WebDef: Post Traumatic Growth

Post Traumatic Growth /post tramatik groTH/ – Noun: The process of emotional, psychological or spiritual development that occurs in response to distressing or disturbing experience.

The Bible is filled with references to trauma, and very human reactions to this trauma. Many times, the result was great spiritual growth. This is why Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, writes, "we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." (Romans 5:3-4). All these fruits can be seen as post-traumatic growth.

Consider a few of the Bible's examples of spiritual survivors, and you'll likely find one that resonates for you, and brings you hope:

  • Ruth, who lost her husband, remained loyal to her mother-in-law, had to glean in the fields, and ended up married to the owner of that field, Boaz, with whom she had a son named Obed, grandfather to King David, in the lineage of Christ. (Ruth)
  • King David, who sinned against God (2 Sam 11, 12), and lost his son, but grew beyond that transgression and moved forward to great heights.
  • Jonah, who ran away from his assignment and was swallowed by a whale, then brought the news of God's wrath to the people of Nineveh. When they repented and God relented, God responded to his fury by growing a broad leafed tree where he slept, to cool him. (Jonah 4)
  • Job, who was blameless and upright, was tested, but never cursed God. Eventually, God reminded Job that there are things beyond his understanding. After this growth, he was blessed twice as much as he had been previously. (Job)

What are WebDefs?

WebDefs – simple definitions of key terms relating to ministry and healing arts – are a regular feature of NHM Ministrants. Offered (where applicable) in conjunction with select key scriptural passages and analysis, WebDefs can be a useful starting place for exploring a topic of interest.

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