Healing from Abusive Behavior – Part 1

Abuse, even a one-time moment of rage that used abuse as punishment or an attempt to control the victim, robs us of our innocence and makes us feel powerless over our own life.

It drives us into a codependent role – attempting to please others to keep them from abusing us. The problem with this faulty thinking is that it often has the opposite effect.

People tend to continue to abuse our good nature, take us for granted and treat us with contempt. A lack of appreciation and more verbal, mental and physical abuse may follow.

We strive throughout our life to lay down our life in hopes that someone will love us; but we actually teach them that it is okay to take advantage of us, because we constantly put our needs last.

Trauma does not always make us stronger. It may also make us a ball of nerves, fear and insecurity. We are actually weaker, because we are always on the defensive.

We may develop PTSD, much like any survivor of a battle zone, and react to life with this fractured thinking and behavior. Medication may be necessary to help us to remain calm and lucid until God heals us.

Journaling helps us to heal by allowing our Inner Parent to understand the deep wounds we experienced and to nurture our Inner Child as we turn our words into a prayer for God’s healing.

Prayer:
Father God, I pray for victims of abuse of every type. Give them the deep comfort that can only come from Your love. Restore to them their joy in life and remove from them the fears and insecurities, which plague their life. Redeem their heart and mind and give them a new outlook on life.

Teach them that although people may not be trustworthy, You are always trustworthy. Help us to remain vulnerable and kind, yet wary and wise (Matthew 10:16). Show us the balance between serving others without teaching them to take us for granted by always putting our needs last.

Thought for the Day:
God’s perfect goodness and love find expression in the midst of wickedness and degradation; because He experiences every slight right along with us and carries our pain and burden for us, if we will relinquish it to Him.

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Our Futile Self-Life

Our Futile Self-Life

In our finite existence, we experience many areas of life, which are extremely painful and almost impossible to survive. However, with God, all things are possible (Luke 18:27). So, when God dwells in us, we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37), and we can accomplish whatever He calls us to do (Ephesians 2:10). Outside of His anointing, we are powerless and our efforts are futile (John 15:5). We reap no lasting value from all of our earnest, but frantic works for God.

In truth, God does not expect us to succeed apart from Him. As Paul declares, we often concede to sin when we actually want to walk in holiness. We cannot even achieve many of the spiritual goals we set for our self (Romans 7:15-24). There is no shame in this. The shame comes when we persist in living for God from our own self-efforts. We continually fall short, and we live in disgrace and depression because of our failures.

Our attitudes influence our body, soul and spirit. Criticism, gossip, self-pity, depression, anger and bitterness all strongly impact our soul, which in turn affects our body and spirit. Once we realize the futility of attempting holiness on our own, we can sigh in relief and stop disparaging and demeaning our character or someone else’s failings (Proverbs 15:4, 18:21). Living a holy life is impossible for us, but more than possible for Christ in us (Colossians 1:27).

Our part is to guard our body, soul and spirit and to live in surrender to God’s will (Proverbs 4:23; Proverbs 3:5-6). As we meditate on God’s precepts and guard what we focus on, we will mirror His Word and delight in His Truth (Psalm 119:15-16). We are all lost and undone on our own, but Christ is victorious in and through us. When we come to the end of our self-efforts and completely surrender to God’s Spirit and Lordship, then God can actually use us for His glory.

Prayer:
Father God, we know that Your power is manifest only in our helplessness. As we daily surrender to Your will, You conquer our self-life and fleshly carnality. We are in Your care and You live out Your will in our surrendered life. We are strengthened by Your might in our inner core (Ephesians 3:14-21). Holiness and consecration bring revival in us and in Your church, so help us to deepen our union with You in all things.

Thought for the Day:
It is only as we realize our utter human hopelessness, and depend entirely on God, that He can use us for His glory.

The Benefits of Believing

Anger previously ruled our life, and rose up from the disappointments we experience from our conception, and which intensified throughout the years. Some have a more violent past than others, but we all suffered from deprivation, violence, permissiveness and/or wickedness in one form or another. Salvation through Jesus Christ eliminates much of our anger. Christ frees and heals the pain of our past and gives us courage to face the future.

The second asset we receive with salvation is the blanket of peace, which defies human explanation and envelops every fiber of our being (Philippians 4:7). We suddenly realize that we are not alone (Hebrews 13:5). We have no need to struggle through life any longer. Rather than seeing life as full of hopelessness, we see that all things are now possible, because Christ lives in us (Luke 18:27). In our exhaustion, we yoke up with Jesus and find fulfilling rest (Matthew 11:28:390; Hebrews 4:10).

Jealousy and envy no longer rot our bones (Proverbs 14:40), because we realize that God does not love another person better than He loves me. He loves us all enough to go to Calvary’s cross and bear the penalty of our shameful sins. Problems only arise when we compare our life to someone else’s and focus on what we do not have, rather than to live in gratitude for what we do have. God works all things, even bad things, out for the ultimate good (Romans 8:28; John 3:16, 3:34).

We are filled with God’s Spirit (Romans 8:9). We are able to accomplish the works God created for us to do (Ephesians 2:10), because we can do anything now that Christ abides within us (Philippians 4:13, 19). When we feel defeated, His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 91:15). God works in and through us as we walk in His Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25). We are still powerless alone, but Christ in us is infinitely able. We are now more than conquerors and nothing separates us from His love (2 Corinthians 9:8; Romans 8:37-39).

Prayer:
Father God, You are our Everything (Psalms 23 & 91). There is not a hair on our head that grows in or falls out, which You do not see (Matthew 10:30). You give us wisdom to face the challenges of life (1 Corinthians 1:30), and You walk within us every step of the way (Hebrews 13:5). Each day, we acknowledge You and You direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). When life worries or frustrates us, we can cast every care on Your shoulders, because You care for us infinitely more than we even care about our self (1 Peter 5:7).

Thought for the Day:
When I feel like I can no longer face the challenges of life, I realize that the King of Kings forgives me and provides me with love, power and a calm mind, which allows me to obey His will. – 1 John 1:9, Romans 8:1-2, 2 Timothy 1:7