09/06

Emotional Rehab

“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:18

When our youngest fractured her elbow, the doctor put her arm in a cast for six weeks. When the cast was removed, she couldn’t straighten her arm because it had been isolated for a long time. The doctor prescribed physical therapy. Therapy was painful for her. I remember her eyes swelling with tears, looking up at me, and asking, “Why are you making me do this?” Well, even though it was difficult, if she didn’t stretch and strengthen, she could not regain full use of her arm.

When we go through emotional or inner healing, soon after, God will strengthen so we can function in emotional wholeness. God loves us, and because of His love, He does not want us to stay in a place of perpetual hurt, weakness, or captivity. God wants us to live strong and free. Even if we were victimized, God doesn’t not want us to stay a victim or take on the identity of the oppressed. God wants us to see ourselves as overcomers through Christ.

God wants to strengthen so that we will be able to fully function. He wants us to take down walls and keep our heart open. He wants us to trust again so we can operate without limitation. Satan is the one who wants to alter our expression and stop our effectiveness. Satan wants us to ultimately close up and withhold our trust, even from God Himself.

What does emotional rehab look like? It looks different for each individual, but I believe it needs to be God’s customized plan for the person and the person should seek to be led by the Holy Spirit. Some may heal in private in God’s presence. Others may listen to a teacher, read a book, or talk with a church leader. Others may go to professional counseling. And some may need deliverance. On the other hand, be careful not to become involved in counseling, Christian or otherwise, that taints the true Gospel of truth and spiritual understanding with contradictory knowledge and carnal understanding. Choose freedom!

How do we strengthen? Strength comes from rest in God’s Presence, in His Word, and in the local church. It is also through obedience, stretching those emotional muscles and being challenged to lean on Jesus and be challenged to stay open and to trust again. For some, it may even be a trial that exposes what is wrong, brings us to the end of ourselves, and leads us to repentance for our part of the story. God will do it!

Application: If you sense your past hurts have held you back in any way, look to the Lord for renewed strength and a different way of thinking.

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