Theodore Roosevelt once said: Do what you can, with what you have, right where you are. Excellent advice, isn't it? It rightly assumes that whatever life challenge you are facing, it can be overcome; if yu do what you can; with whatever skills, abities, and resources yu currently have; right where you are. But, if you are recovering from domestic violence and abuse, it may not be quite that simple. In fact, you may feel frozen in place. You may feel overwhelmed. And, your environment may not be right. If this is the case for you, right now; then give yourself time; keep praying; keep doing the things you need to do to successfully recover; persevere; and, daily seek God's guidance and grace. For it is true that: with enough time; staying in prayer; not giving up; and believing and trusting in God's grace; eventually, you will overcome. Ultimately, the only road to recovery and overcoming is through God's grace coupled with your willingness to do what you can, with what you have, right where you are. Even if all that you have is: prayer, faith, and courage. For with grace: prayer, faith, and courage are often all that are required. In fact, the recovery you need may be no more than simply coupling God's grace with your work of prayer and faith and courage in doing what you can, with what you have, right where you are.
If you have read some of my previous writings, then you know that recovery, from any of life's challenges, takes time. Recovery is a process. It is not an event. Often, recovery happens in small, incremental steps. It happens in small and incremental steps, primarily, because that is the way the human body and mind are designed. For example, your body is designed in such a way that you must first crawl before you can stand; you must first stand before you can walk; and, you must first walk--and, walk, well--before you can run. Life is a developmental process. So are recoveries, advancements, improvements, and achievements. They often happen little by little--and, sometimes without you even noticing that they have occurred.
So, if you are in a stage of recovery where it is possible: accept God's grace, right now. Begin today. Do what you can do. Use whatever skills, abilities, and resources you have; right where you are. Confront the challenges that face you, one-by-one. Take whatever first steps you need to take. Take them in faith expecting God's grace. Remember that even though it may sometimes take longer than you would like, God's ultimate promise is that you are assured a victorious ending to whatever challeges you face, when you believe and trust in Him. Remember, also, that if you are willing to take that first step in faith: through grace, Christ Jesus will join you, in ways you cannot imagine or predict, to provide for the next step you need to take; and, the next step, and the next, and so on; until you are fully recovered and have successfully overcome. For it is true: God always provides what we need; when we need it; right where we are, through His grace by Christ Jesus when we ask and believe. Our part is to walk in faith, to believe, to trust, to receive His grace, and to take the first steps. For we are assured in Psalm 91: 11-16: For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. they shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation (victory).
In talking about God's grace, that is sufficient to overcome any of life's challenges, we are actually talking about the story of the entire Bible, aren't we? For God's grace, and how to receive it, is mentioned in every chapter, and in evey book, throughout the Bible. His Word serves as a roadmap for us to achieve, to accomplish, and to overcome. It is His will that we live in His grace, peace, prosperity, health, happiness, and joy; and receive all the blessings of heaven that He has prepared for us since the foundation of the world. Yet when we have known the chaos that is domestic violence and abuse, it is sometimes hard to believe that these things are true. Given, however, that these things are true; and, given the fact that people who have been traumatized, generally, lose faith and have trouble believing again--at least for a small period of time; it may be helpful to make the transition back into faith and grace by thinking about four basic Biblical principles: (a.) Principle One: He who overcomes is simply He that believes that Jesus is the Son of God; (b.) Principle Two: God's saving grace is given unto us when we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe that God raised Him from the dead; (c.) Principle Three: As a man thinks, so shall he be; and, (d.) Principle Four: Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind; and, be ye careful of the thoughts you speak to yourself and to others.
In taking a closer look at Principle One, we find that we are specifically told in I John 5: 4-5: For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is he tha overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God? Literally, then, to overcome the world and its challenges, all that is truly needed is to be born of God and to believe that Jesus is His son. This is the foundation of the gospel and of grace.
In taking a closer look at Principel Two, we find that we are specifically told in Romans 10: 9, 10, & 13: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe that God raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Literally, then, to be saved (to receive God's salvation, grace, and the victory that overcomes) all that is truly needed is to confess that Jesus is Lord; to believe that God raised Him from the dead; and, to believe these things so deeply that they become heart-felt convictions. For it is with the heart (or from the deeply held convictions) that man believes unto righteousness (righteousness is sometimes defined in the Bible as faith or believing). Said differently, if a man has a strong enough faith or belief system; one that causes him to speak from the heart; then, that faith makes him righteous in the eyes of God. Strong faith is faith that is unwavering and cannot be moved. It is the type of faith that moves mountains and ensures our deliverances; it grants our heart's desires; and causes us to overcome every challenge that life sends to us.
We see that this is so when we read Romans 4: 3 & 5, where we are specifically told: For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. But to him that works not, but believes on Him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Similarly, in Galatians 3: 6, 7, 11, & 14 we are told the importance of having faith so that we can receive the answered prayer, and the promises, saying: Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ: that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Additionally, when we confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God comes to dwell within us, and we within Him. When we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ we are saved, along with our house. We know these things are true because we are told so in I John 4:15 and in Acts 16: 31, saying: Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him, and he in God. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
In taking a closer look at Principle Three, we find that we are specifically told in Proverbs 23:7: As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Literally, then, we are the people that our deeply held convictions and thoughts have formed--for good or for bad. for those of us who have experienced trauma, that trauma has affected our thoughts, and generally not for the good. Therefore, most likely, our thought processes need to be reprogrammed to focus on the positives: our strengths, gifts, blessings, and worth. The easiest and fastest way to do this is also connected with Principle Four: Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind; and, be ye careful of the thought you speak to yourself and to others. Said differently, you are to renew your mind and change your deeply held convictions and expectations to those that are positive if you want to be victorious and overcome. [Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:5).] When your mental voice plays a worn out record that is negative; say positive things to yourself, instead. Say them aloud, when possible. The Bible encourages us to speak to ourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:19). Saying simple, positive things aloud to yourself, at least twice a day (preferably first thing in the morning when you awake; and last thing in the evening before you sleep) has shown statistical improvements for many people. The simple and positive statements you consistently say to yourself to effectuate positive changes can be anything that is related to your personal situation. Some generic statements, however, that have proved helpful are: (a.) I believe that something wonderful happens to me today; (b.) I know my God has made a way for me; or (c.) I know and am fully persuaded that God is able and wants to deliver me today. Use these generic statements or develop your own that are more appropriate for your life and your situation or need; whichever you prefer. Say them aloud to yourself on a consistent basis. Positive changes will occur.
To emphasize the importance of Principles Three and Four, we might summarize them, more concisely, by saying: Our thoughts dictate who we are. They also determine whether or not we are victorious in overcoming. Control our thoughts (align them with God's thoughts and grace) and we successfully control our destinies. In Romans 2: 12, the importance of our thoughts is also reiterated, saying: And be ye not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. By this we know we are not to focus on the ways of the world; thinking the thoughts that have limitations in the natural world. Rather, we are to renew our minds with positive thoughts; thoughts that are aligned with God's way of thinking. Thoughts that focus on His ways of goodness: ways that are characterized by grace, abundance, peace, prosperity, happiness, health, joy, deliverance, love, overcoming, and the fulfillment of our heart's desires. In Psalm 145: 14-16 & 18-19, we are told again of the goodness of the Lord, saying: The Lord uphold all that fall, and raises up all those that be bowed down. The eyes of all wait upon Thee; and Thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou opens Thine hand, and satisfies the desire of every living thing. The Lord is nigh unto all that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear Him; He also will hear their cry, and will save them.
God, then, raises up all those who fall or are bowed down, when they call upon Him. Further, God opens His hand and provides for all our needs in due season (or when we are in need); He also satisfies the heart's desires of every living thing. God is nigh unto us, when we call upon Him in truth and sincerity. He hears our cries and pleas and saves us by His grace. We are assured that God wants us to have Kingdom thoughts: thoughts that allow us to overcome, and to accomplish miracles, and great works. Our part is to ask for whatsoever we need or desire; and to believe in Him, and in His Son, and in His grace to provide for whatsover we ask. For in John 14: 12-14, we are told: Verily, Verily, I say unto you, He that believes on Me, the works that I do, shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto the Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in My Name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in My Name, I will do it.
God also wants us to strengthened our belief systems such that our words and thoughts stem from a loving and gracious heart: a heart that dictates productive thoughts, speech, and actions that result in victorious outcomes. In Proverbs 4: 23, we are cautioned: Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Similarly, in Matthew 12: 34-35, we are told: . . . for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things.
So, if possible, begin your successful recovery or overcoming today. Do what you can; with what you have; right where you are. Trust God. Have faith. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and the gift of grace that He died to give you. Have Kingdom thoughts: thoughts that are aligned with God's. Renew your mind. Change your speech and actions to those that are positive and loving towards yourself and others. And, you will experience a far better and more wonderful tomorrow. A tomorrow filled with all the continually flowing blessings and gifts from heaven. This is my prayer for each of you.
- Previously, you wrote your transforming statement that painted the mental masterpiece or picture of your ideal life. Today you are asked to expand that picture, again, if it is not yet fully complete. To ensure a complete picture, you need to successfully and fully describe each component of your life. For example, a complete picture would include descriptions about: your relationships--with God and with others; your family; your health, your career; your finances; your wealth; your home; your service to others; and/or your emotional well being, etc. (Remember this is your ideal life. So make your descriptions big. Make them bold. Dream the dreams you want to dream. Don't let others or current circumstances dictate. This is your life and your dreams. Your thoughts, hopes, and dreams do not have to be shared; unless you want to share them.)
- After your tranformational statement is completed for all areas of your life, review today's reading with your life's masterpiece clearly in mind.
- Identify what adjustments you will make to successfully achieve or recover in each of the specified areas of your life. Write them down. Commit to them. Begin implementing them as soon as possible; if it is only in prayer.
- Think about how your habitual modes of thought have created every aspect of your life as it is today. Identify the specific adjustments thay you will make to effectively transform and renew your mind. (Honestly identifying what you want your life to look like; and, making an assessment of adjustments you will make in your thoughts and actions, are the starting points to rapid recovery, overcoming, and self-improvements.)
- Depend on God's gift of grace to deliver you and prosper you; and, to make your life the masterpiece that you (and God) want it to be. Persevere. And, pray without ceasing, as we are told in I Thessalonians 5:17.