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"When We Are Abused" - In Touch - July 20, 2010




July 20
When We Are Abused 

Matthew 5:43-48

Abuse is rampant in our world. It seems new stories are constantly emerging of one person inflicting harm upon others. Sadly, few victims know where to seek respite and restoration. You likely know someone who needs to hear that God is a hiding place for the mistreated. Perhaps that someone is you.

The heavenly Father is faithful to comfort His children and heal their wounds. When His strength undergirds us, we can respond rightly to abuse and the abuser.

1. Ask, "Lord, what would You have me do?" There's no standard answer, since so many kinds and degrees of abuse exist. God knows when the right response is to leave home, seek counseling, stay and pray for the abuser, or follow some other course of action. The Lord will never tell you to do anything that violates His Word.

2. Pray for the abuser. Specifically, ask the Lord to show you what motivates the person to injure others. I wish I had prayed this way earlier for my own stepfather, who physically abused my mother and also hit me. My healing process accelerated when I finally learned that he had endured cruel treatment from his father. A harsh past did not excuse his actions, but I was able to feel compassion for him, thanks to God's love at work in me.

God's tender grace heals the wounds of abuse. Only He can replace resentment with compassion, erase the pain from bitter memories, and give the abused a renewed sense of their worth as His treasured children. From our hiding place in His love, we can thrive even in a harsh environment. 

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