Do you enjoy your life? Are you living with real peace, joy and fulfillment? Or are you stuck in the pain of past mistakes, abuse, injustices or some other hurt you've endured?
I know what it's like to live in "survival mode," just getting through each day and dreading a lot of what I had to do. I also know how life-changing it can be to discover the truth that God wants us to enjoy our lives. John 10:10 (AMP) says, "The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]."
Before I discovered this Scripture, I didn't understand that God meant for me to have a joy-filled life. I loved God and was a born-again Christian, and yet I was miserable! But John 10:10 clearly shows us that Jesus didn't die for us just so we could be miserable until we go to heaven. He came so we can "have and enjoy life" now ... in this life. And we can have this life if we'll choose to trust God and do what He shows us to do to become healed in our soul—our mind, will and emotions.
Face the Truth and Find Freedom
We all experience heartache or wounds from abuse or injustices of some kind. Getting hurt hurts. But getting well hurts too. One reason people stay broken is because there is pain in the healing process. It requires us to face the truth about ourselves—where we are and how we got there. And I know how hard this can be.
Because of the severe abuse I experienced for years before I left home at the age of 18, I was angry, insecure, suspicious, manipulative and controlling. I wasn't able to have healthy relationships because I didn't like myself, which made me critical and judgmental of everyone else. I used my past to justify my bad behavior until God spoke to my heart and said, "Your past is the reason you are the way you are, but don't let it be the excuse to stay that way."
As I grew in my relationship with Christ, I learned the truth about His love for me ... that He knew all about me and He loved me anyway. I was no surprise to God—He knew what He was getting when He chose me. And the same is true for you. The truth is we will always have some imperfections, but Jesus didn't come for the healthy—He came for the sick! That means we all qualify for help from God.
Pick Your Pain
The healing process is not easy; it takes time and we often make progress little by little. But the truth is you'll either have the pain of change or the pain of staying the same. The question is: Are you tired of putting your energy into being miserable and mad all the time? Or are you ready for an upgrade?
The thought of staying the same is scary to me. It makes me shiver to think I could still be the way I used to be more than 40 years ago now. Even though there was a lot of pain getting from there to where I am today, I can honestly say there has been more joy than pain. God gave me the grace to never give up, and if He did it for me, He'll do it for you!
Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) says, "We are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." God's plan for you is good, and He wants to help you take your journey through the healing process so you can become everything He created you to be. You can trust Him to always be with you and to give you the strength to do everything you need to do (Phil. 4:13).
I really want to encourage you today to refuse to settle for less than the joy-filled life Jesus wants you to have. Face the truth about yourself and understand that if your soul has been severely damaged by abuse, abandonment, rejection, loss or anything else, the journey to wholeness won't be easy. But I promise you the joy you'll gain on the other side—the upgraded life you'll have in the end—will far outweigh the pain of the process!
Please note: The views and opinions expressed throughout this publication and/or website are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Joyce Meyer Ministries.
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Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
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