“It is I; don’t be afraid.”~~~~Jesus~~~~~Matthew 6:20b
Life is uncertain and the knowledge of fear is common to all. Some experience such catastrophe in their lives that they live the rest of their life in a constant state of hyper-vigilant fear; induced by the trauma they survived. This kind of fear is rooted in those who experience war, devastating illness, natural catastrophe, violent crime, and child abuse. Life is a dangerous ocean and when its violence rages, no one can overpower it. Those who survive its wrath are forever, changed. No matter how calm the waters on a sunny day, a person who has experienced its raging storms can’t logically, trust the ocean again. They may never experience such a storm again and even, find some success in putting part of their terror-memories behind them but the fear remains, as an over-all emotional state. Fear is the killer of joy and it is the lie that destroys a survivor’s soul. Life lived in fear is living in certain expectation of death, while constantly watching for its next attack. This is living death, the personal torture and torment described in Dante’s, “Hell”. God doesn’t want any of His children to live in this condition. God desires that none of us should die but instead, turn away from the way we are living, turn to Him, and learn live a better way. Jesus is the Way God wants all of His children to live, not in fear but in the joyful state of abundant life. God wants all of His children to live in joy and every survivor can be translated from a state of fear into an over-riding sense of joy, when by faith they trust in Jesus. In Jesus, survivors who step out by faith, by walking over their fear toward Jesus, find relief from constant, debilitating fear.
“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”~~~~Jesus~~~~`Matthew 5:39-40
The teachings of Jesus are useful for everyone, as are all the lessons of scripture. However, true inner healing, the by-product of eternal life, is found in the person of Jesus. Jesus apart from faith is only a wise man who lived long ago, who was probably a little crazy because he called himself the Son of God. It is impossible to know the living Jesus if you don’t accept Him as He describes Himself to be and recognize Him as relevant to your life. His teachings are robbed of their power when faith in Him is denied. There is no life in teachings, when applied they can change outward behaviors but there is no eternal life in any teaching. It is the gift offered by Jesus that has the power to replace a trauma survivor’s logical expectation of death, with the true, spiritual expectation of life. True transformational healing takes place when a survivor of trauma recognizes Jesus as the ultimate survivor. He is the only One who died, took His life back, and lived again. Jesus still lives! He lives eternally with His Father and He lives in the hearts of those who love and trust in Him. He died for us but He lives for us too! He has the power to rescue all trauma survivors from their constant state of fear; and this rescue begins when they open their hearts to Jesus and believe. By trusting Jesus, experiencing His living presence, and mirroring Him in daily life, survivors (like all believers) begin the process of faith that leads them from constant-watchful-fear into the joyous state of a more abundant life!
I am a survivor of child-abuse and debilitating disease.The words I’ve written above I also, live. I continue to survive the storms of life but in Jesus, I also thrive. In Jesus, my fears are relieved and when I mirror Him in my daily life, no matter my situation, I am enabled to live in a state of joy. I wasn’t magically transported in an instant from fear to joy. My spiritual salvation came in an instant but the process that I embarked upon because of my experience of salvation, is one worked out in fear and trembling, as God reveals the thoughts, feelings, and actions that need to be changed in me. With each act of obedience there is triumph and I know less fear, as God’s love rushes in. As by faith, God increases my spiritual stature; my state of fear is replaced by joy. Joy leads to contentment, which is the state of an abundant, spiritual life in Christ. There really is healing joy in the person of Jesus!