January 8
Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come
Dan and Cindy were a fine young Christian couple who were preparing for ministry on the mission field. Then tragedy struck: Cindy was raped. As hard as she tried to get back to normal life, Cindy couldn't shake the horrible memories and feelings from her experience.
Six months after the tragedy, Dan and Cindy attended a church conference where I was speaking. During the conference Cindy called me in tears. "Neil, I know God can turn everything into good, but how is He going to do that?"
"Wait a minute, Cindy," I said. "God will work everything out for good, but He doesn't make a bad thing good. What happened to you was evil. God's good thing is to show you how you can walk through your crisis and come out of it a better person."
"But I just can't separate myself from my experience," she sobbed. "I've been raped, Neil, and I'll be a victim of that all my life."
"No, Cindy," I insisted. "The rape happened to you, but it hasn't changed who you are, nor does it have to control you. You were the victim of a terrible, ugly tragedy. But if you only see yourself as a rape victim for the rest of your life, you will never be free. You're a child of God. You can't fix the past, but you can be free from it."
All of us have a number of hurtful, traumatic experiences in our past which have scarred us emotionally. You may have grown up with a physically, emotionally or sexually abusive parent. Any number of traumatic, emotional events can clutter your soul with emotional baggage which seems to limit your maturity and block your freedom in Christ. You must renounce the experiences and lies that have controlled you and forgive those who have offended you.
As a Christian, you are primarily the product of the work of Christ on the cross. You are literally a new creature in Christ. The "old you" is gone; the "new you" is here.
Prayer: Father, thank You for working all things for good in my life, even the effects of evil attacks meant for my harm and destruction.

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