Nov 29

How to Help the Hurting

2012 at 7:54 am   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Emotions | Prayer | Suffering

Do you ever feel like you don’t know what to say to someone who is suffering? Are you ever tempted to avoid the person who is going through a trial? Do you worry about saying or doing the wrong thing?

In her second breakout session at the Sovereign Grace Pastors Conference, Nancy Guthrie offered some practical advice for how to serve the hurting. This is one of the most helpful talks I have ever heard on this topic and I hope every woman will listen, take notes, and seek to grow in love toward those who are suffering. Nancy offers six ways to walk with people through loss:

1. Overcome the awkwardness to engage

“Sometimes we see people struggling and we want them to come so quickly to resolution, to figure everything out. The truth is, as we minister to other women, we do want them to come to resolution, we do want them to come to some peace, figuring things out. But sometimes I think we are in a much bigger hurry than God is Himself. What a gift it is to other women to be willing to sit—not forever, but at least for a while. To just go, “Wow, this is hard isn’t it?”“

2. Make room for tears and sadness

“Don’t think tears are the problem. Tears are a gift that God gives us to help wash away the deep pain that we feel and experience from living life in the brokenness of this world. There are some things worth crying about. There are some people worth crying about.”

3. Go deeper than deliverance in prayer

10 purposes in the Bible for which God wants to use suffering:

4. Gently challenge sentimentalism and spiritualism with Scriptural truth

“If that is the fruit of the suffering in the people’s lives you minister to, that’s really good fruit: to know God as he is, not what we’ve tried to make him into.”

5. Anticipate the family pressure points.

“Grief puts a lot of pressure on a family.”

6. Help them turn the misery into ministry

“So often we think: when I get this figured out, when I feel better, I can turn toward ministering to other people. I want to say: The way we begin to feel better is to begin to minister to other people uniquely out of our loss.”

You can listen to Nancy’s message, “Learning to Walk with Each Other Through Loss” here.