We received a request from a pastor regarding how to teach about the subject of PTSD. Here was our response:
First, thank you for your support; we thank God for you!
Second, regarding PTSD, Setting Captives Free does not yet offer a course specific to this; however, the Scriptures are replete with stories of Christians who navigated severe traumas and found refuge, healing, comfort and strength in Christ. Trauma is to be expected in this life (Job 14:1).
Consider the disciples who were beaten and threatened for preaching in the name of Christ (Acts 5) and in the end, “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.”
And also Paul who details all his sufferings in 2 Corinthians 11, but concludes, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10
The way we Christians work through trauma in this life is to constantly keep the greater trauma that Christ endured on His cross ever before our eyes as Hebrews 12:1-3 instructs, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Keeping our eyes on Jesus encourages our hearts and strengthens us in body, mind and spirit because at the cross we are assured that we are loved beyond measure (Eph 3:18), we know that we are not alone and never will be (Heb 13:15), we know that whatever we face in this life is temporary and working for us an eternal glory that outweighs the troubles of this life (2 Cor 4:17). Our fears are displaced by Christ’s perfect love (1 John 4:18). As 1 Peter 2:24 tells us, it is by the wounds of Christ Jesus on the cross that we are healed from our traumas (past, present and future).
When our hearts are overwhelmed, we run to Christ Jesus our Rock who is greater than our hearts (Psalm 61:2), and He comforts us in all our troubles (2 Corinthians 1:3-5) so that we may go on to comfort others with the comfort we receive in Christ.
We hope this is a help to you. We are praying for you.