Read Beauty for ashes: receiving emotional healing Online

Authors: Joyce Meyer

Tags: #Religion, #Christian Life - General, #Christian Life, #Christian Theology, #Spiritual Growth, #Family & Relationships, #Religious life, #General, #Child abuse, #Adult child sexual abuse victims, #Meyer; Joyce, #Abuse, #Adult child sexual abuse victims - Religious life, #Spirituality

Beauty for ashes: receiving emotional healing (5 page)

BOOK: Beauty for ashes: receiving emotional healing
11.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

The Holy Spirit stopped me and asked, "What do you believe, Joyce, about your relationship with God? Do you believe He loves you?"

As I honestly began to search my heart and to study the Word of God on this subject, I came to the conclusion that I did believe that God loved me, but conditionally.

The Bible teaches us that God loves us perfectly or unconditionally. His perfect love for us is not based on our perfection. It is not based on anything except Himself. God is love (see 1 John 4:8). Love is not His occupation; it is Who He is. God always loves us, but often we stop receiving His love, especially if our behavior is not good.

I would like to stop here and present several passages of scripture that have come to mean a lot to me. Please take time to read them slowly. Digest them and allow them to become apart of you:

And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwellsandcontinues in love dwellsandcontinues in God, and God dwellsandcontinues in him.

In this [union and communion with Him] love is brought to completionandattains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment [with

39

assurance and boldness to face Him], because as He is, so are we in this world.There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full- grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doorsandexpels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love's complete perfection].

We love Him, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:16-19)

In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begottenorunique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him.

In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins.

Beloved, if God loved us so [very much], we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:9-11)

Who shall ever separate us from Christ's love? Shall sufferingandafflictionandtribulation? Or calamityanddistress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword? (Romans 8:35)

For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impendingandthreatening nor things to come, nor powers,

Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

40

May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in loveandfounded securely on love,That you may have the powerandbe strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints God's devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it];

[That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]! (Ephesians 3:17-19)

Such hope never disappointsordeludesorshames us, for God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5)

Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands. (Isaiah 49:16)

First John 4:16 is a key scripture for me because it says thatweshouldbe conscious and aware of God's love and put faith in it.I was unconscious and unaware of God's love; therefore, I was not putting faith in His love for me.*

When the devil condemned me, I did not know how to say, "Yes, I made a mistake," then go to God, ask for His forgiveness, receive His love, and press on. Instead, I would spend hours and even days feeling guilty about each little thing I did wrong. I was literally tormented! John tells us that fear has torment, but that the perfect love of God casts out fear (see 1

41

John 4:18). God's love for me was perfect because it was based on Him, not on me. So even when I failed, He kept loving me.God's love for you is perfect-and unconditional. When you fail, He keeps on loving you, because His love is not based on you but on Him. When you fail, do you stop receiving God's love and start punishing yourself by feeling guilty and condemned? I felt guilty and bad about myself for the first forty years of my life. I faithfully carried my sack of guilt on my back everywhere I went. It was a heavy burden, and it was always with me. I made mistakes regularly, and I felt guilty about each one of them.

In Romans 8:33-35 the apostle Paul says:

Who shall bring any charge against God's elect [when it is] God Who justifies [that is, Who puts us in right relation to Himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who acquits us?]

Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us?

Who shall ever separate us from Christ's love?

The devil's goal is to separate us from God's love, because God's love is the main factor in our emotional healing.

We are created for love. In Ephesians 2:4-6 Paul says that God is so rich in mercy that He saved us and gave us what we do not deserve, in order to satisfy the demands of His intense love for us. Think about it. God intends to love us. He has to love us-He is love!

You and I are created for love! Sin separated us from God, but He loved us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for us, to redeem us, to purchase us back, so that He could lavish His great love upon us. All we need to do is believe what

42

the Bible says about our relationship with God. Once we do that, the healing process can begin.During the first year that my husband Dave and I began our ministry called Life In The Word, the Holy Spirit worked with me to teach me about God's love. I kept a book of remembrance of special things the Lord did for me during that time-little things mostly, personal things that showed me that God cared. By this method I began to become more conscious of His unconditional love. It helped me to remember that God loved me.

If you can believe that God, Who is so perfect, loves you, then you can believe that you are worth loving.

Once you believe that you are accepted and loved by God, then you can begin accepting and loving yourself. Then not only will you start loving God in return, you will also start loving other people.

You Can't Give Away What You Don't Have!

Many people receive Jesus and then immediately start trying to love everybody. Too often they end up feeling condemned because they find that they just cannot do it. It is impossible to truly love others without first receiving the love of God, because there is no love there to give.

In 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, often called "the love chapter," Paul emphasizes this truth quite clearly. In the first verse he definesloveas "(that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God's love for and in us)." This entire chapter is focused on teaching us how to walk in love, yet it clearly says that love must first beinus.

Most people can believe that God loves them when they can

43

feel that they deserve it. Problems arise when they feel that they do not deserve God's love, and yet desperately need it.The following charts illustrate the ongoing effects of receiving or not receiving the love of God. Notice that the belief that God's love for us depends on our worthiness is a deception that causes many problems in our lives. On the other hand, believing that God loves us unconditionally brings much joy and blessedness.

Receiving God's Love

Determine in your heart that you will receive God's love. Here are some practical suggestions to help you do that. These are all things that I believe the Lord led me to do, andIbelieve they will be of help to you too. However, remember that we are all special and unique and that God has an individual, personalized plan for each of us.Don't get lost in methods.

4445

The Trickle-Down Theory of Conditional LoveJesus loves me, but. . .

He loves me conditionally.

therefore: His love is based on my performance.

therefore: I have to earn His love by pleasing Him.

therefore: When I please Him, I feel loved.

When I do not please Him, I feel rejected.

therefore: If God, Who is "all-loving," does not always love, accept, and value me,

how can I be expected to believe that I am valuable and lovable?

therefore: I do not believe that I am basically a lovable, valuable person.

therefore, I am not able to trust other people who say they love me. I suspect their motives or figure that they just do not know the "real" me yet.

therefore, I cannot accept love from other people. I deflect it. I try to prove that I am right-that I am NOT lovable, and that they will eventually reject me. therefore, they usually do.

therefore, since I do not love who I AM, I do not expect that others will love me either. Why would anyone want something that has no real value?

therefore, I try to earn their love by what I DO. I do not give out of a desire to love, but to BE LOVED. Most of what I do is tied up in "self," so the people I profess to love do not really feel loved. They feel manipulated. I am trying to avoid rejection rather than trying to build a loving relationship.

therefore, I use the world's standards (money, status, clothes, etc.) to prove to others and myself that I am VALUABLE. I need strokes and feedback from other people to prove to myself and to others that I am LOVABLE.

therefore, I need a "fresh fix" of strokes every day just to get through the day feeling good about myself.

therefore, I look to others to give me something that only God can give me-a sense of my own SELF-WORTH.

therefore, I place impossible demands on people who love me. I frustrate"them. I am never satisfied with what they are giving me. I do not allow them to be honest with me or confront me. I am focused on me, and I expect them to be focused on me too.

therefore, I am not able to sustain a healthy, loving, lasting relationship.

46

These are things I suggest you do to help you receive revelation concerning God's love for you:Tell yourself, in your mind and out loud, "God loves me." Say it, and let it sink in. Repeat it often: when you awake in the morning, when you go to bed at night, and throughout the entire day. Look at yourself in the mirror, point to yourself, call yourself by name, and say, " , God loves you."

Keep a diary, a book of remembrance, of special things that God does for you. Include little things as well as major things. Read over your list at least once a week, and you will be encouraged. Let this become a Holy Ghost project. I think you will have fun with it, as I did.

Learn, and even commit to memory, several scriptures about the love of God for you.

Read some good books about God's love. I recommend that you start with the ones I have written calledTell Them I Love Them,andReduce Me to Love.5

Pray for the Holy Spirit, Who is the Teacher, to give you a revelation of God's love.

47

Follow the Holy SpiritIf you arrive at the conclusion that you need emotional healing, and that many of the problems you face are a result of bad roots from the past, you may become anxious to get rid of those roots of the problem so you can be made well. That is understandable, but it is important to allow the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, and direct you in that healing process.

God has already sent Jesus Christ to come to earth and purchase your complete healing. Once that was accomplished, He sent His Holy Spirit to administer to you what Jesus bought by His blood.

Jesus told His disciples that it was better for them that He go away to be with the Father, because if He did not go, the Comforter could not come (see John 16:7). The Comforter is the Holy Spirit. InThe Amplified Bibleversion of this verse Jesus calls the Holy Spirit our Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, and Standby. During your recovery process, you will need to experience every facet of the Holy Spirit's ministry.

48

Seek Only Godly CounselDon't run around seeking counsel from just anyone. Pray first, asking the Lord whether it is His will that you go to another human being for counsel, or whether He desires to counsel you Himself.

In my own life I have had many, many problems, yet I never went to anyone else for counsel with the exception of one time. On this occasion I visited a lady in ministry who had been abused herself. I do not mean to discredit her, but she really was not able to help me. It was not her fault; she simply was not anointed by the Lord to do so.

God is not obligated to anoint what He does not initiate.So often people run to others without following the guidance and leadership of the Holy Spirit, and it never bears good, lasting fruit.When you are in trouble, go to the throne before you go to the phone.

BOOK: Beauty for ashes: receiving emotional healing
11.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Sinful Nights by Jordan, Penny
This Birding Life by Stephen Moss
Dead Right by Peter Robinson
Blade Song by Daniels, J.C.
Unstoppable (Fierce) by Voight, Ginger
Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl
The Pale Criminal by Philip Kerr