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Has your heart ever hurt?

Psalm 34:18 NKJV

The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

No human being has ever lived free from personal hurt and pain. Adversity, suffering, trouble, problems, sickness, tragedy, crisis, persecution, opposition, anger, bitterness, disappointment – all this and more attack us from every direction and hurt us, often deeply. Sometimes we hurt because of circumstances beyond our control – the death of a loved one, or an illness. But most of our hurt comes from the relationships with those around us. Expectations aren’t met, words are spoken or not spoken, and thoughts of disappointment move down into the heart where they become feelings of discouragement and hurt. The reality is, we are all imperfect and can never fully satisfy even those we love most deeply. We will hurt others and they will hurt us. When we wrestle with our daily hurts, it is helpful to keep two things in mind. First, Jesus’ model of unconditional love shows us the importance of avoiding intentionally hurting others. We do this most often with our words, using them to get what we want even if it means putting others down, or to retaliate when others have hurt us first. Second, we must practice the art of forgiveness. Whether we need to apologize for hurting someone or forgive someone who has hurt us, true forgiveness is the best antidote for melting away the feelings of hurt and experiencing the joy of restoration. We must remember that the one we’ve hurt the most, God, has already offered us his complete forgiveness and desires to fully restore our relationship with him. When we are hurt by a friend, loved one, or even a stranger, it is a reminder that we long for a more perfect relationship with the One who will never hurt or disappoint us.

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