King David knew better than most about prolonged pains of the heart, and he realised that bodies often heal easier and faster than hearts and minds. While there are occasions when the Lord brings immediate and total recovery, for the most part, the Lord heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3) progressively. Today I want to speak of some practical application which Christians sometimes fail at in the recovery process due to an unwillingness or inability to put God’s Word into practice.
Typically, the Lord’s recovery comes in synchromesh with a believer’s actioned faith. Depending on the causes, medication and counselling may play an important part, but it is consistency of applied biblical instruction that brings biblical truth to reality in a believer’s life.
Following are some practical suggestions, in no particular order, which can assist recovery.
- Try not to obsess over pain. Seek help and accept help when offered to you. Do not believe the lie that says, “there is no help.” Share life with others who will help you shift your focus towards recovery.
- Daily read, meditate upon, and memorise God’s Word. Even in small doses, God’s Word is soul food.
- Pray. This is simply talking with the Lord with a watchful attitude. Speak to Him with gratitude about all the things of life, not only your problems but also of the blessings.
- Seek forgiveness from both the Lord and people you may have hurt with either actions or words. This will clear your conscience and alleviate crippling guilt.
- Forgive those who have hurt you. And every time you recall their offence, forgive them again.
- Fellowship. This may be with just one other believer. Even if unable to meet them in person, use technology to have discussions and prayer time with them regularly.
- Worship, whether in private, with a prayer partner, or at church with your spiritual family.
- Physically exercise in a place where you can praise God for the things you see and feel in creation.
- Do NOT isolate. Loneliness only feeds deeper loneliness. And do NOT assist others to isolate from the body of Christ. Isolation from church, from God’s people, only ever brings certain disaster sooner or later.
- Be open with your church leaders about what is happening in your life. This may simply mean sharing that you are experiencing great pain or difficulty, enough information so they can be supportive, praying for you, and offer assistance.
- Seek help with accountability from a stronger Christian over compulsive and repetitive sin in your life.
- If needed, change your friends should they be predominately negative, complaining, and unforgiving of others. If they are typically critical, rebellious, and demeaning of others, they will drag you into despair.
- Reach out to serve someone else, not as an authority, but as a calming friend. Bless someone else with the kind of Christian friendship you appreciate having. Treat them as you would like to be treated. Look for friends who you can lift up, who you can refresh, who you can encourage.
- Be extremely careful with your time on the internet. Social media and web sites which are negatively focused and conspiracy promoting should be avoided. Stay far away from all forms of pornography and sexually wrong relationships. Purity is critical for healthy spiritual recovery.
- And finally, be patient with yourself, with God, and with others.
I conclude this mini-series with wise words from the apostle Peter. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:5-8).