Bible Teaches People About Trauma
“It is no secret that the Bible speaks powerfully to trauma. It has done so for thousands of years. One reason is that the Old and New Testaments were written down by traumatized people, both ancient Israelites and early followers of Jesus […] God works through the traumatized [….] This Israel, however, is not a helpless victim, but God’s chosen people [….] Suffering is no stranger to Christians. It is the Christian path [….] The Bible frames the survival of Israel’s ancestors and the church as the result of God’s choosing them for a greater future. Survival, then, is not random, but has a purpose. This affirmation of God’s purpose for individuals on the other side of trauma fails, of course, to explain why others did not survive. ” Quote from David M. Carr, 5 Lessons The Bible Teaches Us About Trauma
Response: Suffering happens to everyone. You are not alone. Any traumatic events can be a chance for growth or a change to defeat your self-confidence. Trauma does not exist if you don’t give it a damn. You might be betrayed or bullied by someone, but nobody can hurt you for a lifetime only if you are wiling to be the victim. Do not label yourself a victim. BTW, self-blaming is destructive. Don’t do this. Further, traumatic events can be as an invisible opportunity/ I have witnessed it. No change, no growth. Traumatic events are a seemingly necessary opportunity for spiritual self-transformation.
“The Bible’s stories are forged out of murder (Gn 4), rape (Gn 34), dismemberment (Jgs 19; 1 Sam 18), kidnapping and forced marriages (Jgs 21), forced migration and infanticide (Ps 137), slavery (Ex 21; Lv 25; Dt 15), genocide (Jos 1-12), cannibalism (2 Kgs 6-7), political corruption (1-2 Kgs) and social desolation (the Prophets). The metanarrative of salvation history is laced with loss [….] The net result is that large numbers of devout, Bible-reading, church-going believers have not been given the opportunity to dwell with Scripture where many moments of Scripture dwell: trauma […] To adhere to a canon of Scripture, as Christianity does, means adhering to all of it, not just the parts that are easier to understand or that fit into our preferred theologies. In the spirit of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who argued against “cheap grace,” readers of the Bible should not be seduced by the temptation toward reading “cheap Scripture.”.”-Quote from Corinna Guerrero, Encountering trauma in the Bible
“Those who develop PTSD have persistent symptoms for more than one month. Other symptoms for PTSD sufferers include intrusive re-experience of the trauma such as through recurrent, involuntary memories, nightmares, or dissociation [ ….] negative changes in thoughts or behavior, including an inability to recall details related to the trauma, persistent negative beliefs about oneself or the world, loss of interest, feelings of alienation, or inability to express positive emotions; and changes in arousal or reactivity such as irritability, aggression, hypervigilance, reckless behavior, or sleep disturbances [….] and not everyone responds in similar ways to similar situations. It is unclear why some develop PTSD and others do not. […] PTSD can develop years later […] Many times Christian combat veterans are more deeply aware of their sinful state than are other Christians. They may feel unworthy of God’s love due to the things military service requires of them […] They may also have persistent flashbacks of the gruesome realities of war as well as consistently feel on high-alert from months of living in life-threatening situations […] the most important support is God, our ultimate Healer and Counselor [ ….] It is our responsibility to exercise faith in God [….]But those with “survivor’s guilt” can remember the truth of God’s sovereignty and that He has a purpose for everyone’s life […] His purpose for each person is unique.” Quote from What does the Bible say about PTSD?
Guidance from the Bible
1 Peter 5:7 ESV
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Response: Pray for God when you are suffering from worries, troubles or anxieties. And it does help.
Isaiah 41:10 ESV
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Response: Fear not. Everything might be arranged by God. The troubles can be a reminder or gift if you are willing to take it as a life challenge.
Psalm 34:4 ESV
I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
Matthew 11:28-30 ESV
Come to me [….] and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls..”
Psalm 23:1-6 ESV
A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. …
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
1 Peter 1:3-9 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. …
Proverbs 1:33 ESV
But whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”
Isaiah 61:1-8 ESV
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks; foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers …
Isaiah 51:12-15 ESV
“I, I am he who comforts you; who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, of the son of man who is made like grass, and have forgotten the Lord, your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, and you fear continually all the day because of the wrath of the oppressor, when he sets himself to destroy? And where is the wrath of the oppressor? He who is bowed down shall speedily be released; he shall not die and go down to the pit, neither shall his bread be lacking. I am the Lord your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the Lord of hosts is his name.
James 5:16 ESV
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Lamentations 3:21-24 ESV
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
Psalm 91:1-2 ESV
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Isaiah 54:10 ESV
For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
Psalm 145:18-19 ESV
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.
Zechariah 2:8 ESV
For thus said the Lord of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye
Romans 12:9-16 ESV
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Luke 23:34 ESV
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
Lamentations 3:1-24 ESV
I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath; he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light; surely against me he turns his hand again and again the whole day long. He has made my flesh and my skin waste away; he has broken my bones; he has besieged and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation.
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
2 Corinthians 11:20 ESV
For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face.
Psalm 34:18-19 ESV
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Proverbs 18:14 ESV
A man’s spirit will endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?
Galatians 6:12-13 ESV
It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.
Proverbs 29:25 ESV
The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.