I have wanted to write this devotional for a long time. I hope those who have never had to cope with abuse issues in their lives will bear with me and gain something from this week. For several years I have been involved in helping with a website which caters for those who have either been abused or who have been abusive; both are welcome, as long as they are looking For support and healing and there has always been a Christian section to the board, which I have been able to develop for those who find that relevant. For anyone who has suffered emotional or verbal abuse, or who has codependency issues, though the content of the board is not written from a Christian point of view; the information on drirene's site
is very relevant, and read with the Holy Spirit illuminating what is relevant, can be very helpful.
I have also had the privelege of speaking to a fair number women who have started to recover from sexual abuse. Some of these have been so wounded that they have developed a series of personalities to cope with the painful triggers in life. Learning of the difficulties these women have in finding understanding counsel, and healing has been sad to say the least. It is an area that neither the church or the world seems to understand, and rarely are the medical and spiritual aspects of healing combined with understanding. The good news is that although not directly involved, except in prayer, I have seen some of these women change and heal in the name of Jesus.
I wanted to write a devotional that brings the Compassoin of Jesus to the forefront. In seeking healing, many of the women I have talked to, whatever type of abuse (and usually there is an element of them all, involved in some way, have not found that the church has fully understood their situation. Forgiveness and submission are often confused by spiritual counsellors To the extent where the abuse is prolonged, and sometimes supported, sometimes leaving women in very real danger of physical harm, and emotionally fragile.
To any reading who have suffered any kind of abuse; please do get help. Through prayer, you will find the right people to be with you in your journey and the right church to help you through. It is easy to feel so bad that you never ever tell. You are not meant to live with this kind of continued pain in your life, and Jesus wants to heal you very, very much.
As resources will be different in different areas and countries I have not, apart from Dr Irene’s site, included phone mumbers of help lines; but here are some of the resources which helped me on my own road to healing.
I do not want to tell my own story here, this is because I have forgiven those who are still alive and do not want to discredit them publicly. I can tell you that the Lord has done much to heal me particularly of emotional, verbal and spiritual abuse. I see the healing that the Lord brings as a gathering together of the fragments of a shattered glass. Healing comes not just in one clearing up of the larger pieces, but in the finding and clearing of smaller and sharper fragments which can take some time to find and bring to the Lord.
Music can be a very real blessing. Ramy Althea Bakke’s CD ‘Broken to be a Blessing.’ Has brought comfort to many. It can be found at:
As far as books are concerned; then the one that helped me most is written by Reba Rambo Mcguire: It is called ‘Follow the Yellow Brick Road,’ and follows her own journey with the Lord to healing from sexual, and marital abuse. Here is a link to Reba’s first chapter:
Isaiah 53:33-34(Amplified Bible)
He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like One from Whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him.
It is easy to forget that Jesus really did know and experience the depth of suffering that anyone who has been abused, in whatever way, feels. There is nothing at all that we have ever suffered, that Jesus does not know and care about. He knows every little pain and rejection and wound, and because He suffered as he did, there is healing for us in Him.
Very few people get through life without at some time, experiencing pain, and some kind of abuse. It hurts until we can finally lay that pain to rest at the Cross, understanding that Jesus knows every little bit of how we feel.
Although taliking to others about the situation can help, healing only comes when we find the truth of this passage. Jesus has been aquainted with all our sorrows and sufferings more than we can ever know and it is only in Him that we will find someone who truly understands.
Abusive people can steal our self esteem from us, and make us feel worthless. Grief can become like a physical sickness, as often those who abuse are those to whom we would most have wanted to give trust. Jesus felt all this; all the sorrow and pain and He knew there was only one way to gain healing from that pain. He turned always to His Heavenly Father and found His love. To get to know that love we need to talk to Jesus and tell him all about the pain. He is the only one who can not only listen, but also heal.
Mark 3:7-12(Amplified Bible)
7 And Jesus retired with His disciples to the lake, and a great throng from Galilee followed Him. Also from Judea
8 And from Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from about Tyre and Sidon--a vast multitude, hearing all the many things that He was doing, came to Him.
9 And He told His disciples to have a little boat in [constant] readiness for Him because of the crowd, lest they press hard upon Him and crush Him.
10 For He had healed so many that all who had distressing bodily diseases kept falling upon Him and pressing upon Him in order that they might touch Him.
11 And the spirits, the unclean ones, as often as they might see Him, fell down before Him and kept screaming out, You are the Son of God!
12 And He charged them strictly and severely under penalty again and again that they should not make Him known.
What did Jesus do when he was abused? I am sure at this point in time, the crowd had no intention of crushing him; they wanted what he could give too much for that. Jesus was aware that the selfishness of those who sought him might cause them to forget He could be harmed by their very desire to touch him. He had his escape plan ready. He was not going to stay around where he could get hurt. Not yet.
Jesus was at all times, in control of what happened to him. He was going to choose exactly when and where he would allow the full extent of the abuse of man to be shown in all its gory detail. The whole situation never left Jesus' control for a moment. The one thing Jesus never became until he chose that role consciously, and for a purpose, was a victim. Victim mentality is never of God. If we are in Jesus and know our Heavenly Father; then we too have the ability and right to be in control of our situation and it is good and right to do what brings us most peace.
If Jesus could look after his own health and welfare and promote His own safety; then so can we. The time to leave is when you know that you cannot live in peace and when you know that by staying you will not be promoting your own good or that of others.
The demons couldn't help but attack. They, like all abusers, had to have their say. They had to do all they could to torment and disrupt Jesus' life and ministry and all they got for their pains was to be told to "shut up!" He was also prepared to make them suffer for their actions. Jesus didn't waste time trying to convert demons and he didn't waste time trying to help those who did not want help.
Jesus dealt with abuse by turning away and making himself safe from it. If He could do that, then I hope that seeing this truth will help any one who is suffering to feel free to walk away. Many question whether it is God's will to do so. Many are afraid to speak out and many are as a result, living with an oppression that is not of God.
Jesus refused victim mentality. He was never going to give satisfaction to man, or to demons in being cowed under by the power of abuse. He knew his own worth as God's son, and nothing could alter that. He was in control of His own destiny. If we are following Him, then we also can take charge of ours. The only form of control we ever need to accept is that of the Holy Spirit and the will of God for our lives. The will of God is never that we should continue to be abused.
I wonder if there is any person reading who can translate this into action today. "If you hit me I am calling the police." "I am leaving you until I see you have changed your abusive ways." " I am going to make myself physically, emotionally, sexually, and spiritually safe."
John 14:27Ę(Amplified Bible)
27 Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]
Any kind of abuse will bring fear with it. Fear, apart from Godly fear is not of God. We are meant to feel a peace in our hearts.
If situations continue that continually put us 'out of peace' then we are not meant to remain in that situation. Abusive situations can rarely be managed by remaining in peace. Because and abusive person is dominated by the rule of the enemy, satan, and not ruled by God, then an increasing peace in the heart of a believer may well cause them to react more strongly. It becomes an all out battle to destroy Godly peace.
Jesus visited with the ungodly and the abusive; but he did not make his home with him. He always made sure he had a place to return to where there was peace.
Abusive people will find a kind of peace in their abuse, and if they remain able to make someone their victim, then they are likely to justify their actions and not face them. Taking ourselves where we can live in peace can be the very thing that the abuser needs.
If abuse is making you live 'out of the peace of God' then it is time to move away from that situation and trust God that He will work out the changes.
Samuel 13:20 (Amplified Bible)
20 And Absalom her brother said to her, Has your brother Amnon been with you? Be quiet now, my sister. He is your brother; take not this matter to heart. So Tamar dwelt in her brother Absalom's house, a desolate woman.
Matthew 12: 20 (Amplified Bible)
20A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering (dimly burning) wick He will not quench, till He brings [c]justice and a just cause to victory.
Tamar was abused by one of her brothers, Amnon, and yet had to keep living with him in the same house. She needed rescuing, and when she could not stand up for herself, God stepped in. two years later, Amnon lies dead, Absalom, her other brother has ensured that he can no longer violate her, and she is set free from the situation.
There is no need to despair when it seems as if those who abuse us have the upper hand. Jesus is really concerned to bring about healing and restoration, and will not allow the situation to become so impossible we cannot bear it.
If there is difficulty in leaving; to the point where the abused person is held captive, then be encouraged that the Lord is able to sort things out. He knows and he cares for the broken hearted. Even if it seems an impossible situation, God will always make a way through it to allow peace and freedom to the abused person; even if this takes time to achieve.
Put your trust in Him, because He has all things in hand. He will never allow those who abuse and accuse you to get away with it forever. He is concerned for every broken reed.
Anger, bitterness and desolation are all very understandable when those who are abused are broken hearted; but be assurred that Jesus really cares and does not want the situation to carry on. Tamar in telling her brother, may have had to wait for justice, but her openess eventually led to her freedom.
1 Peter 4 (Amplified Bible)
8 Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others].
I want to end this week with forgiveness. Forgiving someone who has literally shattered your heart when you placed your trustI in them is not easy to do. Jesus knows that, and He is ready to help. Often this can only begin by voicing the willingness to go God's way on the matter as an act of will.
Many are afraid of allowing themselves to forgive as they feel it will place them in the position of having to put them in contact with the one who abused them.
Forgiveness and trust are often confused. An abusive person will, unless what they do is dealt with truly and fully at the Cross, repeat the action. Jesus went to the cross once and for all. He did not have to repeat going through that same ordeal. It was done and finished. He forgave on that cross, but it did not alter the plan of God for salvation. The forgivenes is there for all who will receive it and follow Jesus; but it does not alter the fact that some still choose to walk a path that will lead them, ultimately to hell. Jesus did not say that because he had forgiven, the wrong actions of any person could be allowed to continue unchecked.
Forgiveness, because it does lead to a softening of heart, can mean remembering the good times and forgetting the bad. It can mean healing for the wounded spirit. It does not mean walking back, openly into the line of fire physically. Keep the fight in the spiritual realm in prayer and only ever allow that person who so hurt and abused you back into your physical reality in terms of relationship where and when you know you will be safe.
Do however, believe that with prayer much can change. Abusive people are usually those who have been wounded themselves - deeply. They are like animals cornered, lashing out because they have nowhere for the pain they feel inside to go. Jesus weeps for them too. It is possible for any man or woman to be truly born again and renewed.
Lord, I have felt the pain of being abused in the following ways. (List them).................................................
You know what happened and what I suffered because of the abuse done to me by (list them)...............................
I have felt bitter, angry, confused and hurt. I have felt alone. I repent now, of all these feelings, and for my lack of trust in you, and my lack of forgiveness for the ones who abused me, and for those who did not help me when I sought help.
I ask you now to set me free.
I come to you with a willingness to forgive(list all those you need to forgive).................................................
It is hard to do so, and I ask you to help me to forgive in spirit and in truth.
I ask you for wisdom for my situation. Show me the best way, the way that is your will and plan and purpose for this moment in my life. I commit myself to acting on what you tell me to do.
I reaffirm my trust in you. I place myself in your hands for my healing and deliverance.
Thank you Lord. You are my strong deliverer, and by your hand, I know I will be set free and walk in fullness of joy in my life.
Wow! This is so informative and well written! The time and compassion it must have taken to prepare this will surely bring about a wonderful harvest. I intend to save this page, read it more closely, and take advantage of the links you've provided when time permits. Bless you!