A football coach once said there are two different types of coaches in the NFL. The first type are those who have been fired and the second type are those who are going to be fired. Well, there are two types of people everywhere you go: those who have been hurt in life and those who are going to be hurt in life. Most people are in the first category—those who have experienced pain and hurt in life. It seems that most of us have had one or more of life’s hurts: family, financial, relationship, physical, emotional and spiritual. The year 2020 has dealt millions of people a big dose of pain and hurt and all of us are looking forward to January 1st. I would caution anyone who expects 2021 to be free of life’s hurts. Those 365 days have the potential for happiness and joy and peace but also for many hurts and pains.
Scriptures – Psalm 62:5, 71:14, 136:26; Mark 5:25-29, 34; John 16:33b
“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33b
Most of us have become very skilled at covering up life’s hurts and pains as we try to hide behind masks fashioned by our own thinking. Sometimes we’ve been encouraged and taught to hide our hurts and pain from a young age. It could have been our parents or other family members who did that. Maybe it was a favorite coach or teacher. We’re not bad or deceptive people. We’ve just grown comfortable and feel more safe and secure when we are hiding behind our masks. We live in a world that inflicts a lot of pain and hurt on people. This isn’t a new revelation because Jesus spoke about this 2000 years ago in John 16:33. Jesus knew we would face trials and sorrow and hurts in this life. He wanted to not only warn us but to encourage us with the thought that He was the only one who can help us overcome the hurts the world is going to inflict on us. Although no human being may know how much you are hurting, there is one who does know; God. Yes, He knows what you are going through right now. Because of His love and concern for you, God wants you to be aware of this truth: there is hope beyond the hurt. No matter what kind of hurt you have faced in the past there’s hope beyond the hurt in 2021.
When was the last time you remember wearing a mask to try and disguise your feelings about a personal hurt? What is one reason that you believe people wear masks around their family members? Does the longer we wear a mask affect our hope of ever being free from our hurt? What is something you would tell a close friend that was wearing a mask to cover up a hurt in their life? When life’s hurts come your way, do your thoughts automatically focus on yourself, on others or on God?
When you have life’s hurts come your way, you can focus your thoughts in one of three directions: #1 You can focus your thoughts on yourself and those will usually either be ones of self-pity or self-reliance. #2 You can focus your thoughts on others and place your hope in them to make all your hurts better. #3 You can focus your thoughts in the only direction of true hope for the healing of your hurts. You need to focus your thoughts on God because he alone is the one who can heal the hurts in your life. Focus your thoughts toward God through prayer and Bible reading and ask Him for help.
Dear Jesus, I want you to heal my hurts. I want to come out from behind the masks that I have worn for so long. Please heal me Jesus. What faith I have, I place in you today. Instead of focusing on myself, or on others for the healing help I need, I will focus on you Jesus. Thank you in advance for helping me. In Your name I pray. Amen.