Life Hurts

We shouldn’t experience hard times at church, right? Church should be a place of comfort and enjoyment, right? That’s what many think about church, and when they are hurt by church people, they call them hypocrites and fail to participate in and belong to a local faith family. Have you been where church hurts? I have! Let me tell you right up front, it’s a horrible place to be!

Let’s refocus though:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.—2 Corinthians 12:9-10

A few years ago, church was a real struggle for me. We had been hurt deeply by the church we were a part of. I told God I didn’t want to go. I wanted out of ministry. But, that was not God’s plan. In my hurt, I truly saw my brokenness and struggled with my feelings of worthlessness. However, God kept saying to be faithful. While there were times when I was so consumed with hurt that I didn’t want to go to church, God showed me His faithfulness and how He could use my brokenness. I felt so weak, but I prayed to be strong. The song “Broken Things” by Matthew West became my prayer.

🎵Now I’m just a beggar in the presence of a King

I wish I could bring so much more

But if it’s true You use broken things

Then here I am Lord, I’m all Yours🎵

I offered myself to God. I had absolutely nothing else to give. I did NOT want to do what He was calling me to do because it meant reliving the feelings and emotions that hurt so deeply. It meant being open in front of people, even people I didn’t know. It meant getting close to church people again when I wanted to stay home, away from possibly being hurt again. Yet God reminded me that I offered my broken self to Him. As I struggled with going to church, God reminded me that in obedience, is healing. The hurt I experienced from church would not define me. It could, however, develop me.

Why would I write about church hurting? Well, the answer is that, recently, I have heard a lot of people struggling with church. They’ve been hurt. The church is hurting because of things people have done or said. I want to encourage you to not give up if you’re in that situation. If believers stop because church is hard, then we are part of the problem. Yes, it hurts to go sometimes, but God’s word says,

“Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:23-25

We will experience tough times, even in church. Church is filled with sinners, including us. It’s filled with hypocrites, including us. Let’s quit making excuses for not being part of what God commands us to do. We may get beat up and hurt, even at church, but will our scars point to His love? I pray that they do.

Y’all, God is mighty to love! Even when church hurts, hang onto His love and faithfulness. Find a Bible believing faith family and join it, serve in it. Will you get hurt? Most likely, because the church is filled with imperfect people. However, when imperfect people serve our perfect God, hurt cannot overcome victory in Christ!

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