Disability Intro - Disciples Path Ministry

Disciples Path Ministry
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Impairment caused by a disability affects both the body and the mind. The impairment and resulting disability attacks mainly without warning, but some are self-inflicted. Regardless of the origin, the offense is no less intense on the body, mind, and Spirit. Yet, there remains something that the attack cannot conquer: hope.
The goal of Disciples Path Ministry is to bring hope, help, encouragement, fellowship, and knowledge to those suffering from disabilities. We focus on bringing God’s promise and help to all those suffering from disabilities, as well as their caregivers, friends, and families. We must have an understanding of the impact of a limitation on a person. Also, how different people react to the disability, and how God has called His people to respond. For those of us with a disability, we must allow hope to transform into faith and unquestioning reliance on God.
For our hope to transform into an unquestioning reliance on God requires insights, both into our disability and God’s Word. We, at Disciples Path Ministry, pray we can help equip you with tools to enable you to cultivate an acceptance of the gift of your disability. I hope that as you read and study on, we will come to understand an angry, cynical, hopeless, and fearful outlook on your disability is not necessary. We will show how it can become one of happiness and joy through the love of God.

Who’s Working against You
     1 Peter 5:6-11 (NKJV)
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
For now, this may sound strange and too preachy. However, let’s unpack just what or who is working against you. As an impairment invades, cripples, and sometimes destroys parts of us as it turns into a disability, it cannot touch our soul. We must etch in our mind and heart God is love. The devil is evil. The devil and his demons know to attack us at our weakest points and in our most vulnerable moments. The evil ones know how it benefits them to create anxiety, anguish, physical pain, and fear in us.
The Scripture above should encourage you to stand firm in the faith. In 2 Cor. 12:10, we find that beyond human comprehension, God’s strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor.12:9). God allows us to choose to either stand against the evil or succumb to it. God’s grace gives the ability to stand against the evil in both the physical arena and in the spiritual realm.
What is the Difference between Impairment and Disability?
Generally speaking, an impairment is an actual condition, while a disability is the restriction of ability caused by that condition. Keeping in mind that words can mean different things to different people, we want to add a handicap refers to the way impairment restricts a person’s functioning. Disciples Path Ministry uses words impairment, disability, and handicap. For this study, the word disability will be used as an overall or all-encompassing term unless otherwise noted.
The Impact on Body, Mind, and Spirit
A disability is a deeply personal attack of one’s self. Certain commonalities exist; however, a disability will differ from individual to individual. Those of us with a disability know the uniqueness of our physical and mental state. Suffering from chronic pain is a constant reminder for many of us. It reminds of of our uniqueness.
The Body
Those of us with a physical disability will react uniquely to our disability. There will be some similarities, but no two people with the same disability label are going to respond to it in the same manner. Our challenges are very personal and, as such many times affect our personality traits. Caregivers, friends, and family members often have great difficulty in truly understanding how difficult and deeply personal living with a disability can be, especially if we suffer from chronic pain. For them to be effective in ministering to us, there must be an emotional connection allowing them to react to our unique physical challenges. Not everyone will make this connection, especially those that choose not to be guided by the Wisdom of God’s Word. It takes both people doing the same thing the same way to make this connection bloom.
The Mind
A physical disability will still affect the mind. For many of us, especially if suffering from chronic pain, find the effect relentless. Fear, anxiety, and anger are always at the forefront. Caregivers, friends, and family are usually the first to detect this state of mind.
The combination of the physical and mental state trigger other disturbing and unhealthy issues. Sleeplessness, lowered immune system, digestive disorders, weight gain or weight loss, loss of appetite, mood disorders, bowel disorders, as well as possible heart disease, just to mention a few, can result from the additional stress. The mind can directly impact the health of the body. We encourage everyone to cultivate a happier and more peaceful state of mind through Christ Jesus. This study will prayerfully help you on the journey.
The Spirit
It is not uncommon for those of us with a disability to feel alone in our struggle. Unfortunately, too many of us find the battle is not day to day but a moment to moment. The struggle is especially real for those of us experiencing chronic pain. Our hope rests in the Spirit. The Spirit gives us guidance to God, the Giver, the Great Physician, and the Creator of all life.
What is the goal of Disciples Path Ministry?
What is the focus of Disciples Path Ministry?
What is the difference between impairment, disability, and handicapped?
What does 1 Peter 5:6-11 mean to you?
Who does a disability impact? How?
What does 2 Cor. 12:10 mean to you?
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