This devotional is being sent to those who are suffering right now, especially those who are suffering from memories associated with having been abused, physically and/or emotionally. I have not included the word “sexually” here, because sexual abuse is a form of physical and emotional abuse – it is already included in these two forms of abuse. I have also not included the word “spiritually” because all forms of abuse are spiritual in nature, so it is also included by default. We are primarily spirit beings; secondarily we are physical beings (as proof, when we die, our spirit remains but our physical body is done away with – temporarily, until the resurrection, at which time we shall receive new bodies). By the way, before I continue, did you know that there are two different resurrections? The Bible clearly states that there is a resurrection unto eternal life, and there is a resurrection unto eternal damnation. Which side of the fence are you on?
Now concerning dealing with abuse, I also want to encourage you to be “in Christ” otherwise you will not be able to deal with it effectively. Our healer is God – not a nebulous “god” or some new age concoction, but rather the only true God who is Jesus Christ, our Creator. If you confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and have trusted him alone for your salvation, then you have a chance at being healed. Not only do you have a “chance”, you have every right to be healed, because God loves his children and has healing for them. While I humbly confess that emotional healing is not usually a “one time” event, and can indeed take an “awful” long time, I also confess that God wants you healed – totally – so that you can be an effective witness for him. Not to be healed is not a very good witness, don’t you think? After all, who is this “God” whom you serve who can’t heal you? Is that the “God” people should want to serve? No. But by the same token, let us all be very quick not to judge the one who is in the healing process. I repeat, healing can take a long time. As long as you are moving forward, you are doing well.
The healing process may be very extended. One of the great lies of our day, perpetrated by many so-called “preachers” is that you should be healed instantly. I think they “bought” that one the same time they bought their microwave oven. Wanting everything to be done quickly, virtually at the speed of light, they perpetrate a false gospel that says, “Be healed now, in Jesus name!” Now Jesus does heal instantly, there is no doubt about it. But the healing we see in Scripture that is done instantly is physical, and not emotional. Not only this, but not all physical healing is instant, either. But I am not dealing with physical healing in this article, so I will not diverge. However, let me just say this one thing, that many of those that we read about in the pages of Scripture who were instantly healed by God forsook Jesus when the going got rough. This is plain from John 6:66-67 where we read, “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?” Notice how Jesus turns to his twelve disciples. That is essentially all who are left to follow him at that point – thousands have just deserted Jesus because they found his saying too difficult! And many of these he had just healed!
My point is that instant healing that does not lead to discipleship is far less valuable than non-instant healing that leads to a real deepening of your faith. So don’t despise the healing process. I believe that in some cases, perhaps even the majority of cases, that God values the process of healing more than instant healing because it produces better disciples. Does this mean that God should not instantly heal? No! We give God glory when he instantly heals. However, be assured of this, that God is under no obligation to instantly heal, and some, who are instantly healed, may be no better off in the end for having been healed (again, citing the case of those who deserted Jesus, many of whom no doubt had been healed by Jesus, because the text in John 6 clearly infers that). We should not like to be like those in John 6 who deserted Jesus. Rather, we should want to be like Jesus, and if that means a process of healing, we should desire God’s will first, rather than our own desire at simply “being healed”.
Be careful. This does not mean we should suffer from tormenting spirits or suicidal thoughts or feelings of rejection. I am referring to the sanctification process that comes through gradual healing. When there are issues in our lives, such as when we have been abused, there is an outworking that causes “more and more issues” to be continually brought to the forefront of our minds, hearts, and emotions. As God allows these issues to be brought forward, he expects us to deal with them. My point is that your pain may be great. However, God will give you the grace to endure throughout the healing process and will not allow more to be on your plate than you can manage. I really mean this when I say it, so please take it to heart. When we are abused or damaged, what often leads to more pain is simply ignoring God’s voice and not doing what he is telling us to do in order to fix the problem. A case in point might be God has said, “Go to this meeting,” but we brush it off and so miss out. We then suffer – and more so, now – thinking, “My pain is so terrible!” Yet, God has just given you a way out and you ignored it.
Thus, the pain that God allows you to experience, he is allowing you to experience to “point you” in a certain direction. If you then obey his voice, you’ll be healed. But if you ignore his voice, you will suffer. Scripture bears this out in many places. There is then an alleviation of the suffering when we obey his voice. And this alleviation is quite obvious indeed for the pain is suddenly removed and we are “free” to walk again, seemingly unhindered. But there are different issues that God continues to bring to the surface. Ouch! A day passes and another issue seems to surface. “What is it now, God?” you may ask. “I thought I was healed at that meeting!” God’s response may be, “You certainly were blessed at that meeting, and I dealt with the pain associated with one incident, but there are many incidences to go. Here is another one I would like to show you now.” And thus the healing process continues. The person who has been severely abused, or who has not learned to walk by the Spirit on account of bad habits learned as a result of their abuse (or simply as a result of their past), will need to go through quite a number of these “instances” where God deals with them on issues that “still remain”.
Emotional healing from abuse is “one step at a time” and is quite doable if you will but trust God in the process. He loves you, and wants you healed!