Moving Forward After Abuse

Lies We Believe

Joyce Meyer
Moving Forward After Abuse

As you might know, my childhood was filled with abuse from my father and neglect from those who could have helped me. Going through so many years of pain led me to develop a lot of wrong thinking. For example, I used to be convinced that God was angry with me, and that there was something wrong with me as a person. And because I believed those lies, they had become true in my mind.

But as I began to study God’s Word, He showed me the lies I’d been believing, and the truths that I needed to overcome every single one. As I identified and replaced those lies with the truth of His Word, He healed and blessed me more than I ever could have imagined…and He wants to do the same for you.

Lie #1: No matter how hard I try, God isn’t happy with me.

This was easily one of the most tormenting lies I’ve ever believed. For years, I lived with this nagging feeling that God was mad at me. It wasn't always about a big, obvious mistake, but the enemy was constantly replaying little things I’d done wrong. I’d believe lies like, You may have read the Bible, but you didn't understand it. You prayed, but you didn't pray right.

All these thoughts took over my focus, until I learned this truth in 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV):

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

God doesn't bring us into relationship with Him to tell us everything that's wrong with us. He knew exactly what He was getting when He got us, and He loves us anyway. Jesus came and paid for our sins on the cross, and when we receive Him as our Lord and Savior, God looks at us and He sees the perfect sacrifice of Jesus, not everything that’s wrong with us.

When I began to understand that amazing truth, it freed me from the enemy’s accusations in that area.

Lie #2: All my problems, especially my bad behavior, is somebody else's fault. Everything I do wrong is because I've been abused.

For many years, I thought that because I’d been hurt so deeply as a child, I had no control over my behavior, and that my attitude was “just the way I am.” I’d become a miserable, bitter, insecure adult who was stuck in a cycle of blame and excuses, which don’t help you face truth or get free.

The truth was that yes, I had been abused, and yes, I needed a lot of help. But as my relationship with God grew, He showed me more and more truth. Eventually He challenged me by saying, “Joyce, the reason you’re struggling with a lot of these issues is because you’ve been through what you’ve been through. But don’t let that become an excuse to stay this way.” And step by step, day by day, He showed me that yes, I do have a choice in how I live and treat others, and so do you.

Whatever has happened to you, you have the option to choose a new way of doing life, and Jesus is ready and willing to help you (Philippians 2:13; 4:13). God once said it to me this way, “Joyce, if you’ll do what you can, I will do what you cannot do!” As you choose to believe the truth of His Word and allow Him to work in you, He’ll heal your heart and give you the grace you need to make better choices!

Lie #3: What happened to me was my fault; because I was abused, I’ll always have a second-rate life.

I used to be convinced that something was wrong with me, so the abuse must have been my fault. But as I grew in my walk with Jesus, He showed me that what happened to me was not my fault—no child ever deserves to be abused! Little by little, He opened my eyes to the truth about who I am in Him.

As a little girl, I used to hear the enemy’s voice telling me things like, You’re damaged goods. There’s no way anyone will want you. I felt completely worthless. But in the middle of all those lies, every now and then, God would whisper to my heart: Someday, you’re going to do something great. Even when I thought I was beyond help, He was lovingly reminding me that I had a future and a hope. And over the years, He’s healed my soul, and used my story to help hurting people all over the world.

To this day, I still don’t know all the whys of my story, but I do know that God is our Restorer, and He can restore you (Isaiah 61:7). Everything Satan meant for harm, He will work out for your good.

Today I want to tell you: Someday, you’re going to do something great. And no matter what your past looks like, you can begin again! As you learn to recognize and replace the lies of the enemy with the truth of God’s Word, you’ll experience more freedom than you ever imagined.

I’d believe lies like, You may have read the Bible, but you didn't understand it. You prayed, but you didn't pray right.

God once said it to me this way, “Joyce, if you’ll do what you can, I will do what you cannot do!”