Healing of Trauma, Memories, Abuse, and Atrocities
Pr 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Some years ago, I read a book called ‘Healing the Damaged Emotions’ by a man named David Seemans. He was talking about the affect that trauma and deep sin had on a person, and how Jesus, set the person free. Many of us have been affected by horrible atrocities, I pray Holy Spirit make this alive today, and set you free!
John 21:15 ¶ So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
We recall that Peter had deliberately denied Jesus three times, and the third time, had called down curses upon himself. Peter at that point in his life had actually denied the Lord, but we are to see, the Lord did not deny him.
I believe that God was interested in not only meeting with Peter, but in restoring Him. Just sweeping Peter’s denial under the rug, would not have strengthened Peter, and restored his confidence in himself and the Lord.
Here’s what I believe happened that day:
Jesus had cooked a breakfast for the boys on the beach, and was with them in His love and glory. He had risen from the dead, and He loved them. These were His leaders, that He was about to use to build His glorious church upon. Peter, was about to become a bold apostle, but first he needed to be restored, in his emotions and memories, or satan would surely find a moment of fatigue or weakness, to beat him up for his failure and betrayal of the Lord, and divert him from providing the strength needed to keep the church moving forward with clear direction.
Jesus comes to Peter, and stands before Him in His love, power, and glory, and gently says to Peter: ‘Do you love me?’ At that moment, I believe Holy Spirit brought to Peters rememberance, the memory of the first time he denied Jesus.
Let’s look at Marks account in Mark 14:66 ¶ And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:
67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.
68 But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.
69 And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.
70 And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.
71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.
72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.
On a dark, horrible night, not too long before, in the last time Peter saw Jesus alive, there was another fire, that Peter warmed his hands at. In the cold darkness, Peter denied His Lord.
Now, we have Jesus, standing before Him, loving him, in front of another fire: A warming fire, in the light of day, filled with joy, laughter, and loving fellowship.
It has been said by people that have faced horrible atrocities, or who have committed them, that simple circumstances can trigger memories deep within ones subconscious.
I remember the time I toured the prayer tower at Oral Roberts University, and they had a walk through story of Oral Roberts life depicted. As we walked through, the presence of the Holy Spirit was very evident, and in our tour group was an older couple in their seventies. At the end of the tour, they prayed for us to receive Jesus, and this older gentleman turned to me, and said, ‘Son, what are you going to do with your life?” I said, “I am going to preach the gospel around the world!” He began to explain:
“Do you think there is any hope for me? I told him that Jesus loved him, and that He had only died for sinners. All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and that Jesus would forgive him, no matter what he had done.
He went on to tell me of the horror of Viet Nam, how as a young man, they had served there, and how he initially cared deeply about the Vietnamese people. When they went in to occupy a village of the Viet Cong, US soldiers would save their chocolate from their rations, and would give it to the children of the village, and would love on them. The enemy figured out this soft spot in the US troops, so began sending children out to meet the troops, strapped with grenades. This man saw a company of his friends blown up by one of these child suicide bombers. New orders came from his commanding officer, when they occupied a village, shoot everything that moved. They were in the jungle, and they were scared. Yet, they followed orders, and killed many women and children.
Now, this man had been back in the US, for over 30 years. His children had grown, and he would have them over for family dinners on holidays. Yet, sometimes, his grandchildren, would come toward him, with arms raised, wanting to be held, and he would black out, and after he was restrained, would discover that he had gone into a killing rage, and had broken up furniture, punched holes in walls, and did not remember doing it. He looked at me with tears in his eyes, and said, ‘Is there any hope for me? When I see my grandbabies, I still remember the horror of killing all those little children in Viet Nam, that would come out of the village, arms raised, expecting chocolate.”
I felt like I had been sucker punched at the moment, with the wind knocked out of me, but I did manage to squeak out a prayer, and to pray for the man.
I was deeply troubled by this, and sought the Lord, for some time. Began to do a Bible study, on the English word, ‘mind’, trying to find something in the Word of God, that would help this man.
Seems there are twelve different Greek roots, for the one English word we call ‘mind’. Many refer to ‘sub conscious reasoning’s’, or ‘thoughts and intents of the heart.’
The Lord graciously gave me:
Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
In the Old Testament, the blood of bulls and animals could provide an offering for the outward punishment for sins, in Jesus, His blood will cleanse not only the outward affects of sin, but even our deepest memories, reasonings, and trauma’s. I prayed for the man, and I know God set him free.
Some have said, well if someone kills a child, or is a pedophile, did not Jesus Himself say:
Mr 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
I am not making light of sin, just making much of the cross of Jesus. As a father, if someone was to attempt to hurt one of my children, or they were attacked by a pedophile, I would kill them, and rid the earth of them.
Yet, God is greater than me, far, far greater.
King David committed genocide, and killed men, women, and children in his raids, when he was running from Saul.
1Sa 27:9 And David smote the land, and left neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned, and came to Achish.
1Sa 27:11 And David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring tidings to Gath, saying, Lest they should tell on us, saying, So did David, and so will be his manner all the while he dwelleth in the country of the Philistines.
I believe there were earthly consequences to David’s actions:
1Ch 28:3 But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood.
He didn’t get to build the temple. Yet, he found eternal life, and lives forever with God in heaven.
Yet, at the end of his life, God said:
Acts 13:22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
I take great comfort in this verse. If God can forgive David for genocide, murder, adultery, and still use him, then there is hope for any of us. Jesus died upon the cross for all sin, not just the socially acceptable ones.
In light of eternity, this is the way you can be remembered, a man after God’s own heart!
Though I have never killed anyone, God has done a deep work in my life, and as painful as the journey has been, I would do it all over again, to experience the wonderful peace of mind that I presently experience. No more nightmares, depressions, fits of rage, because the very traumas, wounds, and abuse that caused that behavior have been healed by the power of God.
I think about it this way: When we accept Jesus, and become born-again, He literally comes to live inside of us, and old things pass away, all things become new. We now have the power of almighty God living on the inside of us, to overcome sin, and our sinful tendencies. The best illustration of this is of a roaring lion: When I first became a Christian, that roaring lion of sinful desire got placed in a cage, and could no longer control my life. He still roared, but he was in a cage, and I did not have to yield to his tyranny, the bars of the Word of God and Holy Spirit, gave me grace and power to not sin! Yet, the desires were still there, warring against my will, trying to get me to sin.
As I walked with God, and Holy Spirit has gone deep within my soul, and grown fruit of the spirit within, there came days of victory in my life, where the lions of various sinful desires got killed. The cage was no longer needed, because, I was free!
Let’s get back to Jesus restoring Peter:
I believe that we can only receive truth that sets free, in the light of His love.
Pr 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
Here we have a shameful Peter, confronted by our loving Jesus.
He knew what Peter did, He was there.
He knows what you have done too, He was there, and saw it all.
Peter, do you love me? I believe at that instant, Holy Spirit brought Peter back to the memory of the night of Jesus betrayal. The fire, being the element Jesus used to trigger Peters memory. Peter, hung his head and said, ‘Lord, you know that I love you.” I believe a miracle occurred in that instant, that Holy Spirit not only gave Peter a revelation of Jesus forgiveness and total acceptance of him, but that in that instance, Peter faced truth, and went free! He lifted off of Peter all the trauma, shame, guilt and fear. Jesus said, ‘Go feed my lambs.’
Yet, Jesus was not done yet. Again, he gently probed, Peter, do you love me? I believe the same dynamic occurred, and Holy Spirit brought to Peter’s remembrance, the second denial, and again, Peter received God’s love and truth, and in the mercy of God, Peter received truth, and this iniquity was purged from his mind.
Now, Jesus probes again. Not only bringing to Peters remembrance the third, most passionate denial, the one that should have got him killed, but probably, the very motives, reasonings, and thoughts inside of Peter, that caused him to do it.
Again, after Jesus says, ‘Do you love me?,’ Peter receives Jesus love, and affirmation, and again, Jesus commissions him to feed his sheep. Peter now had some more food for God’s sheep, at a very deep level.
This is why I could preach good news to the perpetrators of the genocide in Rwanda, boldly proclaiming over the radio to the one million people listening:
Now, let’s pray:
‘Father, you know us. You know what we do, but why we do it. Today, I am asking for a deep revelation of your love that will allow me to face and receive your forgiveness and healing for not only what happened to me, but more importantly, for the wicked, crazy things I have done. You were there when they happened Father, yet you love me. I have tried with drugs, sports, academic pursuits, and many other things to keep running from my pain and shame, but I am so, so, tired, and know not how to proceed. Reach deep within me, and set me free, and show me what you have for me to do for you. I see how my pain has blinded me from you, for oh so long. Take it away Father, make me whole, in Your name Lord Jesus and in the power of Your name, Amen.’
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Give in faith!
1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?
1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.
Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.
I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…
As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.
Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.
I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.
Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:
Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies
It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!
Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!