are completely whole.
1. Jesus can and will heal us anywhere we hurt. We just have to open our hearts to receive it. That requires leaning on Him. Leaning requires trust. Trust requires confidence in God’s love. This is a spiritual journey of knowing the Father.
2. Jesus can and will restore us to wholeness in all areas. When we are restored, we go through a process of receiving truth, undoing the lies, letting go of control or being controlled, detaching from addictive and harmful behaviors, and strengthening in spirit, soul, and body. We can put the past behind us and move forward.
3. Jesus gives us hope for freedom. Freedom means we can be what He has called us to be, do what He’s called us to do, and possess all He’s promised us to possess. We are free from control, free from torment, free from guilt, shame, and fear. There is no longer any condemnation (Romans 8:1). We’re free!