The Hurting Church: Why we get hurt and hurt others

Written by Gail Rodgers

The hurting church is not an occasional dilemma. More and more often we find people who have been hurt deeply within the family of God, leaving them worn and exhausted. More and more often we find leaders in conflict within the body of believers, robbed of the joy Jesus promised in Him. When we find this hurt hanging on to our own bruised soul, it can make us want to leave the church and sometimes even want to “back burner” our God who seems to have allowed it all.

Sadly, we have come to accept that this is the way church is. There is an epidemic of fractured believers out there and we have actually come to accept this as the norm. So we either stay away and let our hearts become cold … or we put on our Sunday best, call “forward march” and implement a new vision or program and hope the problems will just go away. The hurt in individual hearts and churches gets buried … until it gets bumped again.

Can we break this cycle that happens over and over in heart after heart, and church after church?

I am continually amazed at the simplicity of God’s Word and the direct instructions He shares with us. The Father’s heart toward us, His children, is so open and loving as He instructs us in living in the day-to-day challenges of rubbing shoulders where the rubber meets the road.

The steps God gives us are simple, though not necessarily easy. They are steps that can help us move from being reactive in conflict to becoming proactive in guarding our hearts and our churches. And, as steps always do, they will take us to higher ground where we can live above disunity and confusion.

The framework these steps are built on is love. Love is also the handrail that helps move us along from one step to another. Without love, the steps move us from the fulfillment of right living that God calls us to, to self- righteous living, which is hollow and void of the power of the Holy Spirit. God says our trademark will be love. “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)

Step 1: Know your enemy

We don’t like to focus on the devil. We don’t want to give him any glory. Yet, in failing to heed the warning of Scripture that the devil actually “prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8), we find ourselves consumed (devoured!) by all kinds of irritations in one another and in the church.

How the new programs run, personalities of the leaders, worship styles that become the focus and the quarrel, people who “just don’t get it” spiritually the way we do, all begin to rob us of our joy and steal our effectiveness as a body of believers. And we are so often oblivious to what is really going on in the spiritual realm. Scripture says, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers…” (Ephesians 6:12) When in conflict with another believer, we need to ask ourselves the question, “Am I wrestling against flesh and blood?”

The answer in these situations is usually “yes.” And the solution is so simple we miss it. As Christians we are in a wrestling match. But our opponent is in the spiritual realm. His mandate is to “kill, steal and destroy” (John 10:10). Instead of recognizing that, we put on the gloves and begin to engage in battle with one another, leaving scratches and scars, bruises and bleeding that sometimes takes years to heal and always leaves a mark. And the trademark of love becomes so faint, onlookers can hardly see it.

Scripture tells us to “be alert”, “resist the enemy” (1Peter 5:8,9) be on your guard and “stand against the schemes of the devil”. (Ephesians 6:11) So when irritation strikes … know immediately who your opponent is … know immediately he has schemes and plans in place that will at best steal from you and at worst destroy God’s people and their effectiveness.

Any pervasive, downward spiral needs to be called what it is. Be alert to the red flags. Our human nature wants to defend and justify ourselves. God knows the propensity of our hearts to go their own way. That is why He calls us to pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44) and to do good to those who spitefully use us (Luke 6:27). (The trademark of love, remember?) Only the “God strength” in our lives, His strength invited in at our point of weakness and frustration, can remedy this battle that is fought in the heavenlies, yet lived out in our churches.

“Be alert and always keep on praying” (Ephesians 6:18) When prayer is no longer the oxygen of our spiritual soul or the heartbeat of our church, our defense is down. Praying for those who hurt us becomes something we don’t even want to do. Neglect in prayer and in the spiritual training of the Word leaves us with open doors for the enemy to turn the wrestling match on one another. It is so subtle and we can feel so justified, but the loss in our own hearts and in the Kingdom is an unnecessary tragedy. The stealing and robbing is done long before we have even recognized the enemy was at the door. Knowing he is prowling the neighborhood keeps us in a proactive state and able to recognize and withstand his tactics.

Step 2: Keep short accounts

The simple truth of the Word of God in the instruction from Paul to “not let the sun go down on your anger” is so profoundly elementary that we miss it.

The Bible often uses the picture of seeds and reaping and sowing. Seeds of irritations and annoyances, not plucked out and dealt with on a daily basis, grow in our hearts. When they are not dealt with as soon as we recognize them, they take root and each subsequent encounter with that same irritation, which will always be linked to some person, will cause that root to dig just a little deeper. The deeper it goes, the more bitter it gets.

Scripture tells us “a root of bitterness springs up and defiles many”. (Hebrews 12:15) When it finally spills out, or spits up, it defiles us and those around, and hurt is the result. When our own bitter roots spit up we hurt others. That is why Proverbs 4:23 tells us “above all else guard your heart for it is the well spring of life.” It is the very source of all we are. What is in our heart spills out of our mouth (Matthew 12:34), and it is by our very words that we often grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:29, 30), and love goes out the window. The trademark that identified us as His disciples vanishes and the world looking on can see no difference in us.

So guard your heart. Take stock every day. Holiness is really just truth in the inner part. Keep short accounts for your own heart’s sake.

If the root is only just beginning in your own heart and still undetected by others, go to God and ask for its removal. You know when it is there. Ask for grace to be poured out in your heart so that you will have all the grace you need to deal with that particular situation and person. 2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “God is able to make all grace abound to you so that in all things and at all times having all that you need you will abound in every good work.” If the root has already spilled out and hurt others, go and confess to them. Even if they do not receive you or do not own their part of the conflict, keep your own heart guarded and clean. You are only responsible for one heart. Unresolved conflict in the heart of another is God’s job to deal with.

The presence of God in a life and the degree of truth that is allowed in the inner part will be evident in the fruit of our lives. Watch the fruit in your own life and in the lives of others. The fruit gives us away (Matthew 7:20). If you have owned your part in a conflict and others refuse to do the same, give them grace, pray for them, and if necessary, distance yourself from the overflow of their bitter root until they allow God to do healing in their heart.

Always be alert to the seeds that you allow in your heart. They all eventually produce fruit of one kind or another. List the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness/humility, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22). Ask yourself the simple question: “What fruit of the Spirit is in short supply in my life right now?”

Then take an honest look at the seeds that may have begun to take root in your heart.

Step 3: Don’t be afraid of accountability

It seems we have come to allow gossip, slander and anger to simply be overlooked and rationalized in our churches. We excuse the fractures among believers by telling ourselves that God is purging our church, He is bringing justice. We stand up and glibly say, “God is in control,” while heads roll and tears fall and tender spirits get bruised and crushed. We forget that God gives us a choice in how we deal with matters and that the enemy is alive and well, attempting to influence those choices. We forget that for God to be in control of the moment, the conversation or the situation, we need to say “yes” to Him in allowing His Spirit to work in us and through us. Psalm 15 depicts the marks of an authentic Christian. It says, “He casts no slur on his fellowman…. but honors those who fear the Lord.” In any given troubling situation we need to honestly ask ourselves, “Am I making choices that allow God to be in control here or am I taking control?”

Proverbs 3: 5, 6 tells us to “trust in the Lord with your whole heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.” If your own understanding is resulting in opinions and actions that bring division, be accountable for what is going on in your own heart.

God speaks harshly about the one who promotes division. (Titus 3:10) If you are prompted to speak to one who is causing division, remember the trademark and go in love and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Don’t be afraid to call or be called to accountability. We can run to God, our help. God is sovereign and He is the great redeemer. No matter how bad a situation is, if He is invited in, at any point, He will come in and redeem the situation, work things out for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28) and put a derailed train back on the tracks.

2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked (selfish) ways, then I will heal their land” (their church, their heart). It’s a sure promise!

Step 4: Acknowledge pride

Scripture says, “God resists, or opposes, the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6) Pride is a killer. It is one of the subtlest tools of the enemy. God actually resists the proud! Who would want to be opposed by God! Yet in the church we often do find pride, but it wears a different cloak than it does out in the world.

In Christian circles we know that pride in our position and possessions is not a godly thing. We scorn openly the pursuit of “fame and fortune” alone. Yet pride exists in our hearts and in our churches in two prominent ways that we often try to justify.

  • There is pride in standing for a “principle of righteousness” while walking away from reconciliation. Making such a stand is not wrong in itself; however it is very often accompanied by a lack of grace and a spiritual superiority that cuts off the Spirit of God from working in a situation. If you are ever tempted to “stand for righteousness” against another Christian brother or sister, check if your trademark of love is visible, make sure your heart is clean in all the secret places and that you have done all you can to live at peace (Romans 12:18). If the basis for your stand is your own pride be very careful, for God does resist the proud.
  • The second place pride plays a major role in the church is in the area of spiritual gifts. You may have a discerning heart or a prophetic gifting. God may reveal truth to you in a situation or even in the life of another. Again, be very careful. God calls us first to prayer and often, to nothing more. If words are to be spoken God will clearly reveal that, but the first task is to obey the call to prayer.

Much damage has been done in the church when someone feels they have received a word from God and simply talks, rather than prays, about it. If you think you sense something pray, pray, pray and God will reveal if there is anything else He requires. God’s whisper in our Spirit will never be in conflict with what He directs in His Word. When we speak in spiritual pride, the Spirit is grieved and we cut off that which God was at work doing in our lives and in the situation. (1 Corinthians 13) The simple question to ask before opening your mouth is: “Will this lift Jesus higher or will this lift me higher?”

Be slow to speak, especially words that sow negative seeds about another, and be quick to listen. Ephesians 4:29, 30 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God…”

Step 5: Be willing to plant stakes in the ground

When we recognize there has been hurt in our church, we must be willing to take a stand to say what will be different from this day forward. So often we experience hurt within the church walls and we retreat for a while, only to return to find a new vision or a new program and a turning of the page to “forward march” and “forgetting what is behind” without ever acknowledging why we got to the hurtful point we did.

If there is one thing we have learned throughout history, it is that history repeats itself. Struggles with pride and accountability, with tending the seeds of our heart and not recognizing our enemy are day-to-day struggles.

Unless we recognize where we have been in hurting times and plant some stakes that serve as markers to check us when we tend to spiral into the same patterns, we have not taken the opportunity to mature and move ahead in our journey with God as a church. Ask yourself: “Am I willing to acknowledge my part and take steps to prevent a repeat?”

When conflict threatens your heart and your church, as it always will, seek first to be intentional about raising the prayer banner in your life and in your church. This invites the Spirit of God to be at work in the lives of those involved and minimizes our tendency to lean on our own understanding. It moves us toward recognizing afresh our utter dependence on God and God alone is the hope of the hurting church.

If you are part of a church that is experiencing hurt and conflict, confusion and disorder, God gives a measuring stick to determine what value system is at work.

James 3: 13-17 talks about two kinds of wisdom, one, which does not come from heaven, and one that does. The one not based on heavenly values is centered on earthly, unspiritual values with envy and selfish ambition at the core. Not hard to spot. The trademark of love will be missing as well.

The wisdom based on heavenly values will be pure, peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

This higher value system can be reached by applying these five steps based on the foundation of love – love that comes from the heart of the Father to our own individual heart. Then the world will see our trademark and glorify our Father who is in heaven.

Tend your heart wisely! The state of your soul, the health of your church and the world that is watching depends on it.

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236 Responses to “The Hurting Church: Why we get hurt and hurt others”

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Susan, you are quite welcome. May God continue to work in your heart and life, and bring you to the place where He desires you to be, in Jesus Name. Amen.

  • Susan says:

    Thank you for the feedback, but I think I will leave it there. Online discussions are OK, but can go on and on; plus you don’t really know with whom you are corresponding. Better not to give too much away about oneself. I haven’t dismissed church completely and will attend an occasional service. I do have a friend who is in the same mind as myself and we have attended evensong (beautiful) together, so I hope all is not lost. My grateful thanks to you.

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Marie, thank you for clearing that up. I’m sure Susan appreciates it.

  • Marie says:

    Hi Susan,

    First of all God bless U and I hope this finds you in the best of spirits. My earlier message was not directed to you specifically. I was just putting my advice out there to everyone. My apologies in advance if you felt I was addressing you specifically in relation to my earlier comment. That was not my intent. God bless U!

    Marie

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Susan, I am not reprimanding you, but encouraging you to get back to church.

    The Lord is already leading you there through His Word, Hebrews 10:25, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

    May the Lord bless you abundantly as you endeavor to live for Him, and serve Him.

  • Susan says:

    Aldo, You are what I would call a Job’s comforter. If the Lord leads me back to church, then fair enough, I will go. In the meantime ……
    Shelley, thank you so much for your lovely reply. I know which response I prefer; being blessed not reprimanded.

  • Shelley Shelley says:

    Thank you for your comment Susan, as I pray that the Lord will bless you.

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Susan, the fact remains that if you are part of the Body of Christ, you need to be with the other parts of His Body, for your sake as well as for theirs.

  • Susan says:

    Aldo & Marie. Thank you for your responses. Have to admit to feeling like a naughty schoolgirl Aldo, my not attending a church and to “kick” my oversensitivity – easier said than done. Modern “messy” churches do nothing for me and there’s little pastoral care as people of the cloth are so busy managing more than one church. Marie; I can assure you I’m not living a life of sadness and despair; I keep busy to avoid thinking too deeply and taking my own life.

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Good word, Marie. May it be read and applied by many who need it. God bless.

  • Marie says:

    I think for those of us who worry about what other people think about us or treat us and allow it to affect our minds will live a life of sadness and despair. If you just let go and let God handle your battles and fully surrender to him that is the only answer. We can all go back and forth and give each other encouragement and wisdom. That is good for the heart. But there is a time we have to let go of the situation/person and let God handle it. Sometimes people you love the most you have to let them go so God can heal their body and minds. You can continue to pray for them and ask God to help them. To a certain extent we as Christ followers can only help our fellow sister and brothers in Christ so much only God can give that person the breakthrough they need. We all have issues and problems in our lives on a daily basis but we must seek God to help us deal with them and only through God he can make our crooked paths straight. We must lean on him on all things, Man can only do so much but can’t do what God can do!

    God Bless Everyone :)

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Susan, it may be true that you feel more secure being on your own knowing that the Lord is always by your side, but the Lord wants us out there intermingling and fellowshipping with other Christians, because we are all parts of His Body. When one of those parts is missing, we all suffer- 1 Cor.12:12-26.

    Besides, the Lord is by your side whether you are alone, or with other people. You need to “kick” being over-sensitive because it hinders you from ministering to others, Christians and non-Christians alike, on an up close and personal basis, the way Jesus did. After all, since He has gone back to the Father, we are His hands, feet, mouths, etc., all parts of His Body.

    Susan, you also need to forgive those who have mistreated you, as well as praying for them. Yes, I realize that it is not an easy thing to do, but neither was hanging on the cross and forgiving us.

    The Word commands us to forgive one another as Christ has forgiven us. We can only do that through the power of the Holy Spirit. Ask God to help you to forgive those who have mistreated you. He will do so.

    The key is to be praying for them, and asking God to bless them. You’ll be surprised what can come from that; even deliverance from being over-sensitive.

    Also, your attitude toward church and church people must change, or else the same thing will occur again.

    Remember, that your primary reason for going to church is to worship God. You must do all in your power to not let anything deter you from doing such. Let’s pray:

    Lord, we know of Your love for Susan, and for Your desire to use her to her fullest potential. Grant her Lord, the clearness of mind and the calmness of spirit to forgive all those who have mistreated her. Give her a Spirit of intercession on their behalf, and cause her to be free from past hurts. Lord, bring her to the place where You can touch numerous others through her interactions with them, in Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

  • Susan says:

    Being oversensitive, any negative comment hurts. This has included people in church where you should be protected. Still though believing in Our Lord, I feel the church has let me down in my attempts to get out and meet people. On my own I feel more secure now, knowing The Lord is always by my side. Thank you for reading and hope this helps others in their hurts. Having faith is everything.

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Celine and Jenny, thank you for your kind and encouraging remarks to Kyle.

    Please join me in prayer for him: Holy God, we lift up Kyle to You, and ask that You touch him in a special way with Your Holy Spirit. Draw him to Yourself and to the Savior, Jesus Christ, in whose Name we pray. Amen.

  • jenny says:

    Kyle I agree with all of the wonderful opinions. However , I will add in a practical sense, sometimes we add up everything disappointing in our lives based on 1 recent experience, seeming all are the same thing. I read your last deal with the woman at the church making a snide comment. Why did she need to be introduced to someone anyhow? If she was all of that, she should have the “pick of the litter”. Apparently, she has troubles of her own. Now, God Bless You and feel better! ;+)

    PS- I read from a pastors notes on a facebook comment: GIVING UP ON YOUR GOAL BECAUSE OF A SETBACK IS LIKE SLASHING THE OTHER 3 TIRES BECAUSE YOU GOT A FLAT.

  • Celine says:

    Hello Kyle,

    I understand your hurt. As I mentioned before I struggle with lonliness as well. I have people that are close to me that don’t believe in God or they believe in doctrines that are not of God. God will deal with that girl you met. I hope God does send you someone special. I would recommend you that you listen to some good Pastors on television such as as Pastor David Wilkerson. He is no longer with us but he has a heart for God’s people even though the messages aren’t always easy to hear. I also listen to Pastors that teach the message of the Cross. Some may not like Jimmy Swaggart but let’s forget about his past I look to the message and the Message of the Cross is correct doctrine. I don’t believe God has abandoned you. We have wilderness moments but even in the wilderness he is there. Jesus is coming back soon and maybe God wants us to focus on that. It is hard being single. I know but you can let those around you know that we have serious issues here in the U.S. and they need to focus on that instead of making you feel bad about being single. I know I’m being redundant but Paul was single. Maybe God has a mighty work for you to do such as Paul and maybe for a time he needs you to do this work before marriage. Maybe he wants you to be a missionary and knows it would be difficult for a wife to endure missionary work. That is not to say he doesn’t want you married. Maybe he is trying to teach you to love those even if they reject you. I left the church as well. I guess I should go back and just love them. Maybe the enemy knows how to push our buttons and sends people to reject us in order that we withdraw. I don’t really know. Maybe God is separating the true church from the false church and wants to protect you so you can be ready when he comes. I had a bad relationship and I’ve heard of people in bad relationships. People can be lonely when they are married as well. I hope you find some true believers that won’t lead you astray and try to look toward eternity because this life is wrapping up fast and regardless how our view is from when God comes are view could be wrong and he could come back tomorrow. I’m not perfect either. I struggle to even focus on God and pray and praise him. It is challenging especially when those around me don’t believe in the same things. It’s probably why I’m still single but he knows I would get even more distracted but it would nice to have someone to pray, read the Bible with. I think in a way it would be easier. The good news is Kyle people on this site care about you. So you are not alone. Some don’t even have a site like this to go to because they can’t afford the internet. Maybe what you and I both need to do Kyle is to visit those that are also lonely and you can find them in prision, on the streets, in nursing homes, mental institutions etc. If you are led you can even send letters to comfort those that are in the public eye. They may have their adoring fans but that doesn’t mean they don’t get lonely or depressed. Robin Williams had many adoring fans but still had depression. Even though they have money Christians still need to pray for them and if led witness to them that Jesus died for their sins on the cross and wants to deliever them from bondages. Some think only the poor need Jesus but all need Jesus especially those that don’t believe they do. Anyway I hope that helps. Here is as scripture I found. He said, ” To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison and them who sit in darkness out of the prison house.” Isaiah 42:7 P.91 Message of the Cross Jimmy Swaggart.

    I know I’m saying the say times but sometimes we need to hear it over and over again until is sticks. Satan wants you give in but God doesn’t. You may be in a valley but not forever. I think once you drown out the voices of those that reject you and focus on that God doesn’t reject it will no longer hurt as much and than you can love those that reject you. Maybe he could be preparing you before marriage to learn that sometimes people say the wrong things and not give in. If God wants you married your wife might say something harsh and maybe he wants you to learn that she will still care for you. But if you have a hard time hearing things that aren’t nice from people you are not married to it will be a challenge to hear something difficult when you are married. Then you might question if she loves you and it would be a struggle to be in such a relationship. I’m not saying that what they did is right but we still have to love our enemies even if they are in the church. We need to forgive them because God forgives us. Unforgiveness is dangerous and you don’t want to jepordize your walk with God because of it. He loves you and wants you to stay on the straight and narrow and he wants you to learn that people will reject you but the suffering here is nothing compared to heaven. Jesus defeated your depression on the cross. Thank him for that.

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Lord, we lift up Marie’s cousin to you, and ask that You touch her with the healing power of the blood of Jesus. Lord, You are the great physician. You made that body, and You can re-make it. Father God, we look forward to a good report to come forth regarding Marie’s cousin, in Jesus Name we pray and agree. Amen.

  • Chris Chris Landwerlen says:

    Marie…in jesus name we lift up your cousin before Gods throne of grace, believing with you for your coursins freedom from sin, sickness and all evil that has tried to come upon her. jesus bless and use you mightily in your cousins life amen!

  • Marie says:

    ~I know this is on another topis~But I posted this in a newer forum and it seems to have gotten lost in the cracks~ I need everyone’s prayers for my cousin right now here’s the short story:

    My cousin need all of everyone’s prayers right now. She is really sick. She has a breast mass in one of her breasts and her nipple is introverted. We are unsure what is going on and now she says her armpit is hurting her. She is only 31 years old and has 6 children and single mom. She lives out of town. I have not actually seen her or talked with her, my mom told me what she told her. I will be seeing my cousin in a week or so. So I ask everyone to pray for her at this time.

    God Bless U all!

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Kyle, as to your response to Celine, when it comes down to the “final solution,” our efforts in battle will not be sufficient. We will need the Captain of the Lord’s Host to fight for us.

    Pray and Praise is the key: See 2 Chronicles 20:1-24 from Bible Gateway here:

    “It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites,[a] came to battle against Jehoshaphat. 2 Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria;[b] and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which is En Gedi). 3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.

    5 Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, 6 and said: “O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? 7 Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? 8 And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying, 9 ‘If disaster comes upon us—sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.’ 10 And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir—whom You would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them and did not destroy them— 11 here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit. 12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”

    13 Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the Lord.

    14 Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. 15 And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.”

    18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the Lord, worshiping the Lord. 19 Then the Levites of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with voices loud and high.

    20 So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” 21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying:

    “Praise the Lord,
    For His mercy endures forever.”[c]

    22 Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. 23 For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.

    24 So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped.”

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Kyle, please allow me to tell you a little bit about myself. I was born into an Italian family, and as such, was brought up in the Catholic tradition. As a Catholic, I was taught that only Catholics were going to heaven. As a child growing up, I loved God, and even served as an Altar Boy at Catholic Masses. But as I grew older, I found it more and more difficult to live the kind of life which I believed God wanted me to live.

    When I was old enough, I joined the Army, mostly to get away from the watchful eyes of my parents and those who knew me. Being in Service, I really got away from God, but never forgot His love for me, and what He had done for me.

    After serving my time in the Armed Forces, I returned home and got married. I wanted so much for my marriage to work out, for I had married a really wonderful girl. But try as I would, I kept going astray farther and farther from my lovely wife and beautiful children.

    Then, one night after being out drinking and carousing, I came home in the early morning hours about 2:30 or 3:00am, and knelt down at my bedside, and cried out to God, “God, if there really is a God – HELP ME!” At that moment I felt a release in my inner being -my spirit – and shortly after that the Lord sent someone who would explain to me that God doesn’t desire those who have “religion”, but those who have a “relationship” with Him through faith and belief in His Son Jesus.

    I accepted Jesus for Who He is (God’s only begotten Son), and for what He has done (died for me on the cross of Calvary), and received Him as my Savior – by admitting I was a sinner and asking Him to forgive me of my sin – the only way to have a relationship with God.

    In doing this, the Spirit of Christ, has taken up residence within me, and now I have the power to overcome all that the Devil – the enemy of my soul – brings against me, because the Bible tells me in 1 John 4:4, “…He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

    I have discovered that Christ gives me incredible strength and guidance to deal with difficult situations in my life. I don’t know what I would do in my life without God’s help. God has promised me His grace. His Holy Spirit gives me strength and is my comforter in those times. Today, allow Him to fill your life, empower you, and help you to live for Him.

    Kyle, the devil, a liar and the father of lies, is manipulating you through others, to believe that you are as worthless as many people tell you; that maybe God has abandoned you, or he was never there for you in the first place. That is as far from the truth as you can get. In fact, the truth is that “God so loved (Kyle) that He gave His only begotten Son, that (if Kyle) believes in Him (he)should not perish but have everlasting life (parenthesis mine).

    Kyle, if you would like to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, and have a “relationship” with God, here is a prayer you can say. Remember, God knows your heart and is not as concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart.

    “Dear God, I admit I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ, Your Son, died in my place, paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Him as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to You, and ask You to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person You want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me, forgiving my sins, and giving me eternal life, in Jesus name, Amen.”

    I pray Kyle, that the Spirit of God touch your heart in a special way, and draw you to Himself. Amen.

    Kyle, I am sure that you will have numerous questions. I will be happy to try to answer them to the best of my ability. God bless.

  • Kyle says:

    I posted this elsewhere, but it also fits here.

    This past Sunday I did something I haven’t done in 4 years except for a funeral; I went to church. I knew I shouldn’t have, but one of my coworkers, the only one I know is a Christian, has been asking me to come since December and like a fool I finally accepted. His real reason was to introduce me to a single lady in the church who is around my age and he told me this ahead of time. I have no doubt his motives were sincere and honest. He’s one of the few people I work with I actually trust. The rest would sell me and anyone else up river in an instant to advance themselves. I figured I would get it out of the way so he’d leave me alone. I could not go into it with any expectation whatsoever as I did not want to be disappointed.

    Even though I was nervous, terrified would probably be a better description, I went and met up with him and his wife outside the church. We sat down and chatted for a few minutes. A few of their friends said hello, but that was about it. So far so good, right? Might be a potted plant, but at least no one is trying to rip my roots out. When the pastor told everyone to “meet and greet” those around us, his wife went to get the lady they wanted me to meet. I had already resolved myself to be confident and assertive; something that has become difficult for me in the last few years and the more beautiful the woman is, the harder it becomes. Anyway, I introduced myself and shook her hand (which she offered before I had the chance to do the same) as soon as she walked up. I was shocked; a woman who actually seemed to show me respect, if for no other reason than that is what Christians should do. That lasted all of about 30 seconds. As she was walking off with my coworker’s wife, I heard her say, “Why’d you say he would be cute? He’s nothing close to cute. Next time make sure he really is hot.” Sometimes, having exceptional hearing, just like having a near perfect memory, sucks. Most people wouldn’t have heard it, but I’m glad I did as I’d rather get it over with than get burned later since it hurts more. I waited until his wife came back and told her I heard what their “friend” said about me. The look of abject horror on her face kind of shocked me; she clearly didn’t know that I heard it. I thanked them for their kindness and walked out. At this point, I doubt I will ever set foot in a church again. Church should not be a place of pain and misery. I’m sure no one will believe me because it just seems too farfetched. As I’ve said before, if all of these things hadn’t happened to me, I wouldn’t believe it could happen to anyone.

    Last night, I prayed until I lost my voice and then continued just in my mind since I could not speak. I cried more than I have probably in almost 30 years. All I want at this point is for God to tell me he is there and that he loves me. Hearing it from people doesn’t mean much anymore. I think I fell asleep around 4:00am and had to get up two hours later. I called in sick because I felt too physically ill to go to work; ended up sleeping most of the day.

    I am so close to the point of just giving up. I am so lonely and depressed; life feels hopeless. I have no support from anyone. All my parents do is berate me for still being single. I don’t tell them how bad I feel because it won’t do any good. My dad would tell me that real men don’t get depressed, and my mom would just tell me to go to the doctor and get pills. No matter what others here may claim, talking to God and talking to a human being are very different things. Talking to God for me is completely one sided. I do all the talking and never once has he said even a single word to me. I have spent so long praying, begging, and pleading for something, anything; even just a small crumb or scrap. At least another person would say something in return. You can hear and see them. To say I feel abandoned by God is pretty accurate if not an understatement. I have served God since I was a child and old enough to understand what it meant, and for those almost 3 decades I’ve never once asked for anything wrong or selfish, (maybe when I was little and didn’t quite understand you don’t pray for a video game) but if God has given me anything, it has always been the exact opposite of what I’ve asked for. Loved ones and friends have suffered and died horrible deaths from diseases, and every woman I’ve ever asked out (except for 2) have hurt me in one form or fashion; and most of these were women in church. I no longer pray for others because I feel it will do them more harm than good. Let someone who God cares about and listens to pray for them. Maybe I am truly as worthless as many of them told me; maybe that is why God has abandoned me, or he was never there for me in the first place.

  • Kyle says:

    Celine, I am a historian so I know what is coming. I could write a dissertation comparing what is happening now in the US with what happened in 1930s Germany. If the left has its way, they will have their own version of the “final solution” except this time it will be for Christians. If it comes to that, hopefully though we will go down fighting and not like lambs to the slaughter. But since I cannot control any of it right now, all I can do is try to take care of myself.

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Celine, I want to thank you, and congratulate you on the wonderful encouragement you gave to Kyle. Yes, when we keep our focus on Jesus and what He did for us on the cross, He will comfort us when others reject us, and we’ll be able to come through victoriously. PRAISE HIS NAME!!!

  • Celine says:

    I haven’t been treated well either but I ‘m not perfect and don’t always treat people right. I’m sorry about your experience Kyle. I do understand. I’m still single and went to a church with mostly families. Also I was diagnosed with a disability. Sometimes it’s hard to say no to people as well and it is challenging when I spend time with them but we only do what they want to do but I guess it is a way to learn not to be selfish but it is still nice to have a two way relationship where we compromise what we want to do and it’s not one sided. It essential for both sides to not be selfish.

    People that have a problem with people being single need to look at those in the Bible that weren’t married. Paul wasn’t married. I wonder what people who are against people that are single would say about Paul? I think throughout my life God has also protected me because if I’m not careful or other people are not careful they can be deceived. We are in the last days and we need to be careful of false doctrine. I think sometimes it could be that God doesn’t want us to be around certain people for our protection. I need to focus more on God than people and how they view me. I get to caught up with how people view me but it only matters how God views you Kyle. We have to be careful and I’m talking to myself not to look at what people say because we don’t want their opinion of us to be higher than the truth of how God sees us. I have to be careful because if I look at how people think of me more than God it becomes idolatry. It is a struggle but I encourage you Kyle to search online for teaching about the Message of the Cross no not the wooden beam but that Jesus died on the cross for our sins etc which I learned is so important. When we put our faith in Christ and the Cross and what he did there will be victory from rejection. Only God can do it. I think the enemy wants to separate us but I believe once the persecution comes worse than it is in the U.S. we will see real love in the church. When everything is challenging but not to point where persecution like they have overseas is not widespread here in the U.S. people might not see the need for strong Christian relationships.; This is not to say persecution isn’t hear in the states but I haven’t heard of massive of people being killed for their faith in the U.S. or maybe I just haven’t heard the stories here. We need to stay close together in order to support each other when it comes. Let us not get to comfortable with shallow relationships because how will be treat each other when it could come time to be persecuted and put away. If you don’t know about this you need to do some research on what is being planned for Christians in the U.S.

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Thank you, Marie, for your comment. I fully agree with you. God does want our life, love, and word, to be a living testimony to others. God bless.

  • Marie says:

    Hi,

    I just wanted to say to everybody that God loves you so much that he wants your life to be a living testimony! Go out there and spread God’s word and love to others! Be a testimony for others! Love you all and God Bless U! Marie :)

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Laurie, It would seem to me that if the pastor and his wife and the church members are not welcoming you with open arms, that it is time for you to be praying and asking God to lead you to another church. You, of course, need to forgive them and your family members who are mistreating you, as well as praying for them. Yes, I realize that it is not an easy thing to do, but neither was hanging on the cross and forgiving us.

    The Word commands us to forgive one another as Christ has forgiven us. We can only do that through the power of the Holy Spirit. Ask God to help you to forgive those who have mistreated you. He will do so.

    The key is to be praying for them, and asking God to bless them. You’ll be surprised what can come from that; even deliverance from depression.

    Also, your attitude toward church and church people must change, or else the same thing will occur again.

    Remember, that your primary reason for going to church is to worship God. You must do all in your power to not let anything deter you from doing such. Let’s pray:

    Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love for Laurie. A love so great it is unfathomable. Help her to grasp the magnitude of that love. Help her to comprehend the sacrifice You made for her in sending Your Son Jesus Christ to suffer and die for her sins, and the sins of all mankind. Grant her Lord, the clearness of mind and the calmness of spirit to forgive all those who have mistreated her. Give her a Spirit of intercession on their behalf, and cause her to be free from past hurts, in Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

  • Chris Chris Landwerlen says:

    kyle…if you want me to check on some better churches for you, just let me know your city and state. blessings today your way!

  • Marie says:

    Hi Conny,

    I saw your post from 7/22/2014 and I am going to say a special prayer for you tonight! Church hurt can be extremely painful and I know where you are coming from because I have been through that same storm many times unfortunately! But the video: “Church Hurt by Pastor Dwayne Hunt” (youtube video) changed my life. It gave me an insight the purpose for the church and the purpose God has for me. It really broke it down to what I needed to do to successfully go to church and serve God. I hope it helps you I pray it does! God Bless U!

  • Laurie says:

    TO PASTOR ALDO:
    THANK YOU FOR GETTING BACK TO ME.IT IS A LONG AND COMPLICATED STORY.BEFORE I GOT TO THE POINT I DID,MY FAMILY MISTREATED ME BUT I FORGAVE THEM.TO MAKE A VERY LONG STORY SHORT,I JUST FOUND AN OLD NEWS ARTICLE ABOUT MY BROTHER-IN-LAW(ONE OF MY FAMILY MEMBERS IN THE CHURCH THAT GOT THE RESTRAINING ORDER,ETC)WAS A YOUTH PASTOR IN THIS CHURCH IN 1996 OR SO.HE WAS ARRESTED,SPENT TIME IN JAIL,ETC FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT OF 15 YEAR OLD GIRLS.HE CONFESSED TO HANDCUFFING ONE,AND TICKLING HER AND CONFESSED TO TALKING ABOUT SEX,ETC DURING THE YOUTH BIBLE STUDY HE DID.THE PASTOR DID REMOVE HIM FROM THAT POSITION,BUT HE CONTINUES TO BE IN OTHER LEADERSHIP IN THIS CHURCH.PEOPLE SUSPECT HIS OWN DAUGHTER,MY NIECE ,HAS BEEN SEXUALLY ABUSED.
    THE PASTOR’S WIFE SAID SHE BELIEVES GOD WANTS ME AT THE CHURCH BUT UNDERSTANDS IF IT IS TOO PAINFUL.SHE SAID I COULD STAND.THE CHURCH MEMBERS THAT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED DON’T AGREE WITH WHAT MY FAMILY DID TO US.ONE SAID MY SISTERINLAW IS A VERY BITTER WOMAN AND JUST WANTED TO GET ME AWAY FROM HER HUSBAND.I WAS NOT VIOLENT BUT WAS IN A SEVERE DEPRESSION AND CONFESSED THE BAD THOUGHTS I WAS HAVING AND ASKED THEM TO HELP ME IN COUNSELING.
    LIKE I SDAID ITS A VERY LONG AND COMPLICATED STORY.BUT IM NOT SURE WHICH WAY TO GO.TO STAY AT OR LEAVE THIS CHURCH.

  • Sharon Sharon says:

    to Kyle– my deepest sympathy for people in the church hurting you, you are right for not going to that church then you don’t need to hear that. God loves you and you are a precious and wonderful person In Gods mind. being single is not a problem to God HE loves you and HE created you I am praying that God will protect you and for God to send you a partner if you are wanting one. and a job too I think you wrote me earlier that you are not working now. I am praying for you that God will give you dreams and visions of where HE wants you and the direction of life for you. from sharon

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Kyle, it is one thing to be deeply hurt, and another thing to remain that way. God has made these bodies of ours to endure tremendous levels of spiritual, physical, and emotional trials- “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) The key to overcoming these trials is not to focus on them and the people who have caused them, but to give them all to the Lord, for He has not only overcome the world, but knows how to deal with those who are mistreating you. In fact, He tells us to do just that: “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

    Kyle, the enemy, the devil, would like to keep you in the place where he has you now, because there you are unavailable to be effective in the work of the Lord. Remember, you are not battling against the people coming against you, (“flesh and blood”), but against “…principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

    I suggest you exit your pity party, ask God in prayer to help you “grab the bull by the horns,” and tell the devil to head for the hills, because “…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

    Kyle, believe me, I am not being hard on you. The Bible says that “the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Mt.11:12) The meaning here is that of men whose mind(s) (are) made up and who care not what force and power they employ to attain their object(The Pulpit Commentary).

    May that be true of all of us whose desire it is to serve our God. Amen!

    Father God, I lift Kyle up to You, and ask that You would fill him with Your Holy Spirit. Grant him the wisdom to know what to do, and the courage to do it, in Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

  • Marie says:

    To see parts 2 through 8 go to youtube and type in the subject line “Church Hurt Pastor Dwayne Hunt.”

  • Marie says:

    To My Brother in Christ Kyle,

    Kyle first of all I wish I could hug you and let you know I love you and so does God. I know dealing with past hurts and betrayal is beyond at times worse than physical pain. Brother of Christ I want to say this to you and I am also going to post a video of a link on youtube that changed my life as it was. But first I want to say this to you No man or Woman can put you in hell. God is the author and finisher of our fate. (lets pause for a sec…30 seconds and absorb what I just wrote). I know in my earlier post I was just like you not wanting to go to church due to past hurts. Trust me it was a painful experience I have been through. I was recently hospitalized and almost had a heart attack due to stress. Stress kills when we do not have the faith of God in us Kyle.

    Remember Kyle the church is full of hypocrites! They need Jesus! For those people that walk away and not greet you or shun you just embrace them with love and pray for them. I know it is easier said than done. I can totally relate to that because it has happened to me in every church I went to. People being rude to me for no reason. It is not us Kyle it is them they need help they need God!

    What I just realized is that God has a purpose for you and me as well as everyone on this earth. He created us for a purpose here! God has a plan for each of us. In the bible it talks about long suffering and trials that every believer must go through in order to become closer to God. I know Kyle, I know that long suffering is painful!!! I have been isolated by even members of my own family including my mom. None of them go to church. When I was in the hospital only 122 miles from them they did not come out to visit me, except for my brother. But he reminded me that he told me he was coming out this way 2 weeks prior to me being in the hospital anyway to gamble. So he was letting me know the purpose of his visit was not to see me. In fact he left town drove right past my house and did not call or stop by to say goodbye. SMH. But you know God also adds and removes people out of our lives so we can grow closer to him.

    So in conclusion Kyle I want to say brother in Christ that God will never forsake us or leave us! God loves us! Stay in prayer and let go and let God direct your paths! Below is a link to a life changing video that has forever changed my life that I want to share with you. It is an 8 part series video on youtube and each video is only between 4 minutes to 14 minutes. Enjoy and God bless U!

  • jenny says:

    Kyle, I feel your pain. Your feelings are important to me and to God. I have a son over 25 and still does not have a mate. He is very strong minded and knows what he wants. Dont let people define you on your singleness. If it is not that, judged on weight, race, educational level, etc and on and on.It is hard when we as humans don’t have the God given compassion that we should. You want to feel like a part and rejection, and being misunderstood always seems to prevail. If you can, try to cut out more time to pray and strengthen your relationship with God. Not to say that you don’t, but we must be relentless and unsatisfied when it comes to knowing Him more. He wants to show you so much more about His love and our human conditions. It is very difficult but you will make it! Get some good music and praise! Trust and He will show you more of who He is and you can and will be healed. Love you bro!

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