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What Does The Bible Say About Trauma

Third Jesus Encourages Us To Live Bravely In The Face Of Violence

What Does the Bible Say About Mental Health and Trauma?

Jesus clearly taught that the world is a sinful and violent place. But he challenged his followers not to live in fear and trepidation: Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul . He also said: I have told you all this so that you may find peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but be brave: I have conquered the world .

I think we must all ask ourselves: what is this bravery of which Jesus spoke? The kind of bravery that Christians working in dangerous parts of the world exercise every day. How can we take this to heart so that we do not live our lives cowering?

Generational Trauma In The 21st Century

The 21st century is an outstanding example of generational trauma. We can label the trauma we face today generational or historical trauma.

The race issues we face go back hundreds of years. Slavery ended in 1865, yet African Americans are still suffering the trauma associated with it. Veterans who have fought for our nation have returned to their homes with a PTSD diagnosis. The trauma of war has affected not only the way these soldiers live their lives but how they treat their families.

The cycle of drug, child, and domestic abuse is prevalent today. Children are stuck in this cycle because it is all they know. They are carrying the trauma of their parents and grandparents. Our children are experiencing consequences of events they have not been party too.

What Does The Bible Say About Family Betrayal

The good news is, God has already provided the solution for you!

But before we get to that, you need to know that the Bible is the most honest book in the world because the author is truth Himself.

This Bible is filled with stories of family betrayal.

Starting in Genesis, Adam failed to protect his wife from the cunning serpent and their actions plunged all of mankind into sin and death.

That was just the beginning.

Cain killed his brother Abel.

Abraham lied and his wife was taken into the harems of foreign kings.

Jacob deceived his father and stole his brothers blessing.

Josephs brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt.

Those are just a few examples from the first book of the Bible about being betrayed by someone you love.

The life story of David is filled with the drama of traumatic events involving betrayal by a family member.

After being hunted down like an animal by King Saul, David finally reigned as king of Israel. While there was a moment of peace in the kingdom, there was no peace in David’s family.

David’s son, Amnon, raped David’s daughter, Tamar.

In an act of revenge, David’s other son, Absalom, murdered Amnon.

Later, Absalom started a revolt in an attempt to take the kingdom from his Father, King David, but it resulted in his own death.

The Old Testament is filled with one story after another of betrayal.

Betrayal in close relationships is truly the only kind there is!

I’m sure you are desperate to to know how to get over betrayal by family.

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How Can Christian Counseling Help

For Christians experiencing C-PTSD, a Christian counselor with experience of treating complex PTSD can allow for the combination of secular psychological therapy and biblical insights. Although not necessarily speeding up recovery, involving God in the healing journey can bring a significant amount of comfort to someone struggling with C-PTSD.

Christian counseling can be especially effective when past abuse has left a person feeling that theres no one who can understand the depth of their pain. Bringing Jesus into the midst of the sessions can serve as a reminder that He does understand and He longs to help His children be set free from the shackles of their trauma.


The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this article are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please contact one of our counselors for further information.

Does The Bible Convey A Solution To Generational Trauma

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The words of Exodus 34:6-7 are a stark contrast to the words we find in Ezekiel 18:20. This verse says The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son

Why the contrast? To understand the contrast, we must remember that the words from Exodus portray a picture of God. Those words tell us He is slow to anger, has abounding love and faithfulness, and forgives those who sin against Him. The loving God of Exodus knows that sin is handed down from generation to generation because we see and experience it from our ancestors.

The words of Ezekiel are encouraging to us because they tell us we serve a God who doesnt want to punish us or generations that follow for the sins of others. He wants to deliver abounding love to us. He wants to bless us richly and abundantly. Ezekiel is reminding us that we can break the cycle of sin in our lives.

Generational trauma is a vicious cycle that can be contributed to one sinful action. John Piper said, Sin is like a contagious disease. My children dont suffer because I have it. They catch it from me and then suffer because they have. That one sinful action can explode and gain control in our lives before we realize it.

Satan is cunning as we saw in the Garden of Eden.

We read the solution given by the Scriptures in Colossians 1:13-14: “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

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What Does Complex Ptsd Look Like

Although the exact presentation of C-PTSD symptoms can vary from person to person, there are some common features that most people will experience:

  • Fearfulness
  • Hopelessness
  • Insomnia

People with complex PTSD may be crippled by feelings of shame and despair, may hold false beliefs about what happened to them such as believing it was their fault because they were bad and distorted perceptions about themselves. Self-destructive behaviors and emotional dysregulation are also very common.

Psychological Trauma: What Was Intended For Evil God Can Use For Good

We live in a fallen world where terrible things happen. Many people can experience psychological trauma from such events. However, trials and tribulations are guaranteed on this side of heaven for all of us. Even innocent children and good people will experience them. Think about Jesus. He was perfect and yet He endured some highly traumatic experiences.

Trauma is a distressing, painful, or shocking experience that causes harmful psychological, physiological, or spiritual effects. We commonly think of trauma as extreme situations such as wartime violence, sexual violations, or other life-threatening situations like natural disasters or motor vehicle accidents.

The mind that experiences a trauma determines whether it will be traumatic or not. A young, immature mind is more likely to be traumatized than an older person. This is due to limited understanding and experience, and inadequate skills for processing a difficult event.

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So What Does The Bible Say About Violence

One does not get far in the biblical narrative to find the first heinous act of violence. In the second generation of humanity one brother spills the blood of another. Cain murders Abel, for a reason that comes right from the heartjealousy. The pattern is set. Something simple like jealousy left unchecked, left to grow and deepen and intensify, leads to acting out in violence. God had warned Cain: Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it. This is really an amazing statement. Jealously leads to anger, and that sin is predatory, crouching at the door, looking to possess Cain. Violence, in other words, is often the tipping point after resentment turns to rage. What can be done about violence? God told Cain he had better master the pathology of his soul. He did not, and blood was spilled.

Gods responds to Cain: your brothers blood cries to me from the ground. And so does the blood of many today.

Lesson number one: violence is the result of a pathology of the soul. Violence does not begin with standing armies, generational ethnic hatred, longstanding social inequities. Violence is as close to us as our own hearts.

A bit later in Genesis a profound principle is laid down regarding the moral wrongness of violence:

  • not everything that happened in Old Testament times was condoned by God;
  • Does The Bible Prioritize Some Groups Over Others

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    In the Old Testament, the Israelites were Gods chosen people. Through Abrahams lineage, God established a new nation. A nation that God protected and guided. The Jewish people were given laws and commands that, as Gods people, they were instructed to obey for their own good. They were invited to follow God not only in action, but also in heart by having faith in a God that loved them and took care of them as a father.

    The Israelites were Gods chosen people, but Gods love and care was extended to every nation. God doesnt prefer one ethnicity or nation over another. For instance, God instructed Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach repentance so that the people there would be saved from destruction. There are also instances of converts in the Old Testament, those who were not Jewish who chose to follow God, such as Ruth or Zipporah.

    There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus .

    God has always had open arms to the whole world. In Pauls writing to the church of Galatia, we are challenged to consider how Jesus unites all of us as brothers and sisters, regardless of ethnicity or nation. God breathes life into every human being and everyone is fearfully and wonderfully made.

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    Is Generational Trauma Found In The Bible

    I believe we can give an emphatic yes to this question. We find one of the most quoted verses in scripture in Exodus 34:6-7.

    And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding love and faithfulness, maintaining in love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.

    Christians know that because of the sins of the Israelites brought out of Egypt, only generations later were they allowed to enter the Promised Land.

    Lets break this down for better understanding. First, the context of the verse is important to consider. We are at a place in the story of Israel where Moses is carving out the second set of stones for God to write on since he broke the first ones. While Moses was on the mountain, the Israelites built a golden calf and worshipped it.

    These two verses in Exodus also allude to God punishing the Israelite children of future generations because of the sinful actions of their parents. God does this by not allowing the people who saw the signs and wonders He gave into the Promised Land.

    We know that the Israelites traveled 40 years in the desert. In that time, an entire generation had lived and died. The children of that generation had also heard the stories and experienced the wanderings.

    Bible Verses About Counseling

    Christian counseling is only using Gods Word to counsel others and has nothing to do with psychological counseling. Biblical counseling is used to teach, encourage, rebuke, and guide to help with issues in life. Counselors should instruct others to take their trust and mind off of the world and put them back on Christ. Scripture continually tells us to renew our minds.

    Many times the cause of our problems is that we stop focusing on Christ and become distracted by everything around us. We must allow Christ to be our main focus.

    We must set a time every day that we are alone with Him. We must allow God to change our minds and help us think more like Christ.

    As Christians were to counsel others and listen to wise counsel so we can all grow in Christ. The Holy Spirit who lives in us will help us in guidance and learning Gods Word.


    • The church has been so seduced by psychological counseling for so long that anything that seems at odds with the current counseling practices is usually considered a consequence of ignorance. ;T.A. McMahon
    • Preaching is personal counseling on a group basis. ;Harry Emerson Fosdick

    What does the Bible say?

    1. Proverbs 11:14 A nation falls through a lack of guidance, but victory comes through the counsel of many.

    2. Proverbs 15:22 Plans fail without advice, but with many counselors they are confirmed.

    3. Proverbs 13:10 Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

    Counsel from God.


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    Sexual Assault Is Sin Against People

    It is clear in the Bible that sexual assault is a sin against another person involving a physical, psychological, and emotionally violation. Marie Fortune describes sexual assault four different ways:

  • It is a bodily sin. Sexual assault is a violation of bodily boundaries and distorts ones sense of body image.
  • It is a sin against relationship, violating the command to love ones neighbor as oneself.
  • It is a sin betraying trust and destroying relationships between victims and those who should have cared for them but instead caused them harm. The consequence of this sin is that it can create barriers of distrust between victims in their future relationships.
  • It is a sin not only against the victims but the community surrounding that victim.
  • The Kingdom Of God In The Present Does Not Promise Protection Of Bodies

    What Does The Bible Say About Sexual Trauma? (Mental ...

    Try reading Psalm 121 aloud among those who have survived genocide or been raped repeatedly by soldiers. The Lord will keep you from all harm. Really? You lost 70 family members? Where was your protection? Our theology of Gods care must take into consideration that God does not eliminate disaster for those he loves. Recall again the trauma wrought on those God chose to be his remnant. They were the ones ripped from families and enslaved by the Babylonians.

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    How Can The Bible Bring Hope

    Finding comfort in the pages of the Bible has helped many people with C-PTSD cope with flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts and general fears. Bible verses that remind one of the strength and comfort that can be found in God are particularly helpful. These types of Bible verses remind us that no matter what we face, God is with us at all times and we can trust in His everlasting love.

    Look To Jesus When Facing Trauma

    Trauma destroys in such profound ways that the notion that Jesus can help sometimes feels empty. It is important to be specific about what Jesus does. Jesus can help us face trauma by offering three key elements: compassion, comfort, and solidarity.

    Jesus Offers Compassion

    In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus invites the weary-souled to come to Him. We read,

    Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

    In this text, we see the compassion of our Lord. He understands that trauma is an unbearable burden, that it is heavy. Trauma carries with it cognitive, emotional, social, physiological, and even spiritual weight. Jesus is not naive or blind to the damage done by trauma, and He nowhere suggests that it is an illusion or sin to carry this weight. Instead, He invites sufferers to come.

    He invites them to rest. This is the elusive desire of the soul in the midst of traumatic memories. Victims of trauma live with internal pains. Sleepthe one thing that should give a respite from the paincan itself become an absolute terror. Here, Jesus holds out hope that rest is still possible.

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    Does The Bible Mention Race Or Racism

    From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands .

    Scripture clarifies that there is one human race. God created humanity in His image. Yet we learn from the Bible that there are many different nations and ethnicities. These are some of the most mentioned nations in the Bible:

    Coping Strategies For C

    Trauma in the Bible, Part 1 (Genesis 3)

    Living with C-PTSD can be challenging. The emotional intensity that accompanies the disorder can feel totally overwhelming, so its no wonder that C-PTSD sufferers often struggle to cope with everyday life. Learning coping strategies is essential and there are a number of effective strategies that people with C-PTSD may find helpful.

    These include:

    • Wrapping up in a soft, warm blanket

    Balancing techniques:

    • Reaching out to a therapist
    • Cognitive-behavioral thought management

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