Finding Healing Through God’s Medicine
About the Guest
Where do you turn when you’re in pain? Kay Arthur, founder of Precept Ministries, has good news for those who are grieving, broken, or disappointed; healing is available through Jesus Christ. Kay encourages listeners to get acquainted with the God who loves them by studying and meditating on His Word.
Where do you turn when you’re in pain?
Finding Healing Through God’s Medicine
Kay: So, when I’m going through any hurt, I need to remember that God is sovereign, that what I’m going through is temporal. It is under the promise that all mighty, omnipotent, omniscient, etcetera… God is going to take that and He is going to weave it and mold it together for my good, and His glory to make me more like Jesus. So that when I die and I’m absent from this body and I stand before the Lord, I’m not ashamed.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Monday, March 14th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife Dennis Rainey, and I’m Bob Lepine. Kay Arthur joins us today to help us understand what God is up to when hurt runs deep.
Welcome to FamilyLife Today; thanks for joining us. I have brought my concordance with me today.
Bob: I was telling a friend of mine recently, if you’re going to have any kind of a conversation with Kay Arthur, you need to have a concordance with you. Because, it doesn’t matter what you start talking about, scripture will come out pretty quickly. You know?
Dennis: I do.
Bob: You say, “How is the weather today?” and she’ll say, “It’s the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Kay: No, that’s out of context.
Kay: That refers to the crucifixion anyway.
Bob: Ok, I’m done. I’m done.
Dennis: Point made there, Bob. Our audience is hearing something a bit unusual about our broadcast today, Bob.
Bob: That’s right
Dennis: We have a live studio audience. In fact, in 18 years of doing broadcast have we ever had a guest that caused us to have to move out of the studio and hold this in an athletic stadium?
Bob: This is like a promise keepers for women.
Dennis: It is. Kay Arthur joins us on FamilyLife Today. Kay, welcome back and thanks for your friends that you’ve brought along here.
Kay: I am so proud of them. Because, they are hungering and thirsting after righteousness and they know where to get it, and that is by going to God’s word and discovering truth for themselves through the inductive method. So, I’m proud of them.
Dennis: Well, we’ve got a good audience here, and you’ll be hearing from them a little bit later on, undoubtedly. Kay hosts her own radio program, Precepts for Life, she’s written over a hundred books and Bible studies for adults and children.
Bob: That makes you a slacker doesn’t it?
Dennis: It does. I’m lazy. She is loved by millions across the country, but on the front row is my wife Barbara who loves Kay Arthur, and my daughter Ashley, who both are big cheerleaders for Precept Ministries, so I welcome them to the broadcast too; even though we’re not going to give them a microphone right away.
Kay, you’ve written a book When the Hurt Runs Deep, and I was reflecting back as I was digging through your book, of how I started life, and how simplistic I was in my thinking. I was naïve, not really anticipating that life’s got some mountaintops, but it has some deep, dark valleys.
Kay: I think I’ve never seen the hurt run deeper in the United States of America, than it’s running now. This is why I’m so thankful for FamilyLife, because I think it goes back to the family to the roles, to the fact that we’ve abandoned God’s principles and precepts.
You know we ate of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and we think we know it all, and we think we’re smarter than God. So, the pain is almost, in a sense, incomprehensible. We know that our brothers and sisters are being martyred overseas. We’ve had one that’s been beheaded, another one that’s been shot. I don’t mean to sound lightly. It’s a quick pain that puts you in the presence of God. But, what about the pain that you suffer that is not torture, but tortures your soul, and you keep living? How do you live? How do you handle life when the hurt runs deep?
People say, “Is my life going to be ruined?” Am I going to forever be distorted as a human being because of what was done to me by whomever? Or what was said about me. I really believe with all my being that there really is healing. He sent His word and healed them and delivered them from all their distresses.
Dennis: You begin your book with a story of a little girl who grew up in a pastor’s home. Certainly, not all of our listeners are going to be able to identify with what happened to this little girl. But, evil does—not only exist but—it preys upon individuals, upon marriages, upon families today and this little girl was an illustration of what you’re talking about.
Kay: Right. She was sexually abused by her father, who was a pastor. I think it’s one out of four women that are sexually abused, and then there’s a whole host of men that are sexually abused, but they haven’t said it. I have someone very close to me and I never knew it, but he was molested also.
Bob: Of course, the question comes up when that happens. Here is a helpless child who is unable to, maybe even know what’s being done to him or her, so we ask, “Where is God in the midst of that?”
Bob: I read one pastor who says, “Well, God doesn’t know those things are going to happen. Or, God is somehow not able…” You understand the dilemma that comes up in our heart and mind when we ask, “How could a good God sanction or allow this to happen in the life of a child?”
Kay: I think one of the problems in Christendom today is that we don’t know our God. Daniel 11: 32b says “The people who know their God will be able to stand firm and take action.” We don’t know Him because we don’t know the Old Testament. That’s where God introduces Himself. From the very beginning, He establishes His first breath. “Because, the Word of God are the words of God that came out of His mouth. They’re not of man’s devising,” as 2 Peter says.
From His very first breath he tells us, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” All the way through the Old Testament, He’s going to turn to Israel over and over again and say, like in Jeremiah 32, “Behold I am the Lord, the creator of the heavens and the earth. Is anything too difficult for me?”
So, what I do is I go back and I begin to build my knowledge of God. Let’s just jump to Isaiah where He says, “I am the Lord and there is no other. I create good and I create adversity. I Am the Lord who does all these things.” So if I know he creates adversity, I go back—I should have picked up Deuteronomy first—He says, “I am the Lord, I wound, I heal, I kill, I make alive.” Oh! You wound? What kind of a God are you if you wound? So we don’t have the whole picture of God.
Jack and I have been through things that we never in our wildest dreams dreamed that we would go through. I’ve shared some of them, but I can’t share all of them. It’s nothing between Jack and myself as a husband and wife, because we are devoted to the Lord, and because we are devoted to the Lord, we are devoted to one another.
But, the thing is that when you look at these situations and this man saying “God didn’t know.” Good grief! If God didn’t know, I’m in trouble.
Dennis: Well, hopelessness abounds.
Kay: Yes, hopelessness abounds, God got blindsided by man whom He created…
Dennis: And, He’s not ultimately God.
Kay: And He’s not ultimately God. But if I understand that what this life is, it is an introduction to eternity. It is a time when God is shaping me, molding me, conforming me to the image of His Son. And Jesus, although He was a son, Hebrews tells us, learned obedience through the things which He suffered.
See, in our mind we can’t think of suffering as redemptive. In fact, a lot of the teaching in Christianity, which distresses me, is more therapeutic than it is redemptive. We just want our problems solved. “Just give me a band-aid, if you have to, do surgery. But please do it under a good anesthetic.”
But we don’t see that suffering is really what makes us… So many people have said to me, “…but I wouldn’t have traded what I’m going through for anything” because of what they learned about God.
Dennis: You know, Kay the older I get, the more I realize that the circumstances that God allows in my life, and Barbara’s life, and our family, it seems as though He is weaning us from life here.
Dennis: Creating within us the hope for the perfect and the place where there will be no tears.
Kay: Exactly! While we look, not at the things that are seen, because they are temporal, so when I’m going through any hurt, I need to remember that God is sovereign, that what I’m going through is temporal, that it is under the promise that all-mighty, omnipotent, omniscient, etcetera, God is going to take that and He is going to weave it and mold it together for my good, and His glory to make me more like Jesus so that when I die, and I’m absent from this body, and I stand before the Lord, I’m not ashamed.
I’m not ashamed. And, I hear His “Well done.” Because this temporal thing is producing an eternal weight of glory. We think life ends with death, it begins. Because we’re going to come back down here. We’re going to live on the face of this earth. We’re going to rule and reign with Jesus Christ according to our faithfulness. According to what I did with the talents and the gifts that God gave me.
Like you say, I want to remember that this is temporal. What we do in When the Hurt Runs Deep, is show you the sovereignty of God. We look at the character of God, but then we look at, “What do I do?” I think there are so many Christians that are in the hospital when they need to check out and get on the mission field, so to speak.
In other words, they’re sitting in the hospital, and they just want to be waited on, and they just want their pills, they just want their numbing, their food served to them. They want to stay in a hospital and everybody come and visit. Bring flowers, and bring sympathy. It’s time to get well, and get out and get about the Lord’s business.
Dennis: Well, here’s the deal, you’re never going to get well till you get to Heaven. So, if you’re waiting in the hospital to get well, before you get on the field and get in the battle, you’re going to be waiting for eternity. That’s not why God made us. He made us so that even in our broken state, we can be a reflection of who He is, and His love. The gospel and what he came to do and redeem people.
It’s one of the reasons why, Kay, I’m really excited about one of the things we’re doing here at FamilyLife which is putting tools in the hands of couples who can make a difference in their community. It’s back to what you’re talking about here. A person who is redeemed by God has been given a message and mission to make a difference where they live. If they don’t make a difference where they live, as a country, we’re going to fall apart; we’re going to lose our Christian witness.
Kay: Exactly. They’ve been given the message, they’ve been given a mission, and they’ve been commissioned. They are commissioned; we are all commissioned by Jesus to make disciples; baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Introducing them, identifying them with Jesus, and teaching them to observe all things that he has commanded us. So, what you’re doing at FamilyLife is, you are taking the situation of marriage, which is the foundation for society, and then you’re giving them the tools.
But they can’t just get their own marriage to what it ought to be. They are commissioned by God to take these truths, because what you’re teaching them is biblical principles and precepts that do not change, that say in marriage, “This may not be all that I want it to be, but I have made a covenant before God. I have made a marriage covenant. And I am to keep that covenant.” And God is the one that superintends and becomes the administrator of all covenants.
Bob: OK, let me take you back though to the person who says, “I hear you say I need to just get out of the hospital. But, I’m dying, I’m in such pain, my soul is in such anguish, that I’ve got to rest, I’ve got to heal. Yes I want to get out of the hospital, but I can’t function.”
Kay: So then, will you take your medicine? If you want to rest, if you want to heal, will you take your medicine? If you take your medicine, will you believe that it is what God has prescribed and will heal you?
Bob: What medicine are you saying?
Kay: Whatever medicine God says. This is the medicine, the Bible is the medicine. So, will you take your medicine, will you stop and will you study God’s word? Will you get face to face with God? Precept Ministries has been raised up to teach people to establish them in the word, to teach them how to discover truth for themselves, so that it’s not secondhand knowledge. So, I know that I know what God said.
Then, will you believe Him? I have a chapter in here on pulling the plug on pain. There is a time when God has said it, God has done it, now are you going to believe it? In Hebrews 3 and 4, he talks about the rest of faith. He talks about how the children of Israel didn’t get their blessings because they did not enter into the land—couldn’t enter into the land because they wouldn’t believe God.
So, I call the “rest of faith.” Here is the word of God on one hand, and in the other hand is the situation you’re in, the pain, whatever you’re in. So what is the rest of faith? The rest of faith is taking the Word of God and applying it to that situation and saying, I’m going to live accordingly, no matter what.
When my son called me—because I was going over to take care of his wife and help them around the house. He called me, and I said, “Are you alright?”
He said, “Not really.”
I said, “What’s wrong?”
He said, “I think Leslie is dead.”
For the rest of my life, I could weep and live in the pain and the anguish of my son who loved—they had such a good, good marriage—that she is dead, he is left and they have two grown sons and an adopted daughter. I could let my mind go there, I could go to the night before, I could go to what we were going to do, I could say, why didn’t we do this sooner? Why this? Why that? Why? But none of that would cure the situation.
None of that would bring Leslie back. None of that would ever change. It is done, it is past. He wounds, he heals, he kills, he makes alive. He took her breath from her, and she’s with the Lord, and she would not come back. But, I’ve got to move on. How do I do that? Lord this is who You are, this is what You say. Now I’m going to take this situation, I’m going to put your word to it and I’m going to move on.
I’m not going to collapse in a heap, I’m not going to give up, I’m not going to be angry with God. I’m not going to raise my human, puny fists in the face of God and say, “What are you doing?” “What doest thou?” Because we don’t say to Him, “What doest thou?” He says in Daniel 4 that He does according to His will and the army of Heaven among the inhabitants of the earth, none can stay his hand, and none can say, “What are you doing?”
He’s God. His dominion is forever and ever. So all I have to assume is, He is God, and I am man. He’s eternal, I’m temporal, and so I’m going to believe Him. It is courage. Courage is grabbing a hold of God who’s already got a hold of you, who promises you that He’s going to do whatever you need and it’s getting a hold of Him and not letting go. That’s what courage is.
Bob: So, to the woman—we’ll go all the way back to where we started.
Kay: And the man.
Bob: The woman and the man who would say to you, “Yes, I was sexually abused from the time I was three until I was twelve. The scars of that have been on my soul, they have debilitated me. I’m 40 years old now; I still live with the memory of that. It’s still painful. I still can’t function the way I think I ought to because of that.” What would you tell them to do?
Kay: You know, in the back of this book in the appendix, there are a few practical helps. In those few practical helps, I take them right through and show them. One of the things I do is I take this woman who has written me on Facebook and says, “Is there ever going to be any healing?” I show her, yes there will be healing. But we want healing without taking our medicine. We want to get in shape without doing our exercise. We want to lose weight without eating properly.
We want these things, but we don’t want to pay the price. That’s why I am so passionate, that’s why at age 77 I am not stopping, and I don’t intend to stop until God stops me some way or another. And I pray He just takes me home with a grand and glorious heart attack on a platform with thousands. But anyway…
Kay: So we can give an invitation.
Dennis: But we don’t get to choose that.
Kay: No, we don’t get to choose that. So, I’m going to be faithful and persevere, because we’ve got to know God.
Dennis: To that point, in your book you have 12 truths that bring healing and hope to the person who is going through a difficult time. Healing truth number two, you’ve just talked all about it today. “Deep and genuine healing will always be tied to an accurate knowledge of God’s sovereignty and character.
Dennis: The clearer our understanding of who God is, the more profound our healing will be. I know because I’ve been through your book Kay. You’re not saying there isn’t a process to grief that a person doesn’t go through; you’re saying don’t let the loss, the hurt that has been done to you, the evil that’s been perpetrated upon you, define you and limit you with your life. Instead go to the scriptures. Find out who God is. Find out how He addresses broken people who’ve had evil done to them. Bring hope and healing as you take your medicine, and as you apply it to you life.
Bob: Well, and I think for many people, this is just something we need to be reminded of. They know what the scriptures say, they know it, they know it’s true, but in the midst of the pain, you need somebody to come alongside and say, “Remember who God is. Refresh yourself with what is true, and trust in it.” Kay, in this book, that’s where you point us. Back to the character of God, and back to His goodness, and where we can rely.
I hope our listeners will contact us to get a copy of Kay Arthur’s new book When the Hurt Runs Deep: Healing and Hope for Life’s Desperate Moments. We’ve got the book in our FamilyLife Todayresource center. You can go online to request a copy at FamilyLifeToday.com, again the website is FamilyLifeToday.com. Or call toll free, 800-FL-TODAY. That’s 800, F as in “family”, L as in “life”, and then the word “TODAY” when you contact us we’ll let you know how you can get a copy of Kay’s book sent to you.
Now, not long ago, Barbara Rainey was speaking to a group of women, a message that she titled “Three Essentials for Every Married Woman” pointing these women back to what’s the core of their responsibility as wives, as moms, and as followers of Christ. We captured her main points on a laminated card that we’re making available to anyone who’d like to have a copy of it. It’s the Three Essentials for Every Married Woman card, and you can call to request a copy. 1-800-FL-TODAY is the number to call. Or go online at FamilyLifeToday.com to request a copy.
If you’re new the ministry, if you don’t know much about FamilyLife, here is a good way to get acquainted. Just call and request the Three Essentials for Every Married Woman card, from Barbara Rainey, and we’re happy to send it out to you. The toll-free number again, 1-800-FL-TODAY, or request it online at FamilyLifeToday.com.
Now, tomorrow we’re going to continue our conversation with Kay Arthur talking about God’s goodness, and God’s sovereignty in the midst of dark days. How do we process that? How do we understand that? I hope you can back with us for that conversation.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We will see you back tomorrow for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.
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