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Reaching Your World Archive

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Series: Luis Palau | Reaching out to a Hurting Friend

This week on “Reaching your World,” Luis Palau speaks with great understanding of how we can reach out to our hurting friends. How can we support, encourage, and share Christ with people who are suffering?  

All you Need is (true) Love Friday, August 14, 2020

There’s a lot of different kinds of love in the world: there’s sexual love, married love, teenage love, a father’s love, a mother’s love, and platonic love for our friends and neighbors. But there is a love greater than all other loves and once you know this love, all other loves begin to fall into place.

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians chapter 13, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, it always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never ends.”

What all of us are looking for, even when we fall in love with another person, we’re really, without realizing it, looking for God’s love in our soul. Ultimate love is this: In John 15, Jesus says, “No one has a greater love than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” And then Paul reminds us that even while we were sinners, God showed us His love for us in that Christ died for us.
Jesus gave His life to love you. And He died voluntarily knowing your story. The cross is the greatest demonstration that God loves you.

Remember this today. The way Jesus loves you is the ultimate display of true love.               

This is Andrew Palau.

What to Say to a Hurting Friend - 4 Thursday, August 13, 2020

There always will be a few insensitive individuals who glibly quote Scripture at random and have an answer for every instance of life. That said, you and I must not overlook the fact that in times of stress and difficulty, nothing, absolutely nothing, takes the place of holy Scripture.

When I am feeling weak and discouraged, I look for someone with a light of hope in their eyes. I long for someone to reach out to me and encourage me.
 The Scriptures give us hope, not only for the present, but also for eternity. If the ultimate fear—death—becomes a reality, God has promised me heaven. I am sure of that. This is not a pat answer to avoid in counseling. It is the truth from which we find answers, the ultimate reality in a world which sometimes makes no sense.

When I called a friend who lost his mother earlier that day, I had my Bible open to Psalm 46 and, with my friend’s permission, read it to him. I never have known anyone to refuse. And by the way, it was one of my mother’s favorite Bible passages that she quoted over and over throughout her life.
 Psalm 46 begins by saying, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Wow! What could be better to share with a hurting friend today?

This is Luis Palau.

What to Say to a Hurting Friend - 3 Wednesday, August 12, 2020

After my wife Pat’s breast cancer surgery, a friend came to visit her in the hospital. The friend was a new believer with little Christian background. As she sat beside Pat’s hospital bed, though, she just happened to speak for God when she said, “I think that you’re going to have to let some of your friends carry your pain for you.”

My wife found great comfort in her friend’s desire to help carry Pat’s pain. Had this friend experienced cancer surgery? No. Nor did she have a doctorate degree in counseling. Yet she comforted my wife with one simple sentence of hope.

During my own battle with cancer thousands of people have communicated with me. A number have quoted Jeremiah 29:11 to me: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

I’m blessed whenever I read this verse. I’ve never thought, “Surely they could come up with a more original verse!” On the contrary, this verse gives me a sense of strength that this is indeed a word from God to me. Both my wife Pat and I have always appreciated Jeremiah 29:11, and I encourage you to use it in your sphere of influence.

Ask God to speak through you today to a hurting friend.       

This is Luis Palau.

What to Say to a Hurting Friend - 2 Tuesday, August 11, 2020

When a friend of yours needs comforting, don’t draw back with uncertainty, thinking you haven’t the experience or the right words to say. Comforting and encouraging our brothers and sisters in the Lord is not an assignment reserved only for some “expert” or salaried staff person. It is the duty and privilege of everyone who knows, loves, and follows Jesus Christ.

The longer I live, the more grateful I am for the efforts people have made to comfort me during my prolonged struggle with lung cancer. How could I ever forget those who have reached out to me, when from their standpoint, comforting me was the last thing they wanted to do that day? Those friends will always be dear to me because they did reach out. They weren’t afraid of making a “mistake.” Some of them had deep, insightful things to say and responded with thoughtful actions. I love them!

When Jesus comforted His dear friend Martha after her brother Lazarus had died, Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life,” John 11:25. What a rock-solid promise from the lips of our Lord and Savior.

Again, Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life,” [John 11:25]. Who do you know who needs to hear it? Go and comfort them.

This is Luis Palau.

What to Say to a Hurting Friend - 1 Monday, August 10, 2020

The other day I heard a Christian describe how a mutual friend had made several “mistakes” while trying to comfort them during a time of difficulty. They complained that the friend offered advice, solutions, and even dared to quote Scripture, which bothered them.

When I first was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer a couple of years ago, many friends, family, and even strangers reached out to me. What if, instead, they all had avoided me for fear of making a “mistake”?

Today we are not only discouraged from reaching out for fear that we may make a “mistake,” but we are practically disqualified from doing so unless we have walked the same road of divorce, death, cancer, abuse, alcoholism, or even financial bankruptcy.

Am I wrong in attempting to comfort my abandoned friend because I have not experienced the same kind of abandonment by my own wife? Is this the best we can find—the commiserating of those traveling the same path? I think not.

Instead, let’s visit, call, and write. Encourage, counsel, comfort. And when we do, let’s quote verses like 2 Corinthians 1:3, where the apostle Paul praises “the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our afflictions.” That God, our God, wants nothing more than to be your friend’s comfort and solace today. 

This is Luis Palau.

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