I’m pretty sure at one point or another you have asked yourself: ‘why did I have to go through that?’ Or, maybe there is a particular situation you have been through and you have often wondered if there was any point to that bad experience.
Hurt comes in different forms and it has a way of leaving us with a bunch of very confusing emotions. What can help us, however, to get out of this quandary of emotions is by looking beyond the hurt to the purpose of hurt. I know that might sound strange, but hurt does have a purpose. It is instrumental in teaching us things about ourselves. What I want to do in this blog-post is to give you five lessons that hurt teaches us. Knowing that there are lessons we can learn from hurtful situations actually helps us in the healing process, so don’t think for the slightest moment that what you will read won’t help you, because it WILL.
Before I jump into the five lessons, I want to highly recommend the biblically based devotional 21 Days To Forgiveness to anyone reading this blog-post who has been hurt or is currently experiencing a struggle with unforgiving feelings. This devotional has been used for a couple of years and has helped hundreds of people overcome painful experiences.
Let’s jump right into the lessons we can learn from hurt!
Lesson # 1 - What’s In You
There are some things we could never learn about ourselves had it not been for a hurtful experience. For some of us, we learned that we are actually very forgiving individuals, but some of us might have learned that we are very unforgiving. Only a hurtful experience can reveal what’s in your heart.
Mathew 7:18 says: ‘A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.’
What this verse is telling us is that what’s inside of us is what will come out of us. A forgiving heart cannot produce unforgiving fruit and neither can an unforgiving heart bring forth the fruit of forgiveness.
Who we are is not revealed when things are great, it’s when things go south that we get a clear idea of what’s actually in us.
Possibly nothing else reveals the truth of what's actually in us like a hurtful experience.
Lesson # 2 - God heals even our emotional hurts.
The second lesson that a hurtful experience can teach us is that God can heal our deepest emotional hurts.
Think about it! How could you ever experience God's healing power if you were never sick? How could you know what problem God could solve if you had none? In a very real way, God reveals his power in our weakest times.
It’s one thing to hear about God’s ability to heal, it’s a totally different thing to experience God’s power personally. Hurtful experiences can lead us to cry out to God and experience His mighty power to heal our deepest emotional hurt
Lesson # 3 - We learn to grow in Mercy
We all need to grow a little more mature in the grace of mercy. Mercy involves not treating others as they deserve. When someone hurts us, the very real tendency is for us to be equally hurtful in return. But mercy treats people differently from what they deserve. Mercy actually gives a kind act in return for cruel and insensitive behavior.
Is it easy to show mercy? Certainly not!! But we must grow a little at a time in this quality of mercy. Why should we grow in mercy? The Bible answers this question brilliantly, it says:
‘Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good’ - Romans 12:21
A hurtful experience tends to tempt us to be equally hurtful, but replaying hurt with hurt doesn’t solve the problem at all. You might get revenge, but the bitterness on the inside will still be there.
We only overcome our hurt by doing good. That is why it is so important to show mercy. Showing mercy is a solution to the hurt - it greatly helps the healing process. The more we show mercy, the easier it becomes and the faster we move past the hurts of yesterday.
Lesson # 4 - We learn to love DEEPLY
Deep love is not formed in good times but in the bad. It is very easy to love kind, sensitive and understanding individuals. But if those are the only types of people you can love then your love needs some maturity to it.
Mature love is what the Lord wants of us. He wants us to love deeply, but that is not possible if we are determined to only love in the easy realm. Look at what Jesus said:
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mathew 5:44-48).
Hurtful situations can help us to love more deeply. As hard as it seems, we can and must learn to love in the hard times. That’s how our love grows deeper. This is a very big topic and it can’t be exhausted right here in this blog-post, but it is dealt with in greater detail in the devotional 21 Days To Forgiveness.
Lesson # 5 - We learn to forgive the BIG things.
We all have to learn to forgive not only the little hurts but also the big ones. Hurtful experiences provide us with the opportunity to forgive at a greater level. I purposely use the word ‘opportunity’ because that is exactly what it is. Too often we only focus on the hurt done to us and we stay right there. No healing, no progress, no maturity all because we are overly consumed with one side of the situation - our hurt.
Never allow hurt to control you. You can move on after a very hurtful experience, but you have to decide that there are some very important lessons to learn out of it. Possibly one of the lessons you have to learn is to forgive the BIG things. As hard as it is, try and embrace the lesson. The hurt is already there, so the only positive solution is to take all the necessary steps to get out of it and learn from it. Don’t allow the hurt to destroy the rest of your life. As strange as it might sound, please bear in mind that there is a purpose in the midst of the hurt.
If you have been through a hurtful experience and you’re tired of the pain sabotaging your emotional state, get your hands on the biblically based devotional 21 Days To Forgiveness. It is a very practical book that teaches you HOW to get over the hurtful experiences of yesterday.