John 3:16 Arrow For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life ^DREAM interpretation ministry




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OVERCOMING ABUSE!
#21
DAY 7
Forgive it and drop it!

If you hold anything against anyone, forgive them’ Mark 11:25 NIV.


SATAN WILL TRY TO CONVINCE YOU that if your feelings haven’t changed toward the person who wronged you, you haven’t truly forgiven them. That’s a lie! You can make the right decision and still have the wrong feelings! This is when you need faith to carry you through. You’ve done your part, now you’re waiting on God to do His part, which is to heal your emotions and make you feel well and whole. Only God has the power to change your feelings toward the one who hurt you, and He will. Another misconception is that all we have to do is make a decision to forgive, then our job is finished. No, listen: ‘Invoke blessings upon and pray for the happiness of those who curse you; implore God’s blessing [favour] upon those who abuse you’ (Luke 6:28 Amp). Bless them? Yes! And that word ‘bless’ actually means ‘to speak well of’. Ouch! You’re extending mercy to those who don’t deserve it! But isn’t that what God does for you? The truth is that you cannot truly forgive without the Holy Spirit’s help. None of us can. So today, why don’t you pray, ‘Holy Spirit, breathe on me and give me strength. I forgive ___________ [name] for what they did. I loose them from this debt and ask You to bless them. I turn the situation over to You. I trust You for my total restoration. Help me, Lord. Heal me of my wounds. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.’ Now, by faith, leave it all in your Father’s hands!

Prayer Point - Trauma :
Lord Jesus, You calmed the storm and brought peace. Come by Your Spirit and calm the storm in my heart, bringing Your perfect peace. The abuse I’ve experienced has left me feeling traumatised, but You are more powerful than that trauma. I ask You to break its power in me today. Lift it off, so that my body, mind and heart can be completely healed from the effects of abuse
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#22
DAY 8
YOUR WORTH COMES FROM GOD
I will build you up again’ Jeremiah 31:4 NIV

ADAM HAD A RELATIONSHIP
with God before he had one with Eve. That’s important. Why? Because nobody but God can tell you who you really are, or what you are worth! Until you understand that, you will keep looking for someone to love you so much that you will finally start feeling good about yourself. The trouble is, when you find that person you will cling to them like a vine. You will agree with all their opinions and have none of your own. You will try to meet their every need. And you will feel threatened if they can do (or enjoy) anything without you. You will say, ‘All I need is you, how come you do not feel the same way about me?’ No relationship can sustain such a load. Adam learned to relate to Eve, but only after he learned to relate to God. It is in God’s presence, free from the opinions of others, that you begin to look at yourself in the right mirror. It is here that you prepare the gift to be given. But something has changed. Now you know how much you are worth and you will only give yourself to someone who places the same value on you. God has always wanted the best for you; He is just waiting for you to come into agreement with Him. You who have been abused, abandoned, betrayed, or feel as if you never measure up, listen to these words. They are from a God whose opinion of you never changes: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again’ (Jeremiah 31:3-4 NIV
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#23
DAY 9
'Rising Above Guilt And Shame (1)
'

There is... no condemnation to those who are in Christ’ Romans 8:1 NIV

A WELL-KNOWN AUTHOR WRITES: ‘Because my father sexually abused me, I felt shame, which I internalised. At some point I made an unhealthy transition in my thinking. I was no longer ashamed of what he’d done... instead I became ashamed of myself... I felt like there was something wrong with me if my own father wanted to do those things. For years I had a message playing in my mind that said, “What’s wrong with me?” That’s one reason I was excited to learn that salvation clothed me in God’s righteousness. (2 Corinthians 5:21). For... years I felt wrong... now I finally feel right.’ Shame and depression go hand-inhand. And while doctors can prescribe medication for depression, there’s no remedy for shame; except the medicine of God’s Word! But reading it and not applying it to your life is like getting a prescription from a specialist and not taking it. James says, ‘Do not merely listen to the Word.... Do what it says’ (James 1:22 NIV). That means standing on the Scriptures regardless of how you feel. Feelings keep changing; you can’t trust them to tell you the truth. That’s why the Bible says: a) ‘Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.’ (Romans 12:2 NIV); b) ‘Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect [when...] God... puts us in right relation to Himself?’ (Romans 8:33 AMP). In Jesus’ Name arise, shake off your guilt and shame and begin to live!


Prayer Point-God's Sorrow :

Lord God, Your Word says that You are gracious and compassionate. You hate the evil which blights our world, and You hate the evil things which were done to me. Though You saw what happened, You never condoned it and it broke Your heart. When sorrow sweeps over me, help me to know that You feel it too. When I weep, help me to know that You weep with me.
#24
DAY 10
Rising Above Guilt And Shame (2)
Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?’ Romans 8:33 ESV


MELODY BEATTIE SAYS, ‘Shame can hold us back, hold us down and keep us staring at our feet... Many systems and people are controlled by it and want us to play their game... Compulsive behaviour, sexually addictive behaviours, overeating, chemical abuse and addictive gambling are shame-based behaviours... Our past, and the brainwashing we may have had put shame on us. “Don’t think... don’t feel... don’t grow or change... don’t be alive... be ashamed!”... Be done with shame! Attack it. Go to war with it. Learn to recognise and avoid it like the plague.’ Being ashamed of who you are is like being perpetually punished, except you’re doing it to yourself! Even when you think you’ve succeeded in hiding your thoughts, imaginations, attitudes and feelings, they come out in other ways. For example, shame-based people are easily offended, so others learn to walk on eggshells when they’re around them. They are sometimes hard to confront and correct because they feel so bad about themselves that they hate to have anybody else highlight areas that need improvement. But God says only fools hate correction (Proverbs 15:5). When you’re in right relationship to God you can accept instruction without becoming defensive. Paul says, ‘Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?’ Note the word ‘elect’ – God is voting for you. You’re ‘in!’ Who can put you out? Nobody! God’s Word says you are forgiven; your guilt and shame are gone, so stop saying how you feel and start talking about what you know! Above all, ‘Keep your eyes on Jesus... When you find yourselves flagging’ (Hebrews 12:2-3 TM). Make His unchanging opinion of you your source of confidence and self-worth.
#25
DAY 11
Defeating The Enemy
'As Goliath moved... to attack, David quickly ran... to meet him.’ 1 Samuel 17:48 NLT'


THE BIBLE SAYS, ‘For forty days, morning and evening’ (1 Samuel 17:16 NLT) Goliath mocked the children of Israel. Now your giant may not wear armour and brandish a sword, but he’ll taunt you day and night about unpaid bills, past sins, a failing marriage or a job you detest. Goliath’s ancestors had been Israel’s enemies and Joshua annihilated them all; except the inhabitants of Gath where Goliath hailed from. Why is that important to note? Because if you leave your old enemy a leg to stand on, he’ll rise to fight again. Maybe you’re dealing with issues your parents and grandparents grappled with; things like addiction, divorce, anger and depression. When the Israelites ‘heard the Philistine’s challenge, they were terrified and lost all hope’ (1 Samuel 17:11 TM). If that’s how you feel, do what David did, ‘As Goliath moved closer to attack, David... ran out to meet him.’ Max Lucado writes: ‘We retreat behind a desk, or crawl into a nightclub, or a bed of forbidden love. For a moment we feel safe, insulated, anesthetised, but then the work runs out, the liquor wears off, the lover leaves, and we hear Goliath again... Rush your giant with a God-saturated soul! [Tell him] ‘Giant of divorce, you aren’t entering my home, depression you won’t conquer me, alcohol, bigotry, child abuse, insecurity... you’re going down.’ When was the last time you picked up your sling and ran towards the roar? The Bible says, ‘When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard [flag of victory] against him’ (Isaiah 59:19 NKJV). God has given you the power to fight this battle and win – use it'.


Prayer Point - Shame :
Lord, Your love for me is unconditional, but my love for myself definitely isn’t. I confess that the temptation to despise myself is very strong. I want to love myself the way You love me, but shame threatens to imprison me. Help me to forgive myself for what happened. Break the power of the lie that it was my fault, and help me to treat myself with kindness and compassion'.


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#26
DAY 12
'Turn Your Weakness Into A Weapon'
'I am well content with weaknesses... for Christ’s sake’ 2 Corinthians 12:10 NASB'


SPEAKING OF HIS ‘THORN’, Paul writes: ‘I was given the gift of a handicap... At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it... He told me, “My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.” Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift... Now I take my limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size – abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become’ (2 Corinthians 7-10 TM). Paul learned how to turn his weakness into a weapon by allowing it to drive him closer to God. And that’s a lesson you must learn too. Eugene Peterson paraphrases Christ’s f irst beatitude: ‘You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule’ (Matthew 5:3 TM). Now, you can’t just accept your character flaws and areas of defeat and say, ‘Well, I guess that’s just the way I am.’ No, you must confront each area of weakness, confess it, and ‘let Christ take over’. You will always struggle with one thing or another. Paul recognised this: ‘We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us’ (2 Corinthians 4:7 TM). Like common pottery, fragile, f lawed and easily broken, God will use you as you surrender and allow Him to work through you.


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#27
DAY 13
The Battle Is Over!
"Tell your children... how I performed my signs among them’ Exodus 10:2 NIV"


IT’S NOT ENOUGH TO ESCAPE YOUR PAST. Rather, its power over you must be broken, otherwise it’ll chase you the rest of your life. When you break away from something that keeps trying to recapture you, it’s crucial to get victory over it – otherwise you can’t move forward and enjoy the blessing God has in mind for you. It’s jarring to think something’s over only to find it isn’t. But remember, it was God who permitted Pharaoh to pursue Israel all the way to the Red Sea. Why? For two reasons: first, ‘That I may show [you] these signs of Mine’ (Exodus 10:1 NKJV). God wants you to see that when you put your trust in Him, obstacles and opposition mean nothing. He wants this experience to be a ‘landmark memory’ you draw faith from when you face your next problem. Second, ‘That you may tell... [your children]... the mighty things I have done’ (Exodus 10:2 NKJV). You don’t have to live under Pharaoh (satan’s rule) any more. Like the Passover, when the blood of Jesus was applied by faith to the doorposts of your heart, your status changed. You’re no longer a slave but a child of God. The generational curse is broken. Your children can now grow up under God’s blessing. Abuse, alcoholism, anger and abandonment may have been the story of your past, but it’s no longer the truth about your future. God can solve your problem in different ways, but sometimes He takes you through the Red Sea so that when you get to the other side you can look back and see Pharaoh and his armies ‘dead on the seashore’ (Exodus 14:30 NKJV) and know the battle is over!

Prayer Point - Negative behaviour patterns :

Jesus, You came to set the captives free, and that includes me. As I receive Your healing and liberation in my life, I invite You to show me any unhelpful behaviour patterns in me which are the result of abuse. Help me to break those patterns, so that I no longer live in the shadow of my past pain, but move forward into the freedom You have won for me
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#28
DAY 14

Healing Your Past?
'But forget all that – it is nothing compared to what I am going to do’ Isaiah 43:18 NLT'


CREMATE YOUR PAST – DON’T EMBALM IT! Dr Harold Bloomfield writes: ‘Unresolved emotional pain wreaks havoc on your immune system, cardiac function, hormone levels and other physical functions. We must make peace with our past, because our life may literally depend on it!’ Challenging words! Here are four suggestions for dealing with your past: 1) Reframe it. Ask yourself, ‘How did it make me stronger? What do I know now that I didn’t know then?’ Be a learner, not a loser 2) Break the shackles of shame. Shame isn’t feeling bad over what you’ve done, it’s feeling ashamed of who you are. It’s lethal! When God created you in His image He said, ‘I like it! It’s very good.’ (Genesis 1:31 paraphrased). Start agreeing with Him! 3) Arrest the acid drip of regret. Stop punishing yourself with the ‘if onlys’. David said, ‘Happy is the person whose sins are forgiven... whom the Lord does not consider guilty’ (Psalm 32:1-2 NCV). Forgive yourself; God has! When He looks at you through the finished work of Calvary, you look better to Him than you do to yourself! 4) Move from grief to gain. Healing takes time, so expect some anger, fear and sadness. Don’t disown them – they’re part of the healing process. But don’t adopt them either; know when it’s time to move on. You can’t walk backwards into the future, and the future God has for you contains more happiness than any past you can remember!
#29
DAY 15
'DON'T HIDE YOUR PAIN'
'He comforts us... so that we can comfort others’ 2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT'


TO DETERMINE where you’re best suited to serve, examine these areas of past experience: 1) Family. What did you learn growing up? 2) Education. What were your favourite subjects in school? 3) Vocation. What jobs have you really excelled in and enjoyed? 4) Spiritual. What have been your most meaningful times with God? 5) Ministry. Where have you served God effectively in the past? 6) Pain. What problems, hurts, thorns and trials have you learned from? God never wastes a hurt! Your greatest ministry will often come from your greatest struggles. Who’s better qualified to help the parents of an autistic child than the parents of another? Or to help the alcoholic or addict recover than those who’ve fought the same demon and won? Or to minister to the divorced than one who’s walked through its fires? The experiences you’ve resented and regretted most are sometimes the ones God wants you to use to help others. They’re your ministry! But you must start sharing them. People are always more encouraged when we share how God’s grace helped us in our weaknesses, than when we brag about our strengths. Paul understood this truth. Listen: ‘I think you ought to know, dear brothers, about the hard time we went through in Asia. We were really crushed and overwhelmed... but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, Who alone could save us... And He did... and we expect Him to do it again and again’ (2 Corinthians 1:8-10 TLB). Don’t hide your pain; use it to help others!


Prayer Point-Depression And Despair
Lord, I cry out to You to rescue me from the stranglehold of despair. Sometimes the truth of what I’ve been through is just too hard to bear, and I feel as though I might drown under the weight of it. I thank You that You always hear my cry for help. Please lift me out of the mud and mire and set my feet on the rock of hope.
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#30
DAY 16
FORGIVE IT
The merciful... will be shown mercy’ Matthew 5:7 NIV


IN 1988 when the Exxon Valdez ran aground, it dumped 11 million gallons of black oil into one of the world’s most pristine water bodies. Everything was affected: oceans, beaches and wild life. But as disastrous as that was, it doesn’t compare to what happens when your emotions collide with somebody else’s actions. Bitterness darkens your world and smothers your joy. Maybe your wounds are old ones – an abusive parent, a cheating spouse, a business deal gone sour. Or perhaps they’re still fresh – an overlooked promotion, a friend’s unpaid debt, children who’ve forgotten you exist. Either way, you’ve a decision to make. Get over it or get even. Let it heal or turn to hate. Release it or resent it. Resentment just allows whatever’s eating you to eat you up. It stokes the f ire, fans the flames and re-lives the pain. If you change the GR in ‘grudge’ to SL, you get ‘sludge’ – or the polluting resentment you wade through daily by holding a grudge. Is it working? Has it brought relief? Peace? Joy? If today you stood beside the grave of the one who hurt you, would you be free? I doubt it! Jesus says, ‘the merciful... will be shown mercy.’ Why? Because they’ve experienced an even greater grace – God’s. And forgiveness is the key to understanding it. By forgiving others, you feel what God feels! Think – God has already forgiven you more than you’ll ever be required to forgive anyone else! By choosing to forgive, you set others (and yourself) free. So forgive it and let it go!