When the Hurt Runs Deep: Healing and Hope for Life's Desperate Momentsby Kay Arthur
Where can you turn for hope when the hurt runs deep? At some point in life, every one of us will face the dark pain of heartache and despair, a hurt that pierces so deep we’re left gasping with questions: Why me? Why now? What have I done to deserve this? Will the pain ever go away? How can God just stand by and let this happen? What do I have left to
Where can you turn for hope when the hurt runs deep? At some point in life, every one of us will face the dark pain of heartache and despair, a hurt that pierces so deep we’re left gasping with questions: Why me? Why now? What have I done to deserve this? Will the pain ever go away? How can God just stand by and let this happen? What do I have left to hope for? Speaking from insights she has gained, not only through her own valleys of deep hurt but also from years of study and counseling others through their pain, Kay Arthur points the way toward genuine healing. With candor, grace, and vulnerability, she invites you to join her on a journey toward wholeness as you exchange your fears and frustrations, sorrows and hurts for a hope that will never disappoint.
—Gary Smalley, author of Change Your Heart, Change Your Life
“Kay Arthur’s When the Hurt Runs Deep is a beautiful blend of grace and truth. It’s clear, compassionate, biblically grounded, and Christ-centered. As usual, Kay’s words honor and declare God’s Word, which alone can bear the weight of our trust. I’m happy to recommend this outstanding book.”
—Randy Alcorn, author of If God Is Good and The Goodness of God
“Kay Arthur is no ‘dry land sailor,’ no stranger to deep hurt and pain. In the midst of her own dark seasons and desperate moments, she has mined the Scripture and found rich treasures of healing and hope. This book provides encouragement for those who need assurance that God is near to the brokenhearted, that He hears their cry, and that their journey through pain can truly lead to a place of great blessing, joy, and increased fruitfulness.”
—Nancy Leigh DeMoss, author and radio host of Revive Our Hearts
“You won’t be able to put this remarkable book down! Kay Arthur has crafted an invaluable gift for everyone who is seeking healing and hope in the midst of life’s tormenting windstorms—and that’s all of us. With deep insight and profound reassurance, Kay shows us how to connect our deep pain with the ultimate promise of God’s therapeutic love.”
—Les Parrott, PhD, founder of RealRelationships.com and coauthor of You’re Stronger Than You Think
“Kay Arthur knows about emotional pain first hand, both from her own life and from the scores of people she has counseled over the years. Now she brings her vast knowledge of Scripture to bear on this difficult subject in a compassionate and helpful way. Both people who are hurting and all those who counsel such people will find this book useful.”
—Jerry Bridges, author of Trusting God Even When Life Hurts
“I’m not sure I know of anyone more equipped in God’s Word and life experience to write this incredible book. I’ve had a first-hand look at how Kay Arthur has allowed God’s truth to guide her through life’s deepest hurts. She’s no stranger to unexpected and hurtful circumstances, and—good thing for us—she’s also no stranger to Scripture. Your journey through this remarkable book will equip and encourage you to trust in the Lord no matter what life brings your way. Read and be blessed.”
—Priscilla Shirer, author and Bible teacher
“Kay Arthur understands the heartache and pain that life often brings. But more important, she has tasted the healing and freedom—spiritual freedom—that only intimacy with God can bring. This rich work, When the Hurt Runs Deep, will guide you to your strong anchor of hope when the storms of life threaten to overwhelm you, and you too will find healing and freedom.”
—Dr. Tim Clinton, president of the American Association of Christian Counselors
“How easily we forget that we have a written guarantee in Scripture that we will have tribulation in our lives—not only the cosmic, earth-shaking kind that comes with a 9/11 tragedy, but also the kind that rocks our lives personally when the diagnosis is not good, or the husband walks out, or the job is lost. Yet in the midst of all the turbulence stands the Prince of peace, knowing our pain, feeling our hurt, comforting us in our doubt. Kay Arthur, a woman who loves God’s Word, takes us back to the source of true hope and ultimate healing. Be comforted as you read her words to know that, even when hurt runs deep, He is there with His deeper love.”
—Janet Parshall, nationally syndicated radio host and author
“Kay Arthur is one of the most gifted teachers in the kingdom. This book is filled with wisdom she’s gained from teaching and from her in-depth study of Scripture. What a treasure it contains!”
—Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship and the Colson Center for Christian Worldview
“Kay Arthur is a great friend and an even better human being. Her teaching, speaking, and writing have touched millions globally. When the Hurt Runs Deep is another great investment in the people she loves. This is a profound book because Kay has ‘been there’ and has learned to walk by faith through some very dark valleys. Journey with her as you read these pages, and I can promise you she’ll put your hand in the hand of the One who will bring true healing and hope. This is a great book. Read it and then pass it on to a friend.”
—Dr. Dennis Rainey, president of FamilyLife
“When the Hurt Runs Deep offers healing at the point of your deepest pain and brings hope that one day your suffering will be redeemed in ways you cannot imagine. With wise insights born of personal experience and timeless truth, my friend Kay Arthur offers encouragement and abiding assurance that you are not alone!”
—June Hunt, founder of Hope for the Heart and author of How to Handle Your Emotions
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Read an Excerpt
“It Wasn’t Supposed to Be This Way!”
At some point in life, nearly every one of us finds ourselves pulled under by a tsunami wave of pain, overwhelmed by something large, sudden, and personally devastating.
It can come crashing into our lives in any of a thousand ways.
A phone call from the doctor about a lab report that looks suspicious.
A wooden-faced supervisor who calls you into his office just before lunch and says, “We’re downsizing the company. We have to let you go.”
A brief, cold conversation with your spouse one morning, and then the shocking words: “I’m leaving. I’ve found someone else.”
A late-night knock on your door from a highway-patrol officer. “Your daughter has been in an accident. I’m sorry to tell you this, but she didn’t make it.”
A quick, stricken glance from the obstetrician. “I’m not picking up any heartbeat from the baby.”
At such times heartache and despair rush over us, pulling us down into a place of darkness until we wonder if the light of hope will ever again penetrate our lives.
This is when the hurt runs deep.
As human beings, hurts and wounds, bumps and bruises, disappointments and sorrows come bundled along with our birth certificates.
Every one of us, starting in childhood, had to learn how to deal with the skinned knees, hurt feelings, dashed hopes, and heartbreaking setbacks common to fallen humanity. How well we coped with these difficulties, challenges, and unexpected obstacles determined in large measure what sort of man or woman we’ve become and how we navigate our way through life.
But there are storms…and there are storms.
It’s one thing to get caught in a spring thundershower; it’s another to find yourself in a Category 5 hurricane. It’s one thing to trip over a hose and fall in your backyard; it’s another to fall out of a third-story window. It’s one thing to be rejected for admission to college; it’s another to be betrayed and rejected by the one you love with all your heart. It’s one thing to lose your car keys; it’s another to lose a longed-for baby in a miscarriage. It’s one thing to get knocked off your feet by a surprise ocean wave, when you’re looking in the other direction; it’s another to be swallowed by a tsunami of pain.
Sometimes the pain we experience goes much, much deeper than surface pain. Sometimes the heartache we have to endure pierces deeper than we ever thought possible, utterly overwhelming us.
In my own life…
If you had told me four years ago the events and circumstances that would come crashing down around me in just forty-eight months, I never would have believed you.
I could have never anticipated—or even imagined—such things.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. It didn’t have to be this way!
But now, there’s no denying the backwash of pain and sadness I feel. These aren’t the common, garden-variety wounds that we all encounter in the course of life; this is pain that goes bone deep.
So where do we turn when we find ourselves beyond our own ability to cope? What hope do we have that the pain will ever go away?
I’m thinking of a family, not so very different from many of the families you know.
Neither rich nor poor, they were respected within the community but not especially well known. The dad in the family was a pastor.
The little girl living under that family’s roof was just eight years old on the evening her dad first slipped into her bedroom to do her harm while her mother was out of the house. The sexual abuse that began that night lasted for eight horrible years. The little girl essentially became her dad’s slave, always at hand to satisfy his sexual whims.
Her betrayer was her own father. The pastor.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way! Fathers are supposed to protect and stand up for their little girls, not molest them, not destroy their lives. She was too young at eight to realize how profoundly her dad had betrayed her—along with her mom and the trusting people of the congregation. But it all came to light when she was sixteen.
(Sixteen…isn’t that supposed to be a fun, lighthearted time of life?)
In that year, her mother had an affair with a deacon in the church. And then the whole sad, sordid story about her father’s serial sexual abuse was revealed.
Her father went to prison for having sex with a minor—his own daughter. That prison sentence, just and right though it was, only drove the feelings of shame and guilt deeper into the girl’s heart. Now her father was in prison because of her. And to her disgust, her mother made her socialize with the deacon and his family—as if nothing evil or out of the ordinary had ever happened!
The adults tried to sweep the ugly truth under the rug, but they could not brush away the pain from this sixteen-year-old’s heart. The wounds and scars and unanswered questions have left her bitter and confused. Why, why did this happen to her? And what about God? Where does He fit into all of this? Does He even exist? If so, was He too busy or too indifferent to care…or too impotent to do anything about it?
Had God betrayed her?
Just a week ago, I received the following e-mail, and my heart just broke for this dear woman:
My husband died three years ago…
Then three weeks ago my very strongly Christian, happy-go-lucky, nineteen-year-old son committed suicide. He thought he was going to lose his career when he failed a PT test.
I am in despair and clinging to your studies on spiritual warfare, which I know attacked him, and your study on why bad things happen.
Everyone said he was the strongest Christian they knew, so it is almost impossible to understand.
My only other child is a daughter who is eighteen and very ill.
Why do these things happen? I had it all. We were the perfect Christian family, happy, serving God, loving each other. Now we are left with rubble. Does God care?
This woman’s questions are the ones we all wrestle with at times in our lives: Why us? Why now? Does God care?
Where will she turn for answers, for hope? Where can you and I turn?
I read an article not long ago in Vanity Fair magazine about the family of Bernie Madoff.
Madoff, of course, was the former chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange and the admitted operator of the Ponzi scheme that has been characterized as the largest investment fraud in Wall Street history. In March of 2009, he pleaded guilty to eleven felonies, admitting to turning his wealth-management business into a scheme that defrauded thousands of investors of billions of dollars.
So much for the headlines; what about the real human lives behind the media frenzy? I want to consider, for a moment, the two young men who also carry the name “Madoff”: Mark and Andrew, Bernie’s sons.
Were his sons in on the great swindle that swallowed billions of dollars and devastated countless lives? Did they even know what their father was doing? Maybe, and maybe not. But let’s just say they didn’t know. Can you imagine how absolutely humiliated and betrayed they must have felt to learn the truth? Can you begin to gauge the depth of their pain? Their dad—their own father—had done what?
Bernie’s dramatic confession to his sons on December 10, 2008, would forever alter their lives. Mark was angry; Andrew fell to the floor sobbing. As a consequence, that very afternoon one of those young men picked up the phone and called the Securities and Exchange Commission, setting up an appointment for the next morning.
Can you imagine turning your own father over to the authorities? Maybe you weren’t always pleased with him or wished he were different. But it was still your father. You bore his name, you loved him, and at one time you were very proud of him.
Maybe you can put yourself in this situation all too well. Perhaps you’ve uncovered a devastating family secret that forever changed your relationship with a family member, someone you’d previously trusted and respected.
In 2000, according to one source in the magazine article, the Madoff family was a contented lot. Mark Madoff had said it was fun to go to work and find all his family members there working together.
In eight years, however, they went from contentment to sorrow, from prosperity to utter desolation. With each new revelation of their father’s unethical and criminal behavior, Mark and Andrew’s pain went deeper and deeper.
Take a moment to put yourself in their shoes. These sons claim to have had no part at all in their father’s appalling mismanagement and dishonesty. But how many people will look askance at them for the rest of their lives? Can you imagine being totally innocent yet not have others believe you? Maybe you don’t have to use your imagination; maybe you’ve experienced the injustice of having your own reputation tainted by the actions of someone close to you.
And how would you feel knowing that one of your dad’s clients committed suicide eleven days after your father’s arrest? Before taking an overdose of sleeping pills and slashing his wrists, the distinguished French financier René-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, who had invested $1.4 billion with Madoff, wrote in his suicide note, “If you ruin your friends, your clients, you have to face the consequences.”1 Would Madoff’s sons feel that blood spill onto their own hands, just because they shared the last name of Madoff?
And what would go through your heart when you thought about all the widows, retirees, charities, and hardworking families who’d lost all their savings because of your dad?
Madoff apologized to his victims, saying, “I have left a legacy of shame, as some of my victims have pointed out, to my family and my grandchildren. This is something I will live in for the rest of my life. I’m sorry.”
But what about the grandchildren and generations yet to come who will also carry the name “Madoff”?
Story after story could be told of the deep hurts we endure; particularly agonizing are the horrendous accounts of man’s inhumanity to man.
And so the questions come…for all of us.
Will the pain ever go away?
Is there anything left to hope for? Or is life just about pain?
What do you do, where can you go for help, who can you turn to when the hurt runs deep?
Let’s explore those questions together in the pages that follow.
Meet the Author
Kay Arthur is an international Bible teacher, award-winning author of over one hundred books and Bible studies. She received the National Religious Broadcasters' "Best Television Teaching Program" award in 2009 for her daily TV, radio, and internet program, Precepts For Life, which has a potential audience of over 90 million viewers and listeners. Kay and her husband, Jack, founded Precept Ministries International in 1970 with the goal of establishing people in God's Word. Today Precept Bible studies are in nearly 150 countries and 70 languages.
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Several years ago, my family went through a very dark and trying time of betrayal and pain. Our hurt was so deep that we could not see an end to it. Instead, we just tried to get through one day at a time while we asked God "Why?" So when I saw this new book by Kay Arthur I was very eager to read her thoughts on this subject. I was not disappointed. By looking at the lives of Job and Joseph, we are able to see that other people have been where we are and that God does have a plan for our lives even in the midst of deep pain. The chapter on suicide is one that really stood out to me, addressing how a family can cope with this most horrible of circumstances. Also, the chapter on pulling the plug on our pain and letting it go is very helpful. That is something that I had to deal with personally. Even though it has been several years since I experienced my own time of deep hurt, I got a lot out of this book. In the book, Kay lays out twelve healing truths and expounds on each one: 1. If God has allowed pain in our lives, He has allowed it for a purpose-a good purpose, because he is a good God. 2. Deep and genuine healing will always be tied to an accurate knowledge of God's sovereignty and character. The clearer our understanding of who God is, the more profound our healing will be. 3. Because God is love, and because God rules over all, everything that comes into our lives is filtered through His sovereign fingers of love. 4. Because God is all-knowing, He know the very source of our deepest pain-and He understands exactly how to touch it, heal it, and use it to bring about your highest good. 5. No hurt is so strong that it can separate you from His love. Your hurt is not intended to drive you from God but to God. 6. Nothing that has ever happened to you has escaped God's notice. You can trust that he will bring to account everyone who has hurt you in His time and in His way. 7. Deep hurt can happen to upright, blameless people; it is not always deserved or earned. 8. When we sin, we will find ourselves facing the consequences. But when we submit to God in repentance and seek His help, we can get through those consequences and step onto the path to hope and healing. 9. Wherever you are, whoever you are, whatever you have done, there is hope because there is God. He is a God of hope; redemption is His business. 10. God's grace is brought to fullness in our lives as we release our hurt and draw on His power in our weakness. 11. Deep, exhausting, unrelenting hurt can bring you to the end of yourself-to complete and total dependence on God-which is the best place you could ever be. 12. Whether your hurts have been caused by someone else's actions or by your own sins and failure, healing begins at the cross-the greatest expression of God's love for you. As she goes on to reveal these truths to us, Kay reminds us that we will have trials but we will not go through them alone. God loves us and He has a plan. We must learn to put our complete trust and faith in Him and let Him be God. Anyone who is hurting for whatever reason needs to read this book. Kay knows what she is talking about and she does not give pat answers to the soul that is hurting. Instead she leads you, step by step, through God's word to see what He has to say about your pain. I definitely recommend this book for your own personal library. I also recommend that you get extra copies. You will want to share them with
I recently had the chance to review a copy of Kay Authur's book When the Hurt Runs Deep through "Blogging for Books" and WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers, who gives readers free copies of books in return for an honest review on their blog, whether good or bad. I got this book, honestly, because it felt like one of those necessary books that everyone needs to have, read, and meditate on. All of us will face loss, through the literal death of someone we love, or through the loss of a job, family, dream, etc.... and every one of us can benefit from knowing how to take those overwhelming loses, give them back to God, and learn to react in a way that is both God honoring and beneficial to ourselves. The most important I saw in this book is that God wants us not to hurt. He desires our wholeness, but knows apart from Himself, it can't happen. Kay Auther, whom I loved long before this book was in my hands has such a way with expressing herself and getting out exactly what needs to be said at the perfect time, and doing so in such a way that you understand it completely. She gives you tangible, practical, step-by-step guidance on how to react and learn from some of lives hardest hitting blows. Maybe you were raised not knowing that it's OK to feel anger after experiencing a loss- but it is! She also mentions things like, not being alone more than you have to, not reliving what happened needlessly, playing worship music, making your house as bright as possible, etc... things we know in our heads are probably a good thing, but make more sense when their written down in by someone in list form. Every part of this book was good, but I have to say, by far, the most meaningful to me was the section of suicide. I have never, ever read anything about how a Christian is suppose to react after someone they know or love choosing to end their own life- and have actually been confused about it in the past. She answered a lot of questions that I had. And, immediately, she even goes on to write in detail about how to overcome the guilt and other feelings that come with loss through abortion... also very eyeopening. Like I said, this is one of those books that everyone needs to read- and it would also be, I assume, a wonderful gift for someone experiencing loss.
Reviewed by Joy H. for Readers Favorite Why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this? How can God actually let this happen to me? Will the pain ever go away? Have you ever asked yourself these questions? I know I have done so many times during my life. Kay Arthur answers these questions and many more in her book "When the Hurt Runs Deep." Just a few chapters for a teaser are: It Wasn't Supposed to Be This Way; You Don't Suffer Along; and Is There Purpose in Your Pain and A Time for Anger? You will be amazed at the awesome information in this book on pain and hurt. One thing I appreciate about Kay Authur's books is that she lets her readers know that she is not exempt from the deep hurt she teaches others about. In this book, Kay very honestly tells of her devastating divorce, leaving her with two small boys and wanting desperately for someone to love her unconditionally. She allows the reader to see her pain, the way she feels about God at the time, and the mistakes she made in trying to find that unconditional love. Knowing that the author has faced the things she teaches about makes the study more enjoyable and believable. She has been where you are now, and can help you get through your difficult time through her books and studies. I have been through many of Kay Authur's books and studies in small groups and Sunday school classes and they are awesome. I look forward to using this book in a study as well. I highly recommend this book for your individual Bible study or studies for small groups or Sunday school classes. I assure you, Kay Authur is one you will grow to love, respect and adore, if you don't already!
Kay Aurthur is a well respected author with many biblically sound books under her belt. This book is about life's deep hurts, pain, and suffering, and how to work through these life changing events with God and a sound knowledge of his character and the Bible and why He allows these things to happen in our lives. Kay uses her life experiences, along with numerous examples from other people's lives to show that everyone at some point will experience a deep hurt (in which she explains that God uses these experiences for good and growth). Each chapeter in the book is rooted in God's word and each topic is thouroughly studied along with scripture. Chapters such as "It wasn't supposed to be that way", "God's answer to our "why"?" and "Will the hurt every go away?" touch on every subject related to pain and suffering. I don't think I would give this to someone who has JUST experieced trauma or a deep hurt because it seems more geared toward someone who is ready and on the path to process the painful experience and move forward toward healing. This book had some great points and was a good book, although a seasoned Christian may find it a little repetetive and may not benefit as much as a newer unseasoned Christian. This book also has a study guide in the back for leading a bible study centered around the book, which would be a fantastic tool for a small group leader. I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Christian author, Kay Arthur, takes a solid look at pain and suffering and how God would have us deal with it. She includes in-depth studies into the lives of several Bible leaders including Job and Joseph. This book was such an encouragement to me and is now full of my underlinings, bookmarks, comments, and even short prayers I wrote as I was reading it. It's definitely one of the best books I've read on this topic, including answering the question, "why does God allow suffering," and one I will be recommending highly to others, including you! It's definitely an excellent resource for all of us in the Sandwich Generation whose family either is, or will be, going through trials of all kinds, as well as deep sorrow - including the grief of hospice or hospitalization, followed by death.
I'd also like to recommend "When God Stopped Keeping Score" by R.A. Clark. It's revealing look at the power of forgiveness. If you ever felt trapped by anger, guilt, resentment and/or pain, then this book is for you.
Into every life some rain must fall, and we all will have or have already experienced pain. I found that Kay Arthur has had her share of storms too. This makes her capable to advising how to cope. Using the Bible, Arthur talks about a variety of hurts. I especially found her discussion of suicide quite informative when helping loved ones cope with the deep hurt of this loss. A Study Guide and Meditation Journal are included. Thank you to Laura Tucker at WaterBrook Press for my copy.
There have been many different pains in my life that I thought I would never heal from. I have asked God on numerous occasions, "Why God? Why have these things happened to me?" I have been angry with God, and ran from Him because of the pain and heartbreak that I suffered. Thankfully, the Lord was patient with me and waited on me to return to Him. When I did, He embraced me with open arms and a heart full of love. I wish when I was going through the process of healing many years ago, I had read Kay Arthur's book, When the Hurt Runs Deep. In her book, Kay brings to the table the fruits of life that many people eat.death, abuse, suicide, etc., and all the emotions and hopelessness that are served as side dishes. Kay gets right down to the heart of the questions that many people have when they are served these slices of life."Why?" "When the hurt runs deep, is there anything that can heal the pain?" As she confronts some of these tough issues, she also serves a plateful of truth that is God's Word. With each subject, she lays out stories of the lives of people in the bible that have suffered through some pretty heartbreaking situations. She tells of the triumph they gained through seeking God's face and gives tangible ways that people today can gain the same victory. Kay covers twelve "Healing Truths" that will help you in the process of healing When the Hurt Runs Deep. At the end of the book, you can find a study guide that will help you get to the heart of the issues you face, and find the heart of God within those issues. If you have faced heartache in your life that you have not been able to overcome, I highly recommend this book! Kay's words will bring a heaping full of truth, healing, and comfort as you journey through the process of healing from the hurts that run deep. I have received this complimentary book from WaterBrook Multnomah, through the blogging for books program. The views and opinions are my own.
I picked this book up with great hope, both because I wanted it to speak to some personal situations and also because I had a friend I thought about loaning it to because she has suffered a deep hurt. It started out well, with the author sharing some of her personal story at the beginning, but after the first chapter, I began to feel as though I was being bludgeoned with a sermon rather than being offered practical help in dealing with deep hurts. It is obvious that Ms. Arthur's theology and mine have taken divergent paths. Her focus is on complete submission to the will of God-which it is possible to find in the Bible, a book she sees as inerrant and basically dictated by God. I find that perspective to be less than helpful and, in some situations, having the potential to be harmful to both the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of individuals. She does acknowledge that there may be times when someone needs to leave an abusive situation, but that awareness is only lightly touched on. Her primary focus is on staying in difficult situations, trusting in God to heal them. There is little mention of the help that counselors can give in dealing with deep hurts. In fact, the occasional times they were mentioned, it was to indicate that specific counselors in specific situations hadn't even opened a Bible during the counseling process. While I believe that the Bible can provide comfort and help, I think that depending on the Bible to find answers is a misuse of the scriptures. As I read, I felt that each chapter basically said the same thing: (1) You may find yourself in a difficult situation where you have been hurt deeply. (2) God can heal that situation if you trust in God. (3) You can find God's answers in the Bible, the actual words of God. (4) Submission to God's will is the answer. There were occasional nuggets of insight and information that I found helpful, but I did not find them worth wading through what I felt was an aggressive sermon that blamed all the world's ills on an innate human sinfulness based on a literal reading of the Bible. I'm glad that I did not purchase this book, but that it was provided free of charge from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for this review.