Trauma manifests in various forms for different people. Bad experiences can affect us in different ways, impacting us emotionally, physically, financially, and beyond. The trauma that we suffer as a consequence of these experiences can often leave us distraught and hopeless. Such a state requires a source of comfort and peace that we can always turn to.
What Exactly Is Trauma?
Trauma, in psychological terms, refers to an emotional or psychological response to a distressing event or series of life events. Such events can potentially overwhelm an individual’s ability to cope with distress.
Trauma can result from various traumatic experiences that are emotionally painful, distressing, or life-threatening. The extent of trauma is not just about the event itself but also about the one’s emotional response to it. This response can be particularly intense and distressing for some.
Trauma can be a result of numerous situations, including:
- Natural disasters: Such as earthquakes, hurricanes, or floods
- Accidents: Car accidents, falls, or any severe physical injury
- Violence: Physical or sexual assault, abuse (emotional, physical, or sexual), or witnessing violent events
- Loss or grief: Death of a loved one or separation from them
- Combat or war: Experiences during military service or as first responders during traumatic events
- Medical trauma: Severe illnesses, surgeries, or medical emergencies
Everyone’s ability to respond to trauma differs significantly. Some trauma survivors might experience immediate symptoms following the traumatic event. At the same time, others develop symptoms weeks, months, or even years later.
This response can manifest as various emotional, physical, and behavioral responses.
These include increased levels of anxiety, panic attacks, depression, irritability, emotional numbness, difficulty sleeping, and difficulty concentrating.
Role Of the Bible In Helping Individuals Deal With Trauma
A psalm of David.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
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.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
In these moments of distress, everyone has their own way of coping. People tend to turn towards coping mechanisms that make it easier for them to deal with their trauma. For some, it might be support groups or therapy. For some people, one such way of trauma care is finding solace and strength in God’s word.
The Bible can serve as a guiding light through the darkest of times. It gives you something to turn to when you believe all hope is lost.
The beauty of the Bible is that it has something to offer comfort and healing for each type of trauma. So, even if you feel lost in your suffering, the Bible assures you that you’ll always have God’s love to turn to.
Let’s explore what the Bible says about different kinds of trauma:
While emotional trauma leaves no apparent scars on our bodies, it can have a long-lasting effect on our lives and is oftentimes, the most difficult kind of trauma to get over.
Individuals suffering from emotional pain often find themselves alone and hopeless. But for those who believe, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t leave them alone.
Here’s what the Bible says regarding emotional trauma:
- Lamentations 3:1-24: But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
This verse acknowledges the distress caused by witnessing evil and the emotional weight it carries. It resonates with those who bear emotional scars due to indirect exposure to trauma.
- Psalm 34:4: He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
This verse assures us that seeking the Lord can lead to deliverance from fears and anxiety. It provides solace to emotionally troubled hearts.
- John 14:27 (NIV): “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid.”
In this verse, God promises a different kind of peace than what the world offers. The peace of God transcends worldly understanding and circumstances.
- Isaiah 40:29 (NIV): “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
This verse sums up everything for those suffering from emotional trauma. God promises to be a source of constant strength for those who have nothing else to rely on.
While there are medical solutions to help heal physical trauma, sometimes that isn’t enough. Physical trauma often leaves visible and invisible scars on us, affecting both body and mind.
Those who suffer physical disability as a result of trauma may find themselves in a place of hopelessness that they can’t seem to crawl out of.
Whatever terrible things have happened to you, certain scriptures provide support and hope for those enduring physical suffering. You can turn to these in your recovery process to help you keep going:
- Isaiah 41:10: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Through this verse, God is offering strength and support to his believers. In times of physical adversity, assuring God’s presence and unwavering help can be a ray of hope. Believers can rest assured that even if all else fails, God can help them get back on their feet.
- Lamentations 3:21-24: “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.”
This verse delivers the message that hope emerges from remembering and acknowledging the mercies of the Lord. Submitting to God’s will and relying on his mercy to help our condition gives us the consolation that He won’t let us down. He, the father of all mercies, is sufficient for us.
- James 5:16: “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
This verse highlights the importance of prayer in the face of physical trauma. It renews the belief that calling on the Lord is sometimes the only solution in these tough times.
- Proverbs 18:14: “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?”
This excerpt calls upon us to be resilient and steadfast in our beliefs. Our strength lies in our resolve and strong faith in God. It can help us get through various trials, no matter how tough. He is the God of all comfort, be it physical or otherwise.
In this age, financial challenges and hardships can also be a source of trauma. Most of us might not know this, but scriptures offer reassurance and hope even during times of financial struggle.
If you’re in the process of recovering from a financial loss, these verses might help you:
- Isaiah 40:31: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
These words are meant to encourage those facing financial adversities. The phrase “as eagles” suggests the soaring ability and strength attributed to eagles. It is used as a metaphor to encourage us to rise above our problems, be it financial or otherwise.
- Philippians 4:19 (NIV): “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
This verse assures believers that God will provide for their needs. So, even if you feel there’s no solution to your problems, the Bible assures us that God will help us find our way.
- Joel 2:25 (KJV): “I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.”
This verse speaks of God’s promise to restore what was lost or destroyed. Be it a financial loss or any other form of suffering at this present time.
Spiritual and Psychological Trauma
Trauma affecting the spirit and mind requires healing on a profound level. Those who have a broken spirit or broken heart often find it difficult to return to life.
While professional help should be sought when needed, the Bible can be a profound source of comfort during the healing process.
Here are some verses aimed at those suffering from psychological trauma:
- Psalm 107:13-16: “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and burst their bonds apart. Let them thank the steadfast love of the Lord for his wondrous works to the son of man! For he shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the iron bars.”
From a biblical perspective, the ‘opening of the prison’ in this verse is to be taken figuratively. Oftentimes, psychological trauma can cause us to live in the ‘shackles’ of fear. Turning to God and entrusting him can help us escape this metaphorical prison. Therein, we can find our path to normalcy despite whatever bad things have happened to us.
- Peter 5:7: “Casting all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.”
Anxiety often tricks us into believing that our worries are endless. This verse reminds us that leaving all our matters in God’s hands won’t fail us. He is there for us and won’t disappoint us, even in this broken world.
- Psalm 34:18 (NIV): “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
This verse speaks to God’s nearness and rescue for those deeply distressed spiritually. Even if you feel like you have no one, you have God. Sometimes, that knowledge alone can help you get through hard times with ease.
- 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV): “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
Life can sometimes make you feel at a dead end with no way out. This verse recognizes these struggles and assures the believer that God sees them and is there for them.
- Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV): “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
This verse is pretty self-explanatory. The Lord calls upon everyone who feels overwhelmed to turn to Him. He assures them that He will own them when no one does and provide them with the comfort they need.
Community Support and Healing
When dealing with trauma, a supportive community becomes an anchor for spiritual healing. Churches, Christian support groups, and congregations play a significant role in offering a haven for trauma survivors. It helps provide them with a sense of understanding, support, and guidance in their healing journey.
If you need a deeper understanding of the Bible and what it says, try reading a version that you find easy to understand. You can also find numerous sources online and in your local churches.
You don’t necessarily have to be religious to seek comfort from God’s word. The Bible is there whenever you choose to turn to it. So, if you’re lost and can’t figure it out, try turning to it and see where it takes you.
Embracing Healing and Hope
Amidst the many impacts of trauma, sacred texts act as a beacon of hope and comfort. They provide a testament to God’s love, offering strength, healing, and inner peace to individuals navigating various forms of trauma.
In closing, may these verses serve as guiding lights, providing solace and strength for those enduring diverse forms of trauma, assuring them of God’s constant presence and unconditional love.