Welcome to Session #7 in our study of “Healing the Hidden Wound.” Again, I’m glad that you’ve chosen to walk the path toward healing and wholeness!

This session has to do with the support that you will need in this journey from being a part of a small group. You may be thinking as you hear this, “Terry, I’ve got a habit I want to get rid of. It’s been a secret. Pornography. I had an abortion. I’m a compulsive liar. Something I’m so ashamed of…” Whatever it is, that’s okay, I understand your shame, but you don’t have to stay there! There’s this thing called grace; grace is God saying “I will cover it, and I will forgive it, and I will forget it, and you’ve got to get on with your life.” You say, “I’d like to get rid of that habit, that compulsion, that addiction, that problem, that anger that I just can’t seem to let go of, but I don’t want anyone else to know about it.”

Good luck! This step is just as important as any of the ones that we’ve already talked about! I don’t know how to say this any clearer: you cannot get well on your own! God wired the universe in such a way that it is necessary that we need each other. It is not through pride that we get well, but through humility. The idea that we don’t want anyone to know—hey! Guess what? Everybody already knows that no one’s perfect! God resists those who are proud, but He gives grace to those who are humble. I want grace; grace is what I need to change, because it has the power to change.

How do you get God’s grace to change? By being humble. That means you admit your issue that needs changed. Did you know that all around you, there are hundreds of people doing all kinds of things; people who struggle with compulsions and addictions; people who are sex addicts; people who are chronic liars, chronic you name it! So what! We’re under the grace of God! You’ve been coming back to this Series, session after session, because you want to grow; but hear me when I tell you that you will only grow if you’re willing to own up to, and be honest what it is that you’re dealing with!

God’s Word tells us, in Ecclesiastes 4, “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated. But two can stand back to back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple braided cord is not easily broken.” That is God’s way of telling us that hidden wounds only get healed with the support of others. You’re never going to get well on your own. The best place is in a small group, preferably one that is part of a local church, the Body of Christ. They can encourage you, and they can support you, and they can spur you on, and they can keep you going when you feel like giving up. We all have things that happen in our lives that seem to just take our breath away; things like unexpected tragedy; illness; loss of a job. When those unforeseen, unexpected things happen in life, you and I need a group who can walk through that kind of stuff with us. There will come a day when we will be called upon to help walk them through stuff that they’re going through! You need a group!

The Apostle Paul says this in 1 Thessalonians 5, “Encourage each other, and strengthen one another.” As I hear that, I believe that he’s not suggesting that to us, but stressing to us that it is vitally important! There will be a day when we all stand before God, and He will ask us questions like, “Who did you strengthen when they were struggling? Who did you encourage when they were down?”

I’m quite sure that whatever community you happen to be a part of, there is a church that offers small groups; you need to find that church, and get in one of their small groups. Perhaps you could even be the person to eventually start one! But find a group, a couples group, or a singles group, a men’s group, a women’s group,--whatever--just show up, and get encouraged, supported, and loved! In the Bible, 1 Peter 3 talks about the church; the writer says, concerning the church, “You should be like one big family, full of sympathy toward each other.” You see, real friends don’t walk out when they find out about your struggle, they walk in to your life, because you need them. That’s what the church family ought to be all about. I’m going to talk about this more in our next session, but I want you to take this much shorter session to heart, and understand that you really, really, really need to be a part of a small group. Here, at Trinity, we are launching our "Connect Group" Ministry; these groups will be what we are calling "free market small groups", which simply means that you can be a part of a Group that just gets together to do whatever you enjoy doing!--but it's a Group that will provide you relationships, encouragement, support, and loving care! If you’re not in one, this is the day that you find out that you need to be! Again, my name is Terry, and I hope that you’ll join me for our next and last segment of this session, “Healing the Hidden Wound.”

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