Victim or Victor?

I John 5:4-5 – Everyone that has been fathered by God overcomes the corrupt world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith.Who is the person conquering the world? It is the one who truly trusts that Jesus is the Son of God, that Jesus the Anointed is the One who came by water and blood—not by the water only, but by the water and the blood.

We are victorious. That is a fact, whether we realize it or not. We are the family of God. Again, we are His children whether we recognize it or not. The greatest strategy of the enemy is to get us to question whose we are and who we are. If Satan can get us to stay in a place of a shattered identity, then he will keep us from all that God has for us and from living a victorious, love-filled life. So how is it that the enemy has been so successful in blinding the eyes of God’s children?

We live in a world where people are given free will to choose God willingly. They are also able to choose to use their wills to hurt themselves and others. This leaves each of us in the position to be sinned against. Since the fall all families have suffered from the effects of sin. All too often our homes are not safe places. Instead they are the root of pain and sorrow. In addition, we are wounded by friends and strangers; classmates and teachers. Opportunity of hurt and offense abound in this life. Jesus gave us this promise (which you will not see on a refrigerator magnet or cross stitched and framed in the living room) in John 16:33 -33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”. Jesus warns us that we will have many opportunities to be hurt and wounded by others. Each of us has a choice as to how we will respond to being wounded. The teachings of Christ show us to not only forgive the one who has wounded us, to but to bless them as well. This goes against fallen human nature and against many cultural norms.

When we hold a debt against another and refuse to forgive and release them from the debt completely, we keep ourselves imprisoned. We become victims.Victimization can be personal, cultural, racial or national in focus. All of this leave us in a place of surrendering our wills and our hearts to be held captive. We don’t ignore the wrongs done to us. We bring the sins done against us and the grief and pain we feel as a result of the wrongs and we place them into the wounded body of Christ. He faithfully takes those sins into Himself and heals our broken hearts.

 

Once we are forgiven, we ask for the grace to forgive those who have wounded us. When we forgive, we lay that person’s sins at the feet of Jesus and leave all judgment in His hands. This will bring us the freedom we so long for.

I have seen victimization cripple many people throughout the years. I have seen the devastation it has caused people groups, cultures and individuals. As believers we are free to stand knowing that we have been set free from victimization and walk into the victory that Christ has paid for by His birth, death and resurrection.

How we identify ourselves will determine how we respond to the world around us. Paul the Apostle tells in Romans 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. We are changed through the renewing of our mind to the eternal truths of God’s word. If we believe ourselves to be victims, then we live life with a dreadful expectation of being used and abused. We will see every circumstance as an opportunity to reinforce the belief that our lives are nothing but pain and abuse. Remember that Jesus promised us that we would have difficulty in this life? This is true of everyone of us. Not just some of us.

But we are not playthings of the evil circumstances of life. We are triumphant sons and daughters. Christ has purchased our freedom and victory. We need to believe and walk in these time tested truths. Here are a few scriptures to meditate on in the days ahead:

II Corinthians 2:14 – Yet I am so thankful to God, who always marches us to victory under the banner of the Anointed One; and through us He spreads the beautiful fragrance of His knowledge to every corner of the earth.

1 Corinthians 15:57 – But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:37-39 – But no matter what comes, we will always taste victory through Him who loved us. For I have every confidence that nothing—not death, life, heavenly messengers, dark spirits, the present, the future, spiritual powers, height, depth, nor any created thing—can come between us and the love of God revealed in the Anointed, Jesus our Lord.

I John 5:4 – for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith

The battle for truth begins in our minds. We must believe that we are His sons and daughters. That we are loved with an everlasting love. That we already have the victory. That we are victors, not victims!

About the author

Tom Cole

Tom Cole and his wife, Donna, currently live in Greenville, South Carolina and together direct Pure Heart Ministries International and Hope Grows Farm and Restoration Center. Tom is an avid foodie, a certified cheesemaker, an amateur cured meat maker, a lover of all things social and political, a voracious reader and a lover of growing and making food in a natural way!

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