I recently found this notation I had made in my journal. “You might be able to blame someone for where you are, but it’s your fault if you stay there.”
I have no idea why I wrote that down, but it must’ve been a good reason. And it’s true. We all have a past and stories to tell. Some are horrific and life altering. But we have a choice to make, remain a victim or use it with God’s Grace to live victoriously in spite of it. The greatest testimony is not remaining in the struggle but getting through it. There are certain things that I passed through that at that time in my life I wouldn’t thank God for allowing me to go through them, but today, being able to see how God has used the experiences to shape my life, I thank and praise Him for using what was meant for evil to turn it around for my good. Someone rightfully said, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” amen to that.
Whatever you were allowed to go through, I said “allowed” because you’re still here, Had a purpose. The secret to not remaining a victim was the choice you made to move past blame to embrace freedom and forgiveness. You chose peace over despair and victory over defeat. You chose to forget. Whether it was done to you or you did it to yourself, choosing to get up and wash your face, fix your hair, get dressed and leave the excuses behind has transformed and transferred you into a place of victorious living over victimhood. Self pity is a coffin, it carries a stench of pride. Remember the message “Don’t wear your bondage like jewelry?” It is designed by Satan to keep us defeated. Allowing life and all its opportunities to pass us by. Excuses will get us nowhere, facing whatever it is head on will dismantle the shackles and free us to boast in our weaknesses whilst promoting the goodness of God. How do we do that? I thought you’d never ask.
“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”
Philippians 3:13-16 ESV
The first thing we must do is admit that we have a problem and need help. Not just any help, divine help. I’m all for therapy, my daughter is a licensed mental health therapist. But that isn’t the cure. It’s a great start but the cure is found only in Jesus Christ. Good advice is great, Godly counsel is better. Jesus is the only Counselor who can help us forget, He is the Only One who can bring soul healing. He is also the Only One who has agreed to take the blame for whatever has happened in our lives and He did. So as children of God, we have no excuse for playing the blame game. We have no excuse for remaining bitter and broken. He hasn’t asked us to carry the past hurts on our own. Peter said this in one of his writings.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”
1 Peter 5:6-9 ESV
Almost everything we refuse to forget has a tinge of pride embedded in it. Crutches are a form of pride. Unforgiveness is a form of pride. There’s a certain level of arrogance that attaches itself to victimhood. They owe me. They did this to me. They should pay for what they’ve done to me. The emotions attached to those statements reeks of pride. But refusing to walk that path brings a spirit of humility to the situation and releases trusting in God, and forgiveness for the perpetrators. In the instruction of Peter we find these words: Humble, exalt, casting, anxiety, care, followed by; sober-minded, watchful, resist, firm in faith, and knowing that you’re not the only one who’s gone through something. Satan wants us to play the blame game. He knows what will weaken us and make us vulnerable to his schemes. Learning with the Holy Spirit’s help to forget and cast our cares, allows us to resist the temptation to remain a victim.
If God in His wisdom has or is allowing certain events to come to our lives, then we can be confident that He is with us. I know this how? Let’s read one more scripture and I’ll close.
“Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, had bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field.
v 22- And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the Lord was with him. And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed.”
Genesis 39:1-5, 20-23 ESV
If anyone had a reason to play the blame game or remain a victim it was Joseph. Sold as a slave by jealous brothers, forgotten by two prisoners whose dreams he had interpreted for two years. But because he took the high road and trusted even though he didn’t understand what was happening in his life, God was with him for those thirteen years. A slave who refused to become a victim to his surroundings. A slave who refused to become bitter and unforgiving. A slave who had the favor of God on his life because he chose to use what was meant to destroy him as a testimony of God’s goodness.
“So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.”Genesis 45:4-5 ESV
However we choose to use what has happened to us, is strictly on us. We can see it as happening for us and live triumphantly for Christ, or we can see it as happening to us and remain a victim in Satan’s trap. Where we came from doesn’t define us, neither does what we went through. The God who we serve determines the outcome, because He’s with us we can forgive, forget and press toward His upward calling for us. We’re mature sons and daughters, we’re better than our past, there’s too much ahead of us to remain stuck in the muck of the devil’s blame game. Strut like the Jefferson’s lol George was determined never to go back. We have been promised better than the “East side.” We have an eternal home. Will you move up? Will you shake the shackles off? Self pity is a lonely place. You may have the roar of the crowd for a moment, but you’ll always end up alone. Be a victor in Jesus Name!
“The tragedy of life is what dies within a man while he lives.” Albert Einstein
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit
July 21, 2021