For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)
Suggested reading: Jeremiah 29:11-14
The Lord’s plans for us are not for harm or evil of any kind. We must believe that. The devil wants us to believe the opposite. Evil is the product of the kingdom of darkness, not the kingdom of God. We must not allow ourselves to doubt that the Lord wants to bless us and give us a hopeful future. If we do, we open the door to the enemy to cause our relationship with God to be weakened. Doubt is the opposite of faith.
God’s thoughts for us include peace! However, the peace that the Lord wants for us is not peace that the world seeks. When our hearts are broken, we desire to numb the pain and be at peace. However, numbing emotional and spiritual pain with drugs, alcohol, or other substances or behaviors, only creates a false and temporary peace for our hearts and minds. It is not the true peace that the Lord desires for us. His peace can reside within our hearts and spirits in spite of the painful and traumatic circumstances in our lives.
The future and hope that the Lord desires and plans for us is good. However, many things can interfere with the Lord’s perfect plans for our lives, including our own free wills and the free wills of others. We must never blame God if that happens. He loves us and wants only the best for us! That is why He sent Jesus to die in our place. God wants our future to be spent with Him in heaven for eternity. That is the incomparable hope He has given us!
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.
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
The lies of the enemy, Satan, can cause us to feel like we deserved the abuse and/or trauma that we have suffered. We can feel like a doormat, being walked on over and over, because we were vulnerable and an easy target. That is how the enemy would like us to view ourselves. Embracing the true identity that the Lord God has created for us enables us 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 opinions 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 our healing journey and setting godly boundaries to restore our true identity in Jesus’ name!
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 and trauma exist within our hearts. Many people try to obtain a state of peace by using alcohol, illegal drugs, 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. They do not remove the emotional or spiritual pain, nor do they resolve the situations that are stealing their peace and joy.
The peace of God is far more superior than any worldly remedies. It can only be achieved through prayer to our Most High God. Our prayers must be persistent, consistent, and permeated with thanksgiving. We must ask the Lord to release our worries and anxieties. Praying until the anxiety over a situation is gone takes determination and tenacity.
Overwhelming anxiety, such as that associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), may require medical intervention, but 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.
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. Joseph chose to glorify God instead of allowing his situation to determine his attitude and destroy his faith.
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 prestigious 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—which 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 receive 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. Then, Jesus can heal our hearts and release us from the prison of emotional pain, enabling us to fulfill our God-given destinies.
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. However, we can be joyful that it is possible—with God’s help—for the trials to produce good in our lives.
Trials come into all our lives. 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. We must also have a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus, in order to receive the strength and inner healing needed as a result of the trials.
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 depression or other negative emotions, 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!
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
He is the King of glory.
Psalm 24:10 (NKJV)
Suggested reading: Psalm 24:7-10
People like to say, “God is love.” Yes, He is, and that is one aspect of His multifaceted character. Our heavenly Father is the most loving Being in existence! His compassion for us is incomparable and His grace upon us began when He sent His Son, Jesus, to provide the way for our forgiveness and salvation. However, “God is love” is not the end of the story.
We must consider His other awesome attributes to begin to understand the greatness of our Most High God. He created heaven and earth, everything we see in the natural realm, and everything we do not see in the spiritual realm. He created the angels, which the Bible calls ministering spirits (Hebrews 1:13-14). He is the Lord of Hosts—Yahweh Sabaoth—Leader of all the angelic armies!
The Lord of Hosts is all-powerful. His power is way beyond anything in this world, or out of this world. There is no comparison between the power of our Most High God and the kingdom of darkness. The Lord of Hosts’ righteous anger over what caused our broken hearts will eventually be revealed, because the Lord of Hosts is also just. He is fair and impartial. He brings justice to those who reject or deny Him. The Lord of Hosts also wants to, and is able to, heal our broken hearts. That is part of the reason He sent Jesus to this earth. What amazing evidence of His love for us that He cares so much about healing our broken hearts! All glory for the healing of our hearts and spirits belongs to our Most High God. He is the King of Glory.