Pray

It can’t be lost on us that this is a particularly vulnerable time for those who for whatever reason are still in an abusive relationship. Even for a person with a naturally calm demeanor, a crisis will add a dimension of stress to their lives. Many assume that those who have been in an abusive relationship for a while are somewhat accustomed to handling a tense environment. But the restrictions caused by the pandemic may be bringing them in closer proximity to their abusers for longer periods. This can potentially cause an increased level of stress and volatility in the home. I personally know the frightening uncertainty of living with the constant threat of abuse. Even without the pressure of extraordinary external circumstances, it’s a rollercoaster of terror. So, it’s concerning to think of those that are living with abuse under the new stay-at-home restrictions. Like me, you may have wondered if there’s anything you can personally do.

In Matthew 6:33, Jesus Christ instructs us that in everything we do, we must seek God first. In looking at how we might serve all our brothers and sisters in need during this time, our best course of action to have confidence in the power and healing that Christ provides. In Matthew 11:28-30(NLT), our blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ extended an invitation to us all. He said, “28 Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” This is a beautiful passage that many have recited and it brings tremendous comfort, but sometimes we can hear a familiar truth so often that we no longer comb the depth of it and allow the never yielding enlightenment to impact our hearts and minds. The first time we hear a wonderful passage, it strikes us, but many of us have allowed ourselves to forget the flavor of our most delicious meals.

The words of Jesus never lose their flavor, and he invites us to the table to taste them again and again. And the beautiful thing about his invitation is that no one is excluded. “All” means all! Our precious Savior didn’t give his life on the cross for just the believer, but for the unbelieving as well. He died for all, that all might know the goodness of God! Most people will not accept God’s love. They will reject it and not allow it into their hearts. Even so, it is important to know that God loves all people, whether they accept His love or not.

Many of us were carrying heavy burdens before this pandemic crisis, and now it feels that our load has increased even more. Jesus offers rest to our souls, and we desperately need it. And to the person that is wrestling with all the emotions and trauma of abuse, there is peace in the arms of the Lord. To worry is not to rest. To have stress on every turn is not to rest. We also know that in an abusive relationship, there is no rest. There is the weight of fear, disappointment, insecurity, powerlessness, and despair. The person who knows this kind of weight is exactly the person Christ is speaking to. They may not feel as though anyone can help them, but he can, and he will through faith.

Luke 18:1(NLT) says, “One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.” There is no power that equals the power of God. This is the reason our Redeemer has commanded us to pray as often as possible. It is the way to petition his power and strength; not just for our lives, but we can pray and intercede on behalf of others. James 5:16(NLT) tells us, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” Each of us has the distinct honor and privilege to pray for all people, especially those who have the added burden of abuse, homelessness, and disabilities that have made them particularly vulnerable during this crisis. As many of us are confined by the restrictions and guidelines caused by the pandemic, lets be sure to carve out time to get into our quiet places and pray. ■

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

“Pray”,  written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2020. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Walk in Wisdom, but Don’t Worry

There are many people speculating about why it is we find ourselves facing a global pandemic. The most prevalent of reasons out there is that God is punishing us because we’ve strayed so far away from His Will. This belief does not square with His Word, because God does not punish people. He doesn’t need to use fear to show His people the way. He used the love of Christ to do this. 1John 1:5 tells us, “This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.” Fear is darkness, and many of us that have endured or are enduring domestic violence and abuse can attest to this reality. Fear cripples in many ways, and it is designed and used by the devil to do just that. When our minds and hearts are gripped by fear, and we’re in panic mode, we can’t think clearly and act wisely or decisively. We must be extremely careful not to fall into this trap.

God is light, and there isn’t any darkness in Him at all; not one drop. He doesn’t use fear to get people to do what He wants. Our Heavenly Father is the Creator of all that exists. Genesis 1:26 tells us that He created us in His own image. He gave us the gift of free-will—the ability to make our own choices and decisions. So, we can be confident that He’s not in the business of forcing us to do anything. He’s a loving God, and love doesn’t force, restrict, or imprison. 1John 4:18(NLT) tells us, “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.”

Darkness is dispelled as soon as light is introduced. Likewise, fear is dispelled when the love of God is introduced. One of the things that our current state bears out is the reality that we still have much work to do when it comes to introducing the love of God. We still have a way to go when it comes to learning to lead by the example of Christ, so that God’s perfect love will squash the darkness of fear and all its cousins.

Individually, our actions may not have immediate impact globally, but we can certainly do our part personally and in the lives of those we influence. Heavenly Father tells us how important having and using wisdom is in Proverbs 4:7. This verse says that wisdom is the principal thing and getting it is the very wisest thing any of us can do. This verse also says that whatever else we do, we should gain a clear understanding of how to implement wisdom so we can develop good judgment. Through media and several other channels, we’ve received lots of communication about what to do and what not to do. Using the wisdom we’ve received from public health officials is responsible in the eyes of our Heavenly Father, and we should be thankful to Him that we’re receiving the information we need to care for ourselves and others.

God tells us in Philippians 4:6(NLT), “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Another incredibly important way we can positively impact as many people as possible is to take care of ourselves spiritually. Heavenly Father tells us not to abandon wisdom for worry, but instead pray about everything, from our families and loved ones to the many we’ve never met all over the world. And when we pray, there must be a level of gratitude in our hearts and minds that although we are enduring challenging times, we know the Lord will bless us to get through it. As long as we are committed to not let fear override our faith in God’s love, we will continue to grow spiritually stronger and be a blessing to many others. ■


S
cripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

“Walk in Wisdom, but Don’t Worrywritten by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2020. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Help Yourself, Then Help Someone Else

For many people, one of the more challenging truths to accept is Proverbs 23:7(NKJV). It’s a very well-known verse in the Bible, and it says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” It’s pretty astounding actually, because it speaks to the reality that we are all spiritual beings, and this is a reality most have not accepted. Our spirit-man or ‘inner man’ is the highest part of who we are. The brain performs functions that are so complicated we can hardly fathom the intricacy of its inner working, but even so, the brain does not define us. The heart is a wonderful piece of machinery, but it doesn’t define us either. People receive heart transplants all the time, but a new organ does not change one’s identity. Proverbs 23:7 tells us that the substance of a person is shaped and molded by the invisible activity of the soul. The soul’s centers of will, emotion, and intelligent creativity determine whether we will align with our highest self or betray it.  

1Corinthians 6:19-20(NLT) tells us, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” Our physical body is our temple. It is made of dust, and when it is no longer alive, it will return to that of which it was made. This is not to say that we should regard the body any less than the magnificent creation that Heavenly Father formed it to be. However, we have no right whatsoever to assign to it functions higher or lesser than the ones sanctioned by our Creator. He has told us that the body was created to be a temple that houses the presence of His holy and powerful Spirit. If we worship the temple rather than the Holy One who lives within it, we have made our body an idol. Idolatry is the practice of worshiping the creation and not the Creator; this is a sin.

Jesus Christ said in John 6:63(NKJV), “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” The vitality, fulfilment, and richness that God intends us to experience in life can only be found in Him through Jesus Christ; it cannot be achieved through efforts of the flesh. It is impossible for you to give yourself life. You may have honed or increased the gifts, talents, and abilities you have, but you didn’t gift them to yourself. All that we are, everything that you and I own or have in our possession comes from God. Acts 17:28 tells us that it’s in Him that we live, move, and have our being. So what most of us have to do is to change our thinking about our relationship with God. We must begin to see that He’s at work on the inside of us, and then we must allow Him to come into our hearts in a greater way so that our lives will change. Romans 12:2(NLT) tells us, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

When we don’t understand the partnership between the human spirit, soul, and body, and that all must be aligned and humbled to the Spirit of God, we become disconnected from our own hearts. It shows up in the form of being constantly disappointed and continually emptied of life’s nutrients and favor; all because we seek treasure where there is none.

As a spiritual being, God saw fit to give us this earth experience. Ephesians 1:11(NLT) tells us, “Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.” He chose us way before we passed through our mother’s womb. He knew us as His spiritual children, and He ordained that we should help others see the light of Christ. He appointed the time and place of our births, and we were handpicked by Him for such a time as this. It’s an enormous, incomparable gift, and we must see it this way; for we are in time, and God is not. Therefore, it is pressed on us to be conscious of the reality that life on earth is a necessary and beautiful process. We are going through it, transforming into the person God already sees when He looks at us.

You must align with the reality that your spirit contains the treasure, and it’s with you everywhere you go. Yes, Christ is just that close. It is not selfish to choose to free yourself from the affliction and bondage of abuse. It is an action to move yourself and your thoughts to higher ground, where Jesus, not pain, is Lord! Don’t allow anyone or anything to stall or impede your process, because you are transforming into the very image of Christ, then you can help someone else do the same.■

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

“Help Yourself, Then Help Someone Elsewritten by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2020. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

All Things Are Possible with God

“I don’t want to leave my husband! I just want him to stop hurting me!”  This is what a family friend shared over the holidays. A lot of people will hear a statement like this from a woman in an abusive marriage and think “Why doesn’t she just leave him?” But those that have been in an abusive relationship can understand what she is going through. The person that is now causing her so much pain wasn’t always that way. They were high school sweethearts and got married immediately after graduating high school. With over twenty years under their belts and three children together, leaving the marriage feels to her like the unthinkable.

When the life that you’ve built surrounds and anchors the lives of children, decisions are often complex and extremely consequential. Even in the best situation, the fabric of lives can be very fragile, and if abuse in any form is a part of the equation, that fabric is already unraveling. In the beginning, my friend didn’t tell anyone that her husband had started to say hurtful and demeaning things to her, even in front of their kids. The physical abuse started when the arguments became more frequent, and her husband started slapping her face when things got heated. Then, one evening he came home late, and when she said something about it, his anger became out of control. He wouldn’t stop hitting her and their oldest son jumped in to defend his mom.

Domestic violence and abuse is defined as violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse. But we know that it also happens in relationships between couples that are not married. Instances of abusive behavior is increasing among teens dating in high school and on college campuses as well. I recall a few instances of hearing about dorm-mates and other young women that were in abusive relationships when I was in college. I imagine there were many other cases of abuse where these women suffered in silence, too afraid to tell anyone about what was happening.

If it were as simple as just walking away, the instances of domestic violence and abuse would not be increasing at the rate it is. But we’re talking about patterns of behavior that are deeply rooted in both the victim and abuser, and when we’re stuck in patterns that are destructive to our souls, it is unquestionably a kind of bondage.  

None of us have it all together, and when it comes to someone taking the power that God has given us or our giving it up to them so freely, we need the kind of internal strength and help that only the Lord can provide. All of us are broken inside in some way. We can’t fix ourselves. It is impossible for any of us to come to Jesus Christ as perfect human beings. It doesn’t work that way. He tells us in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me!” We are to come as we are, broken and all, because only Jesus Christ can do a work on the inside of us through his Spirit.

Galatians 5:1(MSG) tells us, “Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.” This is exactly what an abusive relationship is—it’s a harness of slavery, designed to steal our joy and power so that we feel hopeless and helpless. We don’t have to live that way, because Jesus Christ has set us free to live a free life. He will help us take a stand if we will give ourselves to him completely. A victim may be financially dependent on their abusive partner. Without money, or even a place to go, it can seem impossible for them to leave the relationship, but Jesus Christ said in Matthew 19:26 that with God all things are possible.

My friend is struggling to do what is right for her family. Her husband is not who he used to be, and only God knows why. We can never know what is in another person’s heart or why they harbor such anger, but God doesn’t want anyone to be abused. It’s not His Will. He also doesn’t want any child to witness or be involved in the abusive relationship of their parents. We must pray to Him in the powerful name of Jesus Christ, because God can and will help! For any person that is dealing with an abusive partner, know that God wants to rescue you and the very first step towards being free is believing that through Him, it is possible.■

Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

“All Things Are Possible with Godwritten by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!olved Mentio

Focus on YOUR Race!

In Psalm 73:2-3(NLT), the psalmist, Asaph, said, “But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. 3 For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.”  In this passage, we can learn two very important lessons about this race we call life. The first is the reality that we can lose our footing, and sometimes the results of doing so are catastrophic. The other important lesson is that in the time we expend looking at how someone else is running, especially with envy, we could lose the entire race. God has given us the wisdom and power to prevent this from happening. He wants us to win in life, and we should most definitely want this for ourselves.

The one thing that you and I must know is that life is indeed a race, and it is given to each of us by God to run. Some of us would like to think we’re random beings, here to do our own thing. God, in His tremendous grace and love, will allow us to think this, but in truth, the race doesn’t belong to us; it belongs to Him. He predestined us to be born at the time He appointed, and in the place He appointed. We are here for the purpose He has ordained.

It’s not lost on anyone these days that ‘winning’ in life has become kind of clichés’-ish. But this is what we humans do, we take something that is meant for pure goodness and try to put our spin on it. Again, the truth is that God has established the race, and He also defines what it means to win. To make sure you and I don’t get it twisted, in His Word, He’s given us plenty of examples of those who ran their races masterfully. The Apostle Paul reminded us of these individuals in Hebrews 12:1, when he called them a Great Cloud of Witnesses. Their races were not easy, and God never promised they would be, but these individuals won because they ran in faith. You and I must do the same.

Just like them, God tells us in Hebrews 12:2 to lay aside the things that weigh us down so we can run the race He has set before us with endurance. Endurance requires focus. Every good athlete knows this. We can’t be looking sideways and turning backwards, trying to see what the other runners are doing. There’s too much to be done, and we don’t have time to waste. We should also know there’s going to be some things that will get in our way. There will be relationships, situations, and people that aim to slow us down. Sometimes, we get caught up with a negative mindset and we, ourselves, become the biggest obstacles to our own races.

Whether it’s a goal to be healthier, have better relationships, pursue a dream, or to get out of an abusive situation, God makes it clear that the solution begins with how we decide to run the race. At the close of his life on earth, Paul said in 2Timothy 4:7(NLT), “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.” Faith makes the fight a good one! This is how all of us should want to finish our course.

Hebrews 11:1(NIV) tells us, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” It is the truth we believe about the goodness of God and the empowerment He has given us through the Lord Jesus Christ, despite what our circumstances and conditions may present. We are to wear faith like a second skin. It is important to know this because one of the realities of life is that the intensity of our desire for the blessing is going to be tested. There will be opposition as we seek to attain what God wants to place in our hands. You’re going to have to fight the good fight of faith to get what you want in life. Anything worth having will require work and diligent effort to get it AND to maintain it.  

Focus on YOUR race, not someone else’s. Again, you have neither the time or luxury to waste your resources. Everything in you is necessary for your journey forward in the victory of Christ! In Jeremiah 29:11(NLT), God tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you…They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Want what God’s has for you. Understand that an attitude of faith isn’t built on a whim, but on the persistence, endurance, and longevity that commitment requires. Ecclesiastes 9:11 tells us that the fastest runner doesn’t always win the race. We win because we’re focused on trusting God, and we’re fully persuaded in His faithfulness to help us achieve and attain what we desire most in life.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

“Focus on YOUR Race!” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Have You Ever Tried Running up A Mountain?

The term ‘wholeness’ is one we apply to an individual that is thriving mentally, physically, emotionally, and most importantly, spiritually. The Bible is instrumental in helping us understand what happens when the spiritual part of us is out of whack. All the other parts of us go haywire too. Most people would agree that when it comes to the mental acumen for things like technology and science, humanity has advanced in many areas. One would expect that all the other aspects of our being would keep pace, but in fact they haven’t. This is particularly true regarding our emotional well-being. The times are exceedingly stressful, and although we’ve grown adept to keeping up with technological gizmos, emotionally, we seem to fall further and further behind.

In Hebrews 12:1, the Apostle Paul said that since we’re surrounded by the witness of all these wonderful folks that lived with incredible faith in God, we have no excuse. We have to get busy like they did. After all, they were not perfect. They had flaws, but they ran the race God placed before them and accomplished what He wanted them to do. We all have a race to run; all of us! Paul tells us to go ahead and strip off all that heavy negative stuff that weighs us down so we can run with endurance. Sure, we might become tired, but not easily so; we’ll keep running no matter what, with our eyes continually on the prize.

What’s happening to a lot of folks is that they’re not able to run because they don’t understand they’re in a race. And not only this, they haven’t built up endurance. Why is this such a huge problem? Well, it’s a huge problem because life happens. God designed life to be a constantly moving, everchanging, progressive, and productive dynamic. It doesn’t slow down and wait for anyone. It just keeps going, and if you’re not prepared for the ‘get down’, it will boogie right on passed you. The wonderful people that He tells us about in Hebrews 12:1 had incredible faith, and we know this because they faced incredible obstacles. You can’t have one without the other. Jesus Christ tells us in Romans 8:37 that through him, we’re more than conquerors, but you can’t be a conqueror if there’s nothing to defeat.

Given this, it is inevitable that life will present some mountains. In Mark 11:23(NLT), Jesus Christ used a mountain to teach us about faith. He said, “I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.” Some of us are dealing with some mountains right now. Maybe you’re in an abusive relationship, and it seems there’s no way out. Perhaps your debt is mounting, and you can’t see a way to get from underneath it. From marriage problems to unrelenting sadness, many of us have what we consider to be mountain size challenges. The good news is that this is the Lord’s specialty. There’s nothing too hard for Him, and He loves to help us.

Sooner or later, we’re going to have to face the reality that the mountain is part of our race. Yep, sure is. I know, it seems insurmountable, every mountain does when you’re looking at it from the ground up. That’s why God tells us to keep our eyes on His love while we’re moving through rough terrain, so we’ll never see the problem bigger than we see Him.

This is not to minimize the difficulties we face in life, because keeping it real, have you ever tried to run up a mountain? What?!!! Try putting the treadmill on the highest maximum incline—it’s no joke, but the thing is, we up the ante on the treadmill because we know it’s going to give us a good workout. Life is given to us by the Creator to do same thing to our faith—to give it a maximum workout. With the treadmill, you can press ‘stop’ and get off. Life doesn’t work quite the same. You can’t ‘get off’ of life unless you take yourself out; and some folks are doing this. They are ending their lives because the pace of life exceeds their emotional acumen to deal with it. God has given us a better way! It’s the way that leads to wholeness.

It’s awesome that we’re making all these technological and scientific advancements, but ‘The Cloud’ ain’t got nothing on the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus Christ is where the action is! Through him, God has equipped us to not just keep pace with life, but to blaze a trail of love that others can follow. God would not give us a race that we’re incapable of running. Let’s get moving by being more committed to Him. Let’s study His Word and pray more. Give the Holy Spirit greater room in your heart. Throw out the welcome mat and ask him to come in and help you prepare. He’ll help you train. Then you’ll have the endurance to run up that mountain and run the race God has placed before you with the victory of faith. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Have You Ever Tried Running up A Mountain?”
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

He Will Help You Get Your Treasures Back

One of the most well-known passages of scripture in the Bible is in the Gospel of Matthew. In it, Jesus Christ extends an overwhelmingly generous and loving invitation. In Matthew 11:28-30, he tells us, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” If you’ve never faced a problem or issue in life so troubling that you literally feel imprisoned by it, then the invitation of our Lord and Master may not mean much to you. But if you’re anything like me, and you’ve had your back pinned against the walls of your circumstances and condition a few times, then you will understand and appreciate the lifeline our Redeemer is offering.

Recover
He offers us rest, and it is more than just a temporary reprieve. It is a rest that allows us to recover, be restored, and increase in spiritual strength. Spiritual recovery is so important to us because it brings the healing that only our Lord and Savior can provide. And all we need to do is ask for it. Very often we feel imprisoned by life’s circumstances because our destiny is to be at point C and we’re still at point A. We must remember at all times that we’re spiritual beings having an earth experience. Our body provides the vehicle to move about within the earth, but our spirits provide the opportunity to move with Holy Spirit power according to God’s Will and Plan. So, when we feel as though we’re stuck in life, growing in God’s love, nature, and power is always the solution. This is why Jesus Christ tells us in Matthew 11:29 that the conduit to the rest he offers is to learn about him.

Restore
We have a dastardly evil enemy, and he is the devil. Jesus Christ said in John 10:10 that the devil is a thief whose chief mission is to kill, steal, and destroy. Our Big Brother and Lord would never lie to us. Jesus Christ is truth itself. So, if he tells us that we have a treacherous spiritual enemy, it would be incredibly unwise and catastrophic if we refuse to believe him. He wants us to know about our enemy, and he also wants us to know how to protect ourselves against him. God’s Word places this wisdom in our hands.  

I heard a wonderful believer’s testimony about an encounter he experienced after praying fervently for a friend. His friend was very bound by oppressive situations. They were fracturing his family relationships and depleting his finances. This friend had contemplated suicide and came to this man for prayer. While meditating in the Lord, the believer saw a massive room filled to capacity with every imaginable treasure, and everything in this room was chained. He knew that these were treasures of God’s people that had been stolen by satan. Understand that God will help us get our treasures back.

Heavenly Father told His people in Joel 2:25(NLT), “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts.” God’s people had lost everything that was important to them, and the locusts in this verse are symbolic of the devil who steals and destroys the things we value. God reminded His people that only He has the power to restore. They had made the terrible mistake of putting their faith in the wrong things, but in order that God could restore them, they needed to turn to Him in obedience and have faith in Him. This is true for us as well. It’s why we need to learn about Jesus Christ in God’s Word, because learning about his love, ministry, and the extraordinary sacrifice he made for us will build our faith.

Increase in spiritual strength
Increasing in spiritual strength is probably the most important aspect of rest. God tells us in Ephesians 6:10 to be strong in Him and in the strength of His might. Life requires His strength, and the more we know about Him the stronger we become. It is important for us to respect that our destinies are etched in stone, so to speak. Our conscious minds are not aware of all that God has slated for us, and it’s why we must trust Him with all our being. He knows where we’re supposed to be, when we’re supposed to be there, and He knows how to get us there. Our propensity is to try and control the journey, and this won’t work. The rest that Jesus Christ offers requires that we give him the wheel. This is a no brainer. We should never hesitate but take the lifeline and rest he offers; we desperately need it.

While we’re in the passenger seat, we’ve got plenty of time to read, study, pray, and mediate on God’s goodness. That’s the whole purpose of rest, to remember what has been done for us through Christ, and to rest in it. You see, there’s a mindset of intentionality that’s expected of us. We must intend to gain spiritual strength as we rest. If that’s not our intention, we won’t have the strength to maintain what God restores. Let’s do our part by resting in the peace that Christ offers. We’ll be amazed at what the Lord does in our circumstances when our hearts are truly committed to spiritually grow and increase our faith in Him. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“He Will Help You Get Your Treasures Back”
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!