This journey in grace can change your life. As we begin the journey in earnest you will be exposed to ideas, methods, and techniques that will enable you to successfully overcome any life challenge you might face, including that of domestic violence and abuse. The individual components presented in this journey are neither new nor unfamiliar; rather, they have been learned and handed down throughout the history of mankind. They have been tried and proven by millions of men and women. And, all who have diligently adhered to them have successfully overcome the challenges of life they faced, and experienced great success. My prayer is that the same will be true for you.
By incorporating these ideas, methods, and techniques into your daily life, you will experience the success, through God's grace, that He planned for you. You will be happier, healthier, and more prosperous. You will be empowered to face and overcome life's challenges. You will become more successful than you ever dreamed possible. You will experience an improved sense of self-esteem. You will learn that you are valued in God's Kingdom and that nothing is impossible to you. But as importantly, you will become aware of your life's purpose and realize what is truly important.
You will learn to unlock God's great mercies and grace towards you and your untapped reserves of potential that now lie dormant within you. You will reclaim your personal power from your abuser. You will learn the importance of forgiveness. You will learn that faith, love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and the bearing of one another's burdens are the essence of true life and success. You will learn that faith works best when it is accompanied by love for others. And, as you practice the ideas that are included at the end of each day's readings, you'll achieve results in proportion to the faith and effort that you put in. As your faith and effort grow, you will propel your life onto a road of success where you will experience all the happiness, the joy, the love, the health, the peace, the power, the restoration, and the blessings that you have longed for and dreamed of. And, you will learn that, at some point, you can look back at the road you have traveled and discover that you have recovered from the domestic violence and abuse you have suffered. Amazingly, you will also find that the challenges you've faced and overcome have made you stronger.
As a reminder from Day One, God's grace is given to us through His Son, Jesus Christ: It is a gift that is freely bestowed. It provides and grants us all the blessings; the love; the protection; the help; and, the power from heaven that we need to meet our every need; to fulfill our heart's desires; and/or to overcome all of life's challenges. Since grace is a gift and blessing from God, it does not depend on luck or any work that we might do. There is nothing, in fact, that we can do to earn it. It was made possible through the work that Jesus did on the cross. All we can do is to receive it through faith that is coupled with love.
Said differently, to receive the healing, the help, and the life we desire, we but only need to come to God, through Jesus, in faith. In so doing, nothing will be impossible to us and all things will be made possible for us. (Matthew 19: 26). This means that great wealth, peace, prosperity, happiness, joy, healing, rejoicing, love, health, and success in all things are available to us through the principle of grace. When we believe and have faith in the principles of grace and God; and, when we keep and do God's precepts, we will have the outcomes we desire. So, determine specifically what you want your life to look like; ask God for it, in the Name of Jesus; believe and have faith that you receive it; and, you will get the results that God promised.
This secret of success is so simple and so easily overlooked (especially when life is chaotic) that we forget that it is so easily obtainable through God's grace. God's purpose is to offer us salvation and success in all that we are and in all that we do. His purpose cannot be thwarted if we come to Him, no matter what evil Satan may bring (and domestic violence and abuse is certainly an unwanted and uninvited evil). But God is sovereign. He is in charge. So we can rest in these truths: Jesus is Lord; God is in control; and, His victory for us will be won when we believe and come to Him.
Love, faith, grace, mercy, peace, and keeping God's precepts are God's ways to success. Whatever we want, we can have. Whatever we want to do, we can do. We can have what God's Word promises we can have. And, we can do what God's Word promises we can do. And, God's Word promises: For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male or female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And, if ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3: 26-29).
Therefore it does not matter if you are old or young, man or woman, abused or free. God is no respecter of persons. He plays no favorites. He gives unto you the Kingdom of Heaven through Jesus who gave you grace. And, all your requests, prayers, needs, and desires will be granted according to your faith. For we are told in Matthew 8:13: And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour; and, in Matthew 9: 29, we are similarly told: Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
The way for you to be happy and successful, to put the pain of domestic violence and abuse behind you, and to get more of the things you really want out of life, is to receive God's grace. Study grace in the Bible for yourself. Join a group that focuses on self-improvements using Biblical principles. Focus on the future and not the past. Forgive. Love. Live. Enjoy. Laugh. Pursue peace. Believe. Trust God. Have faith in God. Design a specific plan for your life and take the needed action steps to achieve it. Avoid negative people and non-believers. Help others, for we are exalted to: Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6: 2); and, As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6: 10).
Albert Einstein is credited with having said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting to get a different result. Successful life doesn't work that way, does it? If we are sane and rational people, we know that if we continue to do the same thing, in the same way, we can expect the same result. If the results of your life are not presently what you want them to be; get a different result by doing things differently. God's grace is always the answer.
If God's grace is the answer, the question becomes: How do we receive God's grace that is sufficient to deliver us during our time of need or trouble? The answer is simple. Pray a sincere prayer that specifically asks God to meet your need or provide for your heart's desires, in the Name of Jesus. And, as you pray, also believe that you have already received the answered prayer. See yourself, in your mind's eye, already in possession of the things for which you've prayed. Show yourself the different result that is both rational and sane. In your mind's eye, see the successful result that comes from praying a different prayer and having a different and better result.
But you say, I have tried that and it didn't work. To which I respond: Try it again. And, this time couple your prayers with complete faith as you pray. For in Hebrews 4: 2-3, we are told, For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: But the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, as I have sworn in My wrath, if they shall enter into My rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
The verses in the fourth chapter of Hebrews indicate that though we may have heard God's word and prayed accordingly, our prayers profited nothing, and were of no avail, because they were not mixed with faith. Further, these verses assure us that when we ask in complete faith, knowing that we must receive that for which we have prayed; we are at peace, and therefore we enter into God's rest. We enter into God's rest because as believers we are assured of the outcome of success. We know that the answered prayer has been fulfilled, completed, or finished for each believer, since the foundation of the world. The answered prayer but only awaits the believer's belief to be transferred from the heavenly to the earthly realm, and into the believer's physical reality. This is true because of the work that Jesus did on the cross that made grace available to us. This grace causes whatsoever we ask in prayer, believing, to come to us. This concept is confirmed in Matthew 21:22, where we are told: And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
The concept of God's grace coming to us when we believe is further strengthened in the story of Jesus walking on the waters that is found in Matthew 14: 22-36. The story begins with Jesus feeding the multitude of five thousand men, beside women and children, with only five loaves and two fish. After which He was tired and wanted to go unto the mountain alone to pray. And, so He bid His disciples to go before Him into the ship to the other side of the island. But as He was on the mountain praying, and the disciples were alone in the ship, a storm arose. And the winds tossed the ship until the disciples were very afraid. Jesus, knowing that they were frightened, came in the fourth watch (the midnight hour) unto them, walking on the water. And as the disciples saw Him from a distance walking on the water they were troubled and afraid, and they cried out in fear believing Jesus to be an evil spirit. But, Jesus, immediately responded unto them, saying: Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered Him and said, Lord, if it be Thou; bid me come unto Thee on the water. And He said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
Now this story aptly demonstrates the blessings of God's saving grace during our times of need and trouble. But it also demonstrates just how powerful our faith can be. Jesus stands ready to help us in even the most frightening of storms--He shows up for us in the midnight hour to deliver us and save us. He gives us the power, through His love and grace, to walk on the waters, if we receive it. In fact, through this story, He demonstrates that as long as we keep our eyes on Him, and not on the storms of life, we can accomplish the supernatural; we can walk on the waters and not sink. However, when we look around at the storm, away from Jesus, and focus on the world's way of thinking--realizing that in the natural, humans cannot walk on the waters; we sink, as did Peter. Yet, Jesus also demonstrates in this story that even though Peter took His eyes off Jesus, and focused on the storm, causing him to sink; Jesus saved him. And, having saved Peter, He chose to get back in the boat with him. Upon his entrance into the boat, immediately the seas were calmed, and the storm ceased.
What can we learn from this parable about seas being calmed and storms ceased? What can we learn about Jesus' disciples being saved during times of trouble? Did Jesus offer a different approach to the way we do things so we can have a more successful result? What examples of God's grace can be found within this parable to help us overcome our life's challenges?
The Bible tells us in Romans 8: 28 that: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose. Perhaps, then, you have been called to walk in the dark place of domestic violence and abuse. Perhaps there is a reason (even though, like me, previously, you may not be ready to hear that just now--and, may, in fact, bristle at the very idea). Perhaps the things you have suffered at the hands of your abuser have taught you about suffering, pain, sorrow, and loss for a larger purpose. Perhaps you have grown stronger from the journey that none of us wanted to take. Yet, now that you have walked the miles that you did not want to walk; perhaps, you can look back down the road of difficulty you have traveled and see God's presence along the way. Perhaps you can look back also and see the ways Jesus kept and provided for you in the midst of your trials and troubles. Perhaps you are now ready to look back at that difficult path that you have traveled and see how it has led you to a brighter future than you might have otherwise have had. Perhaps you now have an increased empathy for others and an understanding about life's difficulties you would not have otherwise have had. Perhaps you can now see and receive God's grace in a way you could not before. Perhaps now you totally trust God for the provisions of your every need and desire. Perhaps now you are ready to receive His blessing that maketh rich and that adds no sorrow or toil unto it. (Proverbs 10: 22). Perhaps now you, like me, are ready for the refined stages of your journey in grace, where you receive that which God promised in Deuteronomy 6: 10-12, saying: And it shall be when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which He swore unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildest not. And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggest not, vineyards and olive trees which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget The Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage (or in this case, delivered you from the domestic violence and abuse you've suffered, which is certainly a house of bondage).
I pray God's continuous blessings upon you as you walk each day in His strength and grace; as you grow stronger from the storm that you have survived--the storm of domestic violence and abuse. I pray also that you forget not to help others in their affliction: For we are all one in the body of Christ.
- Make your life a masterpiece. You have endured much. Now you should rejoice much. Revisit your written statement from Day One. Are there things you have omitted that would make you the happiest? If so, re-write it including everything you've always wanted. Leave nothing out. The sky is the limit. Shoot for it. For someday it will be yours if you are faithful and persistent and willing to put in the effort and faith that are required to achieve your life's dreams and desires.
- Don't be concerned with the process of how you will achieve your life's dreams or overcome your challenges. Leave them to God. He has a plan for your life. He has ways that we know not of to bring our needs and desires to us. (Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.) (Philippians 4:6).
- Forget those things which lie behind. Press onward towards a better and more wonderful tomorrow. Let the storm of domestic violence and abuse remain in the past. Dwell not upon it. (but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.) (Philippians 3: 13).
- For now, just focus on creating a vision of your perfect future. (Where there is no vision, the people perish.) (Proverbs 29:18).
- Review and implement the other recommendations that have been made throughout today's reading. Discipline yourself to be consistent in the application of the ways that will lead to God's grace and your deliverance. Be willing to put in the effort and faith that are required. Your rewards will be worth your efforts.