First let me state that I am no expert in either of these fields, rather you can call me a curious learner. I grew up wanting to be a counselor, but God had different plans. I'd seen people in my life battle issues such as depression, eating disorders, anxiety, and things of the like and likewise grew a deep passion for wanting to see people FREE and walking in wholeness. I'll be honest, it was a shock coming to Bethel for school of SUPERNATURAL MINISTRY and finding that in addition to seeing people get out of wheel chairs, cancer disappearing, prophesy being a part of everyday interaction, hours of worship, and well all the things I expected, this culture has a huge focus on emotional healing and healthy relationships.
Most of us know that your emotional health plays a big role in your physical health. Unhealthy emotions can lead to issues such as depression and anxiety, but also back pain, insomnia, chest pain, migraines, high blood pressure, lack of appetite, weight loss/gain, sweating, stiff neck, diarrhea, sexual issues, heart palpitations, general body aches and pains, and MORE.
We just finished reading "The Supernatural Power of Forgiveness" by Jason Vallatton which discusses how to walk OUT of emotional pain. He mentions that we live in a culture that does anything and everything to avoid pain and get out of it as quickly as possible when it comes. Now honestly that sounds pretty reasonable. Who wants pain? Unfortunately, pain is often an indicator of a deeper issue. Most of us know if my ankle is blue, swollen, and hurting that I shouldn't go for a run that day, something is wrong with my ankle! But we haven't quite decided that if I'm feeling anxiety and my heart is aching that I probably need to spend some extra time with Holy Spirit figuring out what's going on in my heart and mind.
We've learned to live with our pain, rarely actually partnering with Holy Spirit and working THROUGH our pain and then, unexpectedly, it begins to manifest in other ways in our life.
It could start as something as big as an abusive childhood emotionally, physically, or sexually. An act of sexual abuse. Perhaps a trauma such as a parent or sibling dying. For some betrayal, divorce, unfaithfulness, losing a job, or an unexpected life altering event. It could be something like someone being short or making a comment that stings. No matter the root we're often left with pain and emotions that we try to hurry and get out of because well... it hurts.
It's important to note that there are TONS OF scriptures that talk about God's nature with our pain and trials. It says "He is our strength and refuge in times of trial", "He is sympathetic toward our weakness", "He'll exalt us in DUE TIME", "cast our cares upon Him", "Rest in the Lord", the Bible is not silent on the subject of trials, heartache, and pain. "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and He delivers them out of their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such a contrite spirit." (Ps 34:17-18)
I also love the many scriptures that says weeping may last for a night, but JOY comes in the morning. He gives us a garment of PRAISE, for heaviness. The important thing to note is that God will always be near to you in your trouble, when we cry out HE HEARS. He will be our hiding place and He will deliver us from our pain and trials. The issue that we often see in the church is that we're in such a rush to get our of our pain and through our trials that we never actually allow Him to deliver us OUT of the trouble. Sometimes we're so afraid to actually face the cause of our pain that we wear a mask and pretend like we're better when we're not. The reality is you're not done being OUT of the trial until you are done working through the pain of it. The situation may be over, but that doesn't always mean that you have actually finished processing through your pain. Jason often says, "A big lie we believe about pain is that time will heal it". Time will bury your pain, but it doesn't mean it will heal it!
These issues undealt with will undoubtedly come back later in life and present themselves in either physical form or some sort of wrong thinking that damages other areas of our lives. You can see the fruit of these situations in all sorts of areas that can damage our relationships and our health. Some things like inability to commit to covenant relationships, fear of vulnerability, hardness of heart, never crying, or even bigger issues like eating disorders, porn addictions, alcoholism and other coping mechanisms. Many times the true root of these issues is so far in the past that they're never brought to the surface unless they come out in a SOZO or similar counseling session. Holy Spirit is an awesome counselor who wants our whole person to prosper.
It is possible to be able to have "joy when we face various trials" when we learn that God can actually use our pain and trials for our good! If we choose to partner with Him to walk THROUGH our pain and trials He will use it! It doesn't mean He "planned" all of our trials, but He will use them!
"You will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free"
God's desire is for His beautiful bride to be completely healthy. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Sozo- the greek word that means saved, healed, and delivered.
As we've learned more and more about what it means to be completely healed and whole of all past and present pains, hurts, lies, distortions, bondage, etc. My hunger is growing to see the body completely healed, walking in strength, transparency, and boldness. Having healthy relationships with family and others. Living in community where we can be open and honest about the condition of our spirit, soul, and body.
An army of believers that has been set TOTALLY FREE in all areas will BOLDLY declare the goodness of God and His amazing works from the rooftops! Free people draw the attention of the bound! As we walk in freedom and wholeness, the broken world around us will hunger for Him who set us free! Galatians 5:1 "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."
Be Blessed, J. Tate