Do you have a heart for discipleship? Do you desire to help those who are hurting but don’t know how?
Well, it sounds as if we are kindred-spirits. For years whenever I saw brokenhearted and struggling people my heart would break. I would cry out to God and ask Him for answers in how to minister to those who are hurting. I knew how much my own life had been messed up. I knew that what God had taught me had set me free! Fear was replaced with strength, depression with joy, anxiety with faith, and rage with rest! Best yet, I experienced peace with God deep within my heart. As a result of this freedom, my heart’s desire was to share with the brokenhearted so that they too could go in peace. Yet, although I desired to help and God had healed my own broken heart I felt so ill equipped in how to disciple the hurting. But I also knew that I was called. And if you answered yes to the questions above—so are you! You are called by God to help set the captives free!
We live in a sinful world and as a result people are hurting. They are struggling with and looking for answers concerning: depression, anxiety, fear, rage, relationship difficulties and/or self-destructive behaviors such as alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders, self-harm and/or even suicidal thoughts.
This blog series—How to Disciple the Hurting—will encourage and equip you with the basic principles that are needed to become all that God created you to be as you choose to make yourself available to help heal the brokenhearted—from being called by God to reflecting His glory as you actually step out and minister to those in need. As you choose to apply the principles that will be taught in this series to your own life you will discover the joy of being used by God to help change lives for the better. This series will also offer you a couple of great discipleship tools so that you can immediately begin to help set the captives free.
So to embark, let’s talk about your calling. Listen to what God’s Word says.
—Ephesians 2:10, niv
This verse is about you! You are God’s workmanship. You are created in Christ Jesus to do a good work. God has already prepared in advance the work He wants you to do. You see, all the things of your life—your past mistakes and triumphs—God works together to be used for His glory. He has, and is, and will prepare you to do this good work. It’s amazing! It’s a miracle!
But what is even more amazing is this: As you are obedient to the call God has on your life you will discover the reason why you were given life. Are you excited? Nervous? Fearful? All are normal reactions when God is taking you out of your comfort zone. But perhaps the most prevalent, at least for me, was expectation.
Many years ago, God began to speak to my heart in an interesting way. He used the development of the sunflower to teach me some interesting principles about discipleship. When He had first began to speak to me in this manner I was in Bulgaria, traveling across the breath of that picturesque country when acres and acres of beautiful sunflowers greeted me. They were in full form—vivid yellow heads all following the sun and reflecting its glory. Earlier that morning I awoke excited and filled with expectation of what God wanted to do in and through my life. As you know, it was my heart’s desire to disciple others in how to minister to the brokenhearted and I was traveling to a far away city to do just that. I knew that this was a call God had on my life and I was full of expectation. And there were the sunflowers, all welcoming me, as if they too were full of the same expectancy.
It was then that God spoke to my heart. I do have a call on your life and I want you to walk in My path. I want you to look to Me for every step that you take. As you do, you will reflect My glory to those I send you to. I will fill you to overflowing with My Spirit and I will teach you the words you must say to help set the captives free. But you must choose to follow Me with each step that you take.
He says the same to you. You are called by Him to reflect His glory to those He sends you to. You are called to stay focused on Him. But He loves you so much He gives you the choice—the choice to follow Him in this exciting and scary calling or the choice to go your own way.
May I encourage you today to be like the sunflower—look to the Son, keep your eyes on Him, hold fast to Him—and He will lead you and guide you in the way you should go. God’s Word not only says to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19) it also teaches that His call on your life is irrevocable (see Romans 11:29).
So stay tuned for the upcoming blog posts, which will encourage and equip you to walk worthy of the call God has on your life.
While you are waiting for the next post, take a peek at the Go in Peace Biblical Discipleship Curriculum and/or Teens in Crisis (depending upon which age group you are called to minister to), pray about it and see if it just might be a curriculum God would want you to use to fulfill your calling while ministering to those who are hurting. I’ve also included a small Bible study at the end of this post to help you to grow.
I look forward to your comments and questions.
Enjoying His grand adventure, Cherie
Individual Bible Study: Look up the following verses concerning your calling: Romans 11:29; Ephesians 1:18 and 4:1; Philippians 3:14; 2 Thessalonians 1:11; 2 Peter 1:10-11.
Write, in one sentence, what you believe God is calling you to do. While you are at it, share it as a comment so that I, and others, can pray for you.