Chapter OneTrophies of Grace
MANY PEOPLE APPEAR to have their lives together outwardly, but
inside they are emotional wrecks because they have been traumatized
by abuse. A victim of trauma is someone who has been wounded
physically or emotionally by some sudden or substantial shock that
created severe and lasting damage to the psychological development
of that individual.
I believe there are many traumatized people in the world who have
been so abused in the past that they are psychologically deficient;
they are unable to function normally in everyday life. There are
people who have been through such trauma that it severely jarred
their emotions, because they endured something that was so awful it
Surviving the trauma of abuse can throw people into a state of
psychological damage that prohibits them from functioning properly
in relationships with others. Such victims do not understand what is
wrong with them, or how to get out of their destructive behavior
patterns so they can live a normal life. That was my situation
before I learned how to gain the victory over the trauma in my life.
Through seeking God and reading His Word, I found that the Lord's
main concern is our inner life, because that is where we enjoy His
presence. Jesus said, "For behold, the kingdom of God is within you
[in your hearts] and among you [surrounding you]" (Luke 17:21,
This book is a summation of how God taught me to triumph through
Christ over the tragedy of abuse in my life. After I had spent many
years preaching His Word, God led me to 2 Corinthians 2:14: "But
thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as
trophies of Christ's victory] and through us spreads and makes
evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere."
One Thanksgiving morning, a spirit of thankfulness began to rise up
within me as I considered all that God had done for me. He spoke to
my heart that day and said to me, "Joyce, you are a trophy of My
grace, and you are helping Me get other trophies." Then I had a
vision of a display case in heaven, filled with trophies. I
understood that when someone wins trophies, it is because that
person is a champion at what he or she does. If people have
baseball, golf, or bowling trophies displayed in their homes, it is
obvious that they have spent a lot of time developing their skill in
that particular area.
God is the Champion at bringing people from a place of destruction
to a place of total victory. As they reach that place of victory
they become trophies of His grace, and they are set on display as a
fragrant reminder of God's goodness. I share my testimony in this
book to help those who are still in the process of becoming a trophy
Through both tragedies and triumphs, I have learned that Jesus is my
King, and He wants to be yours, too. The kingdom He desires to reign
over is our inner life-our mind, will, emotions, desires, and
thoughts. The Word teaches clearly that "the kingdom of God is not a
matter of [getting the] food and drink [one likes], but instead it
is righteousness (that state which makes a person acceptable to God)
and [heart] peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. He who serves Christ
in this way is acceptable and pleasing to God and is approved by
men" (Romans 14:17-18).
In other words, if God's kingdom rules within us, we will enjoy
righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. We will also be
acceptable to God and approved by men. Jesus said that we should not
worry about external things, such as food and clothes, but that we
should "seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and
His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all
these things taken together will be given [us] besides" (Matthew
Before all else, we are to seek the kingdom of God, which is within
us, and then all of our external concerns will be taken care of.
When we accept Jesus as our Lord, He rules our inner life and brings
with Him righteousness, peace, and joy. No matter what difficulties
or trials we may experience in our outward life, if we are whole
inside, we will not only survive, we will enjoy our lives.
Our inner life with God is much more important than our outer life.
Therefore, emotional healing, which I also refer to as inner
healing, is a subject that needs to be discussed in a scriptural,
balanced way that produces godly results. The apostle Paul said that
we can be "assured that He Who raised up the Lord Jesus will raise
us up also with Jesus and bring us . into His presence" (2
Corinthians 4:14). In verses 1618 he continued:
Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless,
exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is
[progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is
being [progressively] renewed day after day.
For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the
passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and
producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory
[beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and
all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness
never to cease!],
Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to
the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are
temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible
are deathless and everlasting.
Everyone is subject to what Paul called, "momentary afflictions,"
and some of us have suffered what seemed at the time to be
unbearable, emotional pain. But Jesus came "to announce release to
the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as
delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised,
crushed, and broken down by calamity]" (Luke 4:18-19).
The King James Version of verse 18 says that Jesus said He came "to
heal the brokenhearted." According to Strong's Exhaustive
Concordance, the word translated brokenhearted in this verse is a
combination of two Greek words, kardia, meaning simply "heart," andsuntribo (soon-tree'-bo), which means "to crush completely, i.e. toshatter . break (in pieces), broken to shivers ., bruise." I
believe Jesus came to heal those who are broken inside-those who are
crushed and wounded inwardly.
If you have been traumatized by abuse, it is my hope that this book
will serve as a road map to get from the ashes of devastation to the
beauty of health and wholeness in your inner self. I pray that you
will find this message to be simple, clear, and powerful, and that
the Holy Spirit will enable you to follow Him to your destination of
peace and joy.
My prayer for you is paraphrased from Ephesians 3:16:
I pray that you will be strengthened in the inner man through the
power of the Holy Spirit and that He will indwell your innermost
being and personality.
I also encourage you to always remember God's promise, found in
For He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor
give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will]
not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor
let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]
So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly
say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I
will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?