When Going To Church Hurts
Hey beloveds, is there a drought on your life? Are you crying out to the Lord to restore you–body, mind, soul, spirit, and everything else too? If so, the next step in the restoration process is healing from church wounds.
We’ve been talking about restoration lately, and about walking in Kingdom prosperity as well.
The Lord has been doing mighty things; I receive testimonies nearly every day of people getting set free from MANY different kinds of hurts and wounds. God has you (and all of us) in a restoration process!
Related prophetic word: God Is Restoring You BETTER Than You Were Before
Well, as I was studying just yesterday, the Lord led me to the book of Haggai and hit me up-side the head about the next step in this discussion about healing and restoration.
And what is the next step? It’s something that I would never, ever have guessed if I were trying. However, the Word of the Lord is clear (and I’ll explain why below):
The next step is healing from CHURCH WOUNDS.
Healing from church wounds is a BIG DEAL.
A lot of people don’t like to talk about healing from church wounds. Oh, you get plenty of people who talk about getting mad at the church and leaving it. You get even more people who get hurt by the church and stay in it, but they cause division by walking around murmuring, grumbling, and complaining all the time.
But very few people like to talk about healing from church wounds from the perspective of healing and then staying in church (or going back to church)–even if you get back in a different church.
church wounds can be healed, and you can be RESTORED better than you were before.
I also believe:
- Church wounds happen because none of us are perfectly like Jesus yet;
- Not even our church leaders are perfectly like Jesus yet;
- People who aren’t perfect yet occasionally do imperfect things that hurt others;
- Sometimes people hurt other people on purpose, and sometimes it’s an accident; but either way …
- The church in general is a wonderful thing that Jesus built;
- It’s a place where God gets glory; and
- The Word of God says we should be in church “so much the more” as we get closer to Jesus’ Second Coming.
The problem is: Many Christians have been hurt really badly in church, so they no longer attend because of the pain.
Is staying out of church the right thing to do? No. Does God EVER tell people to stop going to church? NO, according to Scripture.
Nevertheless, sometimes people make bad decisions because of their pain. They hurt so badly that they are just trying to survive; and their unhealed church wounds produce more pain than they can bear when they go into the house of the Lord.
So, they stay home … and the enemy succeeds at robbing them of:
- corporate worship;
- corporate intercession;
- fellowship with other believers;
- the preaching of the Word;
- the opportunity to learn how to minister themselves, so they can head up the prayer line eventually instead of always standing in the prayer line;
- the opportunity to be pastored and shepherded by a godly, caring, called shepherd of the flock;
- the opportunity to be prayed for;
- the opportunity to be anointed with oil when they’re sick;
- the opportunity to use their gifts and talents to serve the church body;
- a whole lot of fun;
- the manifest presence and prophetic flow of the Lord in a corporate worship service;
- and so much more.
Related: How To Heal from Rejection FREE 7-Day Mini-Course
Church wounds are a diabolical trick from the enemy.
The enemy loves to inflict hurts and wounds on people in church. Generally, he uses other hurting people (who aren’t submissive to God’s Word) to do it. Then, the person the enemy attacked tucks tail and stays home, licking their wounds, because …
THERE IS NO GOOD TEACHING IN THE CHURCH ABOUT WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO HEAL WHEN THE CHURCH HURTS YOU.
Yes, I meant to write that in “all caps.”
The lack of teaching on inner healing in the Body of Christ is my pet peeve.
Why, oh why is the Body of Christ not teaching people how to get healed? Why aren’t we honest when we talk about the church, admitting that people within the church walls hurt one another sometimes–but still cherishing the church (as Jesus does) enough to help people get healed and STAY IN CHURCH?
It’s a big gap in teaching within the Body of Christ, and we need to fix it.
But beloved, church wounds can be healed.
More importantly, they MUST be healed in order for you to have everything Father God desires for you.
I don’t mean “church wounds can be patched over.”
I’m not talking about putting a band-aid over a gaping hole in your heart and soldiering on, pretending everything is okay when actually you’re dying inside. I mean that church wounds can be HEALED.
- Healed so deeply and completely that there is no scar left.
- Healed so well that they do not hurt anymore AT ALL.
- Healed so thoroughly that the events that happened to you feel like they happened to someone else.
Many of you who have been hurt at the hands of church people have lost hope for healing. But you need to know that even your deepest wounds can be healed.
Before I share why this is the next step in the restoration process, let’s build our faith for TOTAL HEALING.
The blood of Jesus didn’t pay for you to just soldier on through life despite your pain. I admire your perseverance in soldiering on if that’s what you’re doing. But, the blood of Jesus paid for your pain to be GONE.
As it says in Isaiah 53:4-5:
“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5).
Did you notice how direct that verse is? Jesus carried our sorrows.
Every single one of them:
- He took all our sorrows upon Himself and carried them up Calvary’s hill on His mangled, bleeding back.
- Carried them on His slowing-but-still-beating heart that was experiencing the pain of having ALL His friends betray Him, as well as carrying the burden of trying to pump too little blood through a failing body.
- And He carried our griefs, sorrows, and pains all the way up into the air as the Romans threw the cross into a hole in the ground, catapulting our Lord into public view, high above the horror-stricken (and sometimes gloating) crowd.
Your sorrows and mine were on public display that day in the body and blood of our Lord … and they died with Him.
You know what that means? It means:
- That the sorrows and griefs we experience today have no legal right to stick with us.
- It means that, as badly as we hurt at any given moment, perfect and total healing can happen to us also at any given moment.
- It means we can be totally healed as soon as we learn to appropriate the healing power of the blood of Jesus, letting Holy Spirit do the work in our hearts that only He can do.
These can be easy words OR hard words to hear.
These are hard words to hear if you want to hold onto your hurt. If you have made your hurt your identity. If you want to point the finger and blame others, even if it really is their fault.
If FOR ANY REASON you aren’t ready to let go of your pain and sorrow yet, you may not want to hear the truth about what Jesus accomplished for you on the cross.
On the other hand …
These are easy words to hear–words of hope–if you are ready to move past what the enemy intended for evil and let God work it out for your good.
These are easy words to hear if you are ready to be healed and go on with God.
Let me stop right there to emphasize something:
- If you aren’t totally willing to be completely healed …
- If you aren’t ready or willing to go on with God, let Him heal you, and get back in a godly, Spirit-filled church where you plug in and attend weekly …
- If you aren’t ready to completely forgive and let go …
- If you aren’t ready to take total and complete responsibility for receiving everything from the Lord that He promises …
Then stop reading right now.
It’s not that I don’t want you to keep reading. I do! I want you to benefit from this post! I want you to be healed!
BUT, if you aren’t ready yet to receive and do the things I listed in the four points just above, then you’re wasting your time (and I don’t want you to waste your time). Getting healed depends 100% on your taking responsibility for receiving healing from the Lord:
- Even if other people did things to you they shouldn’t have done.
- Even if it’s really not your fault.
- Even if it still really hurts.
Beloved, I understand pain.
I’m not saying you have no reason to hurt. People have done things to me that would make your skin crawl to hear about them. When it comes to wounds at the hands of the Body of Christ (or supposed believers who were actually agents of the enemy), I’ve been through the wringer.
But I can also tell you that the Lord has completely healed me.
He has healed me so completely that there is zero pain left. I am healed so completely that all these things feel like they happened to someone else–and He has turned everything the enemy tried to do for me into BLESSING for me.
Now, things are better than they ever were. Hallelujah!
So I understand it if your heart is broken.
I understand it if you’re hurting really badly. All I’m saying is that receiving your healing depends 100% on Y-O-U. So are you ready to be healed from all church wounds and go on with God?
I thought you would be. 🙂
(Insert high-fives, hugs, and praise hands here.) 🙂 Now:
here’s why healing from church wounds is the next step in the healing / restoration / prosperity process:
Just yesterday, the Lord brought me to the book of Haggai and hit me with this so strongly. I was stunned, actually, at how EXACTLY the tiny, short book of Haggai corresponds to our discussion about restoration. (Sometimes the Lord hides His gems in the smallest places! That’s why we have to search the Scriptures and hide them in our heart!)
Here’s what the Lord showed me from Haggai:
The Lord Himself will put a drought on your life if you aren’t right with His house.
A “drought” is a period of time without rain–or without enough rain. It’s a time of shortage. Dictionary.com explains it this way:
– a period of dry weather, especially a long one that is injurious to crops.
– an extended shortage …
– Archaic. Thirst.”
Look what happens in a drought:
- Rain that is supposed to fall from Heaven doesn’t fall.
- Nothing you do can get the rain to fall, either, except prayer.
- In a drought, there is shortage. Crops and food dry up, wither, and die.
- Surface water is hard to come by.
- Prices of everyday goods go up because raw, plant-based materials aren’t growing (due to the lack of rain).
- People worry, stress, and stay awake at night–afraid they are going to lose everything.
A drought is a serious and awful thing.
I don’t want to live in a drought, and I don’t want anything in my life–or in the lives of the people I love–to be impacted by a drought. That’s why I was shocked when I read that the Lord Himself puts a drought on our lives if we aren’t in right relationship with His house.
This is freaky, but it’s real. Look at what the Word of God says in Haggai 1:2-11:
“Thus speaks the Lord of hosts, saying: ‘This people says, “The time has not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built.”’
Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, ‘Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?’ Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Consider your ways! You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes.’
Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Consider your ways! Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,’ says the Lord. ‘You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?’ says the Lord of hosts.
‘Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house. Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit.
For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands'” (Haggai 1:2-11, emphasis mine).
In this passage, God says that He directly ties YOUR PROSPERITY to the state of His house.
First, the Lord points out that His people were having major problems. In modern language, their problems looked like:
- They were sowing a lot, but not getting a harvest.
- They had some provision, but always seemed to have too much month left at the end of their money.
- They were trying their best to succeed in various ways, but nothing seemed to work out for them.
- They were earning an income—maybe even a decent income—but their money just seemed to evaporate.
Do any of those problems sound familiar?
Then, in the passage above, the Lord explained clearly why this was happening. All these awful things were happening to His people because HE HIMSELF had placed a drought on their lives.
Why would He do such a thing? Because they were building their own houses and lives, but not building the House of God.
Whoaaaaa … ouch.
I know this is a tough teaching, but living with a drought on your life is tougher.
My friend, I hope and pray you’ll hear me. I was literally astounded when I read Haggai yesterday–and the funny thing is that I’ve read it before! However, I had forgotten about how important it was–and about how KEY this subject is to the healing and restoration process.
I want you to be restored. I want you to get the drought OFF your life.
So how do you get the drought off your life?
According to the book of Haggai, the Lord puts a drought on your life if you are not building the house of God. “Building” means several things in this passage:
- The Lord wanted them to get up and work for His house. Work = volunteering our time and service at our local church, which is His house.
- The Lord wanted them to bring resources into His house. That’s pretty clear; it means we have to bring in resources too–money, raw materials, and anything else the church needs.
- He wanted them to actually put His house first and build the church before they built their own houses.
And beloved, if we are not doing these things as well–if you and I are not building God’s house, and doing it before we build our own houses–then there is a drought on our lives too:
- If we aren’t serving;
- If we aren’t volunteering;
- If we aren’t bringing resources into the house of God in the form of tithes, offerings, raw materials, and anything else your local church needs;
- and even if your church is in debt, because debt is a sign that God’s people aren’t giving enough to build and maintain the house of the Lord.
Related: The Sixfold Blessing of the Tithe
Dear Father in Heaven, have mercy on us.
The message of the whole book of Haggai is, “Build the Lord’s house before your own, and then you can prosper.” And in these three short chapters, the Lord says HE calls for a drought on everything you do until you get HIS house built.
So this week, we’re going to talk about how to heal from church wounds.
You can heal, and you can heal this week. I’m going to show you how. We’re going to talk about some of the types of wounds inflicted by the church. I’m going to give you sample prayers of forgiveness, healing, and restoration to pray through regarding these things. And we’re going to sit back, rest, and let the wonderful, precious Holy Spirit of God do His thing.
Is the Lord speaking to you through this message today? Are you ready to heal from damage inflicted by the church? If so, please leave a comment below. I love hearing from you!
By “church” does that include the Catholic Church Jamie? I have tried other churches and I never feel connected to God in them. I miss the way I felt connected to God in a Catholic Church but after their paganistic history and the worldwide sexual abuse epidemic I can’t go back. I stopped into a Catholic Church yesterday and felt so so sad because I always believed in the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Eaucharist but I cannot participate in a almost demonic church history and looking at a priest and the rituals make me wonder what to believe. I cannot find a church that feels like a safe, sanctuary when I attend unless it’s a Catholic Church and I can’t in good conscience go there now either. I’ve been praying for 2.5 years for God’s direction but so far I have not found a church I can say that I could go to and be connected to God. I appreciate the word of prophecy but now I only feel worse.
Hi Gina. I would encourage you to ask the Lord two questions:
“Lord, why do I feel connected to You in a Catholic Church more than I do in a Protestant church?”
“Lord, why don’t I feel connected to You in a Protestant church?”
And see where His Holy Spirit takes you from there.
Thank you Jamie! I would appreciate your prayers as I seek His guidance on this important matter.
I am looking forward to receive my healing from the Lord.I need those prayers and if you allow me to share them with others like me.
Thank you Jamie
Man. I am so burnt out from a church I’ve been serving and not had any support from that I’ve dropped it all and I’m just attending the service. I have a 13 month old and my partner and I work opposite 12 hour shifts. I always forget to bring my tithe because my church is old and doesnt seem to do online banking and I never deal with cash anymore. This post just made me feel worse. I cant physically serve my church right now because I’m exhausted. Sleepless nights to throw in as well. Since when did christianity and God require so much from us? I’m.drained. and at the point of no return right now. I need support. Not to add to my to do list.
Hi Lou. I empathize about your baby and no support and no sleep. Been there and done that, and I know how badly it stinks. I’m sorry you’re going through that. But about the church, you asked:
“Since when did Christianity and God require so much from us?”
And the answer is:
Since always. Luke 9:23 says, “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”
Christianity isn’t a bunch of rules and regulations, though. It’s a relationship with Jesus, the One who knows you best and loves you most. And our part of that relationship is loving Him, serving Him, obeying Him, and doing what pleases Him.
Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Anything less is not Christianity.
Hope this helps. Blessings to you. I’ll pray for your little one and you, to receive the help you need and so you can get some sleep. May the Lord shower you with His goodness even today.
How do you move past the hurt when the people you sing with and fellowship with look over you but run to others? How can you have the Spirit of discernment but walk past your fellow saint and now know they are hurting but you know when someone else is? How do I move past the favoritism that is shown in church?
There are several steps. We’re going to be talking about them in this week’s series of blog posts. For now, I will just say, you can heal and move on without their being right–even if they never get right.
Things in the church that are wrong need to be called wrong. The Lord abhors lying, even when it’s saying something is fine when it’s not. But, as I wrote in this blog post, the responsibility for healing is our own. We each have to be willing to take 100% of the responsibility for our own healing, our own actions, and the state of our own heart without pointing the finger at anyone else, even if other people really are wrong. You can’t heal without being willing to do that.
Hope this helps for now. I’ll write more in this week’s blog posts.
The Lord continues to touch and bless me, I can’t contain it.
Now that the matter of wounds of the Church are so clearly articulated and pointed out, I now realise that even I have been hurt and have withdrawn from participating in any activity related to Church. Presently I had committed myself to continue attending Sunday service but that was it.
I now realise the draught in my life has been a clear warning from the Lord to not neglect his House.
From this day on, I declare to recommit myself to actively participate and serve in the house of my father.
Jamie my sister in Christ I cried because this is me your talking about. I got my RN 11 months ago and can’t seem to find a decent Job. I know I heard the voice of the Lord saying that my suffering was over and that I will be blessed but nothing is seem to be working. I realized now that it’s because im neglecting my Church. Yes some people hurt me by not allowing me to be more. Example I give a testimony awhile back and it touched many of the women who was present that day. I also started to sing solo and no one knew that I could sing but it coused a little Jealousy with one of the pastor daughters. Yes because she is in charge of music so silly me did not know she was Jealous and send her a text asking if i could sing some more songs I practiced but she completely blow me off acting like she did not get my text. I asked and she confirmed she got the text but that’s it nothing more. When she sees me she acts like im her enemy. Boy i was mad. Was thinking on quitting that church. But its like God put a hold on my life because of that. Pray for me Jamie because I want to prosper but at the same time I know God works are first. Pray for me please..
Yes. Thank you Jamie for this word. I’m ready to move on from the victim mentality to being a vessel for Jesus. I’m tired of living in this drought one day with hope and the next day in despair. Lead me Lord in the way in which You would have me to go and I will follow You in Spirit and in truth.
Jamie, how can I get healed if the person in the church is the leader, who is also the husband, who has caused confusion through manipulation? Now, I’m isolated and I’ve tried speaking with others not about him directly but asking them to not believe everything they hear because I’m not the person you’ve been told I am. The person’s response was as if she had no idea and that all she heard was to pray for me. I’m trying to do right. There’s so much going on and leaving the marriage and this church are my options. I’m yearning for God to restore me. I have forgiven and I would help any of them at any time but it is hard for me to heal when I’m living in it and going to church in it.
Hi, sweet sister. I am not sure I understand; could you clarify? Are you married to the pastor, and people are saying bad things about you?
Just want to make sure I know what you’re talking about. Feel free to email me directly if you want.
Hi jammie i send my tithies but i never assists to church i was fine but all the sudden i fell this passage i work to much and my money I can’t see it I just have enough for pay rent bills but I can’t afford anything else so this word really hit me thank for the answer
Hi Yadira, usually if you can’t afford to tithe, it’s because of not tithing. Tithing breaks the curse off your money; and if you put obeying God first in the area of the tithe, I’ve never seen Him fail to stretch the remaining 90% and provide all your needs.
You can read about the Sixfold Blessing of the Tithe here if you haven’t already read it.
Which is the best way that I can explain what is going on with me in my spirits or walk and my relationship with God that has involved my church your article has touched my Heart and I would love direction coming from you. We can be so involved at the church at sometimes people miss guided us and they don’t say nothing sometimes because they don’t want to get involved which in fact what they need to do is get involved where there is pain there needs to be direction, I would love to talk to you and I would give a short version so that you could possibly understand the impact of my pain I know I’m not the only one and this is nothing compared to what others have suffered but I need guidness and your article and you have touched me… Is there anyway I could beat you by email or any other method
Hi Jamie, what a fantastic word!! I realise now God has been dealing with me on this issue for many years (coincidentally about the same amount of time I’ve been in a spiritual drought!). For me “church hurt” was very subtle, even hidden. The pain was not connected so much to personal hurts from people but more from a general feeling of being underwhelmed, under challenged and dissatisfied with church. In my mind loving God’s church from a distance was a win for me, a win for God and a win for the church.
Avoiding church meant avoiding associated hurt, pain and suffering that went with attending and serving at the local church and that was a win for me. If I wasn’t getting hurt from church then I wasn’t requiring God’s healing which meant a win for God. And if I wasn’t judging or being critical of the church for not living up to my expectations then that was a win for the church. Everybody was a winner.
But thank God for His droughts!! The drought made me thirsty. The longer the drought went on the thirstier I became. Eventually it highlighted in me a deep (mostly hidden) sorrow and pain in my soul which I believe comes from being separated from God. The world offers many ways to avoid, escape and/or self-medicate this pain, however, they always turn out to be short-term and in many cases lead to more pain. God showed me that one of the ways I was self-medicating this pain was through avoiding my local church and that in the long-term it was causing me more pain.
How I said to God? Over several weeks God showed me that His church was His body and that His body is Holy. If I am serious about honoring God, I must get serious about honoring His body by being part of it. What was even more encouraging was He showed me that without me being grafted into His body His body was not complete (even broken) and unable to function to its fullest.
So for me my spiritual drought taught me (eventually) to be obedient the Holy Spirit. I am fully plugged into my local church, looking at Jesus and free of spiritual pain!
Keep the good words coming!
Hey brother, thanks for sharing that testimony! I’m glad you got right with God AND His house!
Yes Jamie this definitely spoke to me. Have suffered abuse at the hands of multiple pastors and I realise from your post that I need to be healed. Thank you for your awesome work. And yes I totally agree, the Body of Christ needs to address healing of emotional wounds just as much as it does the physical ones.
Looking forward to the prayers this week. Thank you Jamie
Jamie what an awesome Message…You and the Ministry has been such an awesome Blessing to me……Thank you for All that you do for the Body of Christ.U truly are a voice for this generation….Our Generation……Sharing your messages too..Love you from the Bottom of my heart…I pray that 1 day I will get an opportunity to talk to u live..:)
Thank you so much for this. It is so painful to be hurt by the church, the place we feel safe at. My church did took my bible study group away from me. Gave each of my friends a letter to stop going and never gave me a copy of it. I think it was because i trusted in someone with sharing my disability. My heart believes this will help heal all this pain. Thank you thank you for all you do.. Blessings and love to you always.🌷