Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, (nasb)
Every human being has the ability to rise above his or her circumstances and succeed in Christ in spite of their upbringing, their sinful rebellion against God, or their consequences they have to endure.
I don't know how many times I have heard someone say that there is no way they will ever be in God's favor because they have such a horrible past and God could never accept them for the things they have done. Others have shared that they have been the victim of many horrific abuses and they don't know how God could have allowed it or don't even want to seek Him because He must not love them. Or still others say that they are committing such horrible sin currently in their life that God could never forgive them. There is nothing in any of these people's stories that could be further from the truth.
Growing up I was the victim of abuse. In order to escape the pain and trauma of this I resorted to smoking and drinking at a very early age which eventually led me to using drugs and alcohol as a way of escape. The emotional pain sometimes was so difficult to bear that I would leave my home and instead of going to school I would drive my car to a remote spot and get high and sleep my day away in hopes that when I woke up things would be better. When I woke however, the pain and the problems that came from my trauma never left. There were numerous times that suicide seemed like the only way of escaping the anxieties and depression that came from my difficulties and God always provided a way of escape. Finally, after many years of trying to run from or mask my struggles from myself and others I was introduced to Jesus Christ. I heard His call in my life and I answered it. At that time I had finally reached my end and I figured it was probably my last resort. The emotional pain had finally taken control of my life so greatly that I could no longer bear the burden alone. Jesus accepted me right where I was. He spoke to me the night I surrendered to Him and the next morning evangelists came to the door of my home and invited me to church the following Sunday.
I would love to say that after surrendering my life to Jesus everything was great and my problems went away. But that isn't the way it works... God has a way of gently allowing us to work through the struggles in our life with His help and grace. He won't just let us waste our lives and stay stuck in the same old struggles and sin that we bring to our walk with Him. He wants to strengthen us and then use us for His purpose in bringing Glory to Him even in our pain and struggles. Yes, He does heal our wounds and restore our souls, but sometimes the process takes time.
(Psa 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.)
There is a belief out there amongst some Christians that God will keep us from sorrow and suffering and when you give your life over to Him things will be great. He will get you a job, He will heal your pain, He will help your marriage be successful and so on. Yes, God does work in our jobs, our marriages, and our pain, but He also calls us to endure through these circumstances. He never promises us that He will help us avoid them. (2Tim 2:12 (a) If we endure, we will also reign with Him;) God wants to build our character in our struggles rather than guide us around them and avoid them.
I am far from "cured" from my childhood trauma. Even now after over 20 years of walking with the Lord I have frequent times where the things from my past creep up and affect my life and my relationships today. But God is faithful to show me grace and forgive me when I have done or said something hurtful or painful towards others. In addition to His help He has given me a wonderful wife who has walked by my side and sometimes actually led me along during my healing process.
Psa 34:17-19 The righteous cry, and the LORD hears And delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all. (nasb)
God cares about my problems and yours. When we turn our life over to Him we can begin taking the things that burden us and lay them at His feet for healing and repair. God doesn't reject us or judge us when we are following Christ and He will allow us opportunities to succeed that the world will reject. It doesn't matter what you have been through or what you have done in your life, there is always opportunity for good things to happen when you are serving Christ. He accepts everyone who humbles themselves and calls out to Him for help.
Rom 10:13 for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."
Much more could be said about my past, God's sovereignty, and our ability to thrive even when the devil tries to hold us back... But that will have to be another day.
May the Lord bless you and keep you today.