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The Treatment for Trauma is Jesus: Three Effective Steps to Move Forward

I recently listened to Tim Timberlake speak at the Breakthrough Conference on the Spiritual Applications of Trauma. It was a short, yet profound presentation. I love how he took such a deep topic and gave the best treatment option available for trauma, which is Jesus.

Trauma, it comes in different shapes and sizes and none of it good. It is complex and leaves one with a devastating mix of emotions, such as shock, denial, and pain that can lead to anxiety and depression. Furthermore, according to research, nearly 70% of the population in the United States has experienced at least one traumatic event in their lifetime.

Trauma is "an event that has damaged the soul." (Timberlake at the Breakthrough conference) The question is, have you allowed your faith to shape your trauma or has your trauma shaped your faith? Timberlake says that, "if we are not careful we will allow our trauma to shape our faith." The trauma we experience is something we have no control over, however we can choose how we will respond to the trauma.

Timberlake goes on to give these simple, yet very meaningful applications to help us navigate trauma. "First, we must accept help from God and the support from others."

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

1.       How has God comforted you in your difficult seasons?

2.       How have you been comforted by others when you are going through hard times?

3.       Have you found yourself able to encourage others, even in the midst of your suffering?

I facilitated a grief support group not too long ago. Although it was difficult to see everyone hurting, it was also

possible that in the middle of that pain, people were able to surround each other with encouragement and comfort knowing that they were all grieving. They were not alone in their adversity.

"Second, focus on what is true, not what you feel." Trust in God.

God is with us through our trials and tribulations. Timberlake emphasizes we repeat: "Trauma is not my fault. Trauma is not my identity. Trauma is not my future." You are a child of God! There is power in knowing that God is with us and we are overcomers in His name.

"We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God." 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 NLT

Trauma can be defined as an event or experience that exceed one's capacity to cope with the event. It's overwhelmingly emotional and has a lasting effect on the mind.

One trauma I have experienced in my life was when my parents divorced. It's a place I could not have overcome if I didn't have God in my life. There would be no hope for me. I was only 16 when my parents separated. The effects of the divorce, however, were long lasting. Even though I forgave, it took years for me to feel God's peace over the trauma of my parent's divorce. At the time, I didn't know how to ask for God's peace, though I knew He was always with me. God brought me through it.

1.       Have you experienced trauma in your life?

2.       How were you able to focus on God?

3.       Were you able to experience God's peace?

"Third, don't waste your energy on revenge." We need to learn to forgive so that we can live free from the prison of unforgiveness.

"Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back, says the Lord." Romans 12:19 NLT

Revenge will consume you. Forgiveness is for your healing. Forgiveness will set you free. "You deserve to be free from the prison of trauma." (Timberlake at Breakthrough conference) For God gives us the peace that surpasses all understanding.

"Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:8 NLT

"Pour out whatever you may be going through at the feet of Jesus." (Timberlake at Breakthrough conference)

When I experience difficult seasons in my life, I pray and ask God to give me His strength. Strength I do not have when I feel like life is too much for me to even breath. The tears may fall, my soul may ache, but I take comfort in knowing I can turn to God. He is my hope, the one I trust.

"You will lift up your face; you will stand firm and without fear. You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid." Job 11:15-19

1.       Is there anyone you need to forgive?

2.       When have you experienced God's peace in your life?

3.       How is your life brighter today with God at your side?

Fortunately, there is hope. Jesus is our healer.


Notes from Tim Timberlake at Breakthrough: Global Day of Hope 2023 - Spiritual Applications of Trauma


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