And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison.
Acts 12:6 (NKJV)
Suggested reading: Acts 12:5-11
Peter was sleeping while he was in prison, bound with two chains! That is a remarkable example of his trust in the Lord God. Having that kind of peace in the midst of terrible circumstances is something that increases as we experience the Lord’s provision and deliverance in our lives.
Herod most likely planned to stop Peter from spreading the truth about Jesus, the Son of God, as he had stopped James by killing him. However, just as Herod was about to bring Peter out to face a phony trial, an angel of the Lord appeared to rescue Peter. As Peter slept and rested in the Lord, the answer to his friends’ prayers was being manifested in the spiritual and natural realms. What a miraculous testimony!
We, too, must develop the ability—with the Lord’s supernatural help—to rest in spite of what appears to be impending disaster. That is the evidence of strong faith and trust in the Lord that is developed over time. As we experience more and more of God’s faithfulness, our hearts can and will be healed from past emotional and spiritual pain. Jesus Christ is the Healer who God sent to give us hope and freedom from fear. Placing our trust in Him is the beginning of the healing for our broken hearts!
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
Psalm 139:14 (NKJV)
Suggested reading: Psalm 139:13-18
Has anyone ever caused you to feel like you deserved the abuse and/or trauma that you suffered? Have you felt like someone’s doormat, being walked all over because you were vulnerable and an easy target? That is how the enemy, Satan, would like you to view yourself. Embracing the true identity that the Lord God has created for you enables you to reject Satan’s lies!
We are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of the Most High God! The enemy would like us to forget that and see ourselves as less than the beautiful creations that we were meant to be, reflecting God Himself. When we are carrying pain and trauma in our hearts and spirits, our opinion of our worth and value can be skewed. The true nature of who we are in God’s eyes can be distorted—which then causes us to accept more abusive treatment—and the destructive cycle continues. We must break that cycle by believing God’s Word and taking godly action to receive the freedom to be who God created us to be.
Accepting help for healing and freedom from past pain and trauma can be a difficult and frightening thing to consider, because it involves facing the truth and being honest with others about what we have endured. This is especially true if the pain and trauma were caused by other believers. However, we must return to the Lord’s truth that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and ask God for the courage to begin setting godly boundaries to restore our true identity in Jesus’ name!
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
Matthew 26:39 (NKJV)
Suggested reading: Matthew 26:36-42
Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane when He prayed this prayer. He knew that He was about to be crucified and die a horrific death. In spite of the tremendous physical pain and emotional anguish that He was facing, He said, “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
Nevertheless means despite a situation. Nevertheless must be our attitudes if we are going to have peace in our hearts that the Most High God loves us and knows more than we can imagine about how answers to our prayers will affect future circumstances. We may become inpatient if we do not see the answers we want, or when we want them to happen. This is true if our hearts have been broken and the emotional pain is overwhelming.
We often pray, asking God to remove trials and suffering from our lives. Sometimes those prayers are answered with a supernatural intervention by our Most High God. At other times, the traumatic events and consequences are not prevented or stopped. Regardless of whether or not our desire is accomplished in a situation, we must remember that praying for God’s will is a much better way to pray. We need to follow Jesus’ example in our prayers. Trusting the One True God and submitting our wills to Him, the way Jesus did in the garden, will help us receive the emotional and spiritual healing that we need.
But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
Genesis 39:21 (NKJV)
Suggested reading: Genesis 39:20-23
Joseph was thrown into prison based on a false accusation made by Potiphar’s wife. He had a choice. Joseph could have become depressed and despondent, or he could make the most of his circumstances to bring glory to God.
The Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him mercy. God gave him favor with the warden. Joseph did what he could in spite of being in prison for something he was not guilty of doing. The Lord caused his work in that prison to prosper and it eventually led to his release. Joseph was then given an extremely high honor and position over Pharaoh’s house and all the land of Egypt.
When we have broken hearts, we can feel like we are in a prison. We can become discouraged and hopeless if we focus on what we cannot do because of our situation. The Lord does not want us to focus on what we cannot do. He wants us to focus on what we can do. Pursuing emotional and spiritual healing that is possible through Jesus Christ is one thing that we can do if our hearts are broken. The love and healing that Almighty God has offered by sending His Son, Jesus, to this earth as our way to forgiveness and salvation is available to everyone. However, we must do what we can do to receive healing and freedom by first accepting God’s amazing gift.
Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].
Philippians 4:6-7 (AMP)
Suggested reading: Philippians 4:6-9
Peace. That is something that everyone desires in their lives. However, peace can be very elusive and difficult to obtain, especially if emotional pain exists within our hearts. Many people try to obtain a state of peace by using alcohol, drugs, antidepressants, tranquilizers, sex, food, or other things to numb their emotional or spiritual pain. These solutions to a lack of peace are artificial and temporary at best.
The peace of God is far more superior than any worldly remedies. However, it can only be achieved through prayer to our Most High God. Our prayers must be persistent, consistent, and permeated with thanksgiving. We must release our worries and anxieties which are the opposite of faith. Praying until the anxiety over a situation is gone takes determination and tenacity.
The connection between prayer and the peace that transcends all understanding is undeniable. We cannot have the peace of God unless we have a relationship with Him and His Son, Jesus Christ. That kind of priceless peace cannot be produced by using any other means. Through this peace which reassures the heart, our broken hearts can be healed.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
James 1:2 (NKJV)
Suggested reading: James 1:2-5
Are we really supposed to be happy when pain, trauma, or other trials come our way? No, we are not. This verse is not about the emotion of joy, or being happy, but about how we need to view the hard and traumatic situations that we experience. We can be joyful that it is possible—with God’s help—for the trials to produce good in our lives.
Trials come into everyone’s life. Our focus is what determines how well we survive and recover from painful and traumatic circumstances. Trials can be the catalysts for our emotional and spiritual growth, or they can be the agents that send us into the pit of depression and despair. The difference in the outcome depends on our faith and trust in the Most High God.
This does not mean that we will not feel depressed, sad, or discouraged when awful situations happen to us. However, our faith and inner joy of the Lord will eventually bring us out of those trials and into God’s place of victory. We must never let the devil steal our hope. Jesus Christ is the only source of true hope. If we feel stuck in negative emotions or depression, we must turn to the Lord Jesus and His healing power for the freedom we need. He waits with His arms open wide to welcome us and to begin healing our broken hearts!
For the [pagan] Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; [but do not worry,] for your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
Matthew 6:32 (AMP)
Suggested reading: Matthew 6:31-34
Jesus commanded us to not worry, yet many people allow the devil to continually lead them into his prison by worrying about everything. Not yielding to the enemy in this way is an act of faith in God’s ability to provide what we need in every area of our lives, including the emotional and spiritual healing that we need.
God knows—everything! Our heavenly Father knows what we need to eat, what we need to wear, and every single thing we need to live and function to the best of our ability. He knows the pain and trauma that we have suffered, and He knows how to heal our broken hearts. God knows that we cannot freely glorify Him if we are carrying emotional and spiritual pain that interferes with our relationship with Him and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus told us to focus on God’s way of doing things—to sincerely do our best to develop more of the attitude and character of God. That includes trusting our Most High God and surrendering our tendency to worry about things. We must believe that His Word is true and that He loves us more than we can imagine. Our All-knowing God wants our broken hearts to be healed. That requires obedience to Him and willingness to follow His instructions for our specific path to biblical inner healing. Not worrying is part of that healing process!