Support for Those Who Suffer in Crisis
In one sense… it’s not about you! So take some time to learn from those who suffer.
Most of us try and help people in the way we want to be helped.
In another way, every situation God puts you in, is about you.
God is big enough to work on more than one person at a time. Even if you’re the helper, open up your heart and let God teach you.
Validate the person’s feelings before you begin directing them. There’s nothing more frustrating than moving right to the reprimand, the lesson.
Proverbs 25:20 “Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on soda, is one
who sings songs to a heavy heart.”
Watch. Be an observer.
Consider the context of the situation. Each person and each situation may call for a different response.
Ask good questions.
Just simply asking a few basic questions, can make “helping” much easier, and much more appropriate and beneficial to the person.
We don’t always have the answers. It’s okay to ask the person how you can best help them or to refer them to someone who may be better suited to help.
You don’t always have to have the right words to say, the right actions to take, but just being near and available can be tremendously encouraging.
Don’t take it personally.
Sometimes people want space. Sometimes people want to be alone. Don’t take it personally.
Communication is key.
That doesn’t mean you have to talk for hours on end. But good communication will spare much heartache and make your support much more effective. It means attempting to find out how to best serve a hurting person in the least obtrusive way.
Lessons Along the Way
Purpose of Suffering:
- Purge sin from our lives- Jeremiah 6:27-30 (clean out impurities of my life)
- Lead us to repent of sin
- Strengthen our commitment to Him
- Produce endurance
- Force us to depend on His grace
- Bind us together w/other believers
- Produce discernment
- Foster sensitivity
- Discipline our minds
- Spend our time wisely – Psalm 91
- Stretch our hope
- Causes us to know Christ better
- Make us long for truth
- Teach us to give thanks in times of sorrow
- Increase our faith
- Strengthen our character
- Causes us to look beyond the temporal to the ETERNAL
- Christlikeness > complete > bring to maturity
- Be perfect/complete – lacking in nothing
In suffering God can open our mind to greater insights.
Job 42:5 “My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you.”
Quotes from the book – When God Weeps by Joni Eareckson Tada
“Our circumstances don’t change, we change.”
“To know God is to be free of the incessant need to understand exactly what He is doing before you put your confidence in Him.”
“To know God is always an invitation to suffer – not alone, but with Him.” Philippians 3:10
“Suffering reduces us to nothing and God creates everything out of nothing.”
“To believe God in the midst of suffering is to empty myself, for emptying myself increases my capacity for God. Then He is free to flow through me.”
“Suffering reveals the core of who we are.”
“Affliction is the gristmill where pride is reduced to powder, leaving our souls naked and bare and bonded to Christ and it feels beautiful.”
Some encouragement along the way…
Isaiah 50:10 “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. God will never leave you.”
Job 35:10 “But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night, who teaches more to us than to the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the air?’ God can give us a song in the night.”